Powered by i.TV
September 1, 2014

The Office Convention: Part Two -- Things to do in Scranton when you're dead

by Jay Black, posted Oct 30th 2007 2:19PM
It's like 1984, except, you know, with Michael as Big Brother.(Continued from Part One...)

After checking in (and eating my own weight in free press-room pizza), I went down to see what there was worth seeing...

(It should be noted that from this point forward I will only be referring to the actors on The Office by their character names and not their real names. You could make the argument that this is disrespectful, but I think that it's actually a testimony to how good the actors on this show are. Even when you're in the same room as them, you're not thinking, wow, look, I'm standing in the same room as Leslie David Baker, you're thinking: hey look, it's Stanley!)

These were the things there were to do:

1) The Office Olympics (moved inside due to rain, with awards given out by Kevin and Stanley).
2) The Stock Holders meeting (an improv session hosted by Oscar and Darryl).
3) A display of the costumes.
4) An autograph session with Kelly and Jan.
5) A concert by the Scrantones (with Creed on guitar)
6) A tent filled with Office T-Shirts
7) Another tent filled with local businesses desperately trying to link themselves somehow to The Office
8) A outdoor screen running Office episodes
9) A Q&A with the cast
10) A look-alike contest.

The problem was that the events were scattered throughout the city of Scranton. Scranton isn't a big town, but it's not exactly tiny, either (and I'm an American so, you know, I don't walk). The Stock Holders meeting was at the mall -- a good fifteen minutes by foot from the campus -- and the costume display was at the Train Museum -- which seemed like something that was imaginary.

I suppose if I was spending the entire weekend here with the sole purpose of soaking in everything Office related, I would have made it a point to get to both of these events. Inertia, however, kept me at the University where the majority of the rest of the events were playing.

Of the ten listed, the most popular was obviously the cast Q&A. We'll get to that later.

Yep, this is what there was to do...The 2nd most popular event was... watching Office episodes on a big screen. Yep, a lot of these people traveled thousands of miles (I talked to one guy from Ireland and another woman from Venezuela, both here specifically for the convention), so that they could stand outside, in the rain, and watch The Office.

That was, to me, the first major observation worth making about the people who attended this convention: They absolutely love this show.

What I mean is this: of all the events the organizers put together, other than getting the chance to interact with the cast, the thing that captured the attention of these people was simply watching the show. They weren't here to be memorabilia traders like at a sports or science fiction convention and they weren't here to get drunk and cheat on their spouses like at every other convention -- they were here to enjoy the show in the presence of others who enjoyed it as much as they did.

Don't tell NBC about this...There was something sweet about this. In line at the Jan and Kelly autograph session, I talked to a group of women who had traveled from the four corners of the US as well as Canada and South America to meet up at the convention. I asked them if they were enjoying themselves and they all hooted -- which I took to be a "yes." When I asked what they were most excited about they said "getting to meet each other." Sharing their mutual love of the show was more important than what any of the events had to offer.

(Incidentally, the ladies I spoke with had settled on the name "Dunderheads" for the fans of the show. I don't know if this is official -- I don't want to get into an East Side-West Side/Trekkies-Trekkers kind of blood feud -- but I thought that was an appropriate enough name that I'm going to use it until enough people in the comments convince me of a better name!)

Scranton, much like Ronald Miller in Can't Buy Me Love, tried to make the most of its newfound popularity. It hosted a street fair where every single local business tried to connect itself in some way to The Office. Sometimes it made sense (one enterprising uniform company made up faux Dunder-Mifflin workshirts that I'm sure will sell wonderfully until NBC's lawyers hear about them), sometimes it didn't:

Seriously, would you ever take your dead grandmother to a place that advertised itself as "The Best Corpse House"?

Coming soon: The Office Convention: Part Three -- The press conference

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

8 Comments

Filter by:
BIKINI JIM

THE THING THATS NICE ABOUT CORPSE HOUSES IN SCRANTON IS THAT THERE'S ALWAYS A TAVERN NEAR BY.
ITS TRADATION IN MY FAMILY TO SNEAK OUT DURING THE VIEWING AND HAVING A BEER OR TWO IN MEMORY OF THE DEARLY DEPARTED.
WHEN I GO I'VE REQUESTED FAMILY AND FRIENDS NOT TO SEND FLOWERS. IF YOU DIDN'T SEND THEM WHEN I WAS ALIVE DONT SEND THEM WHEN I'M DEAD. SAVE YOUR MONEY AND SPEND IT ON SOMETHING WORTH WHILE. LIKE A TOAST!
I'M HAVING A HARD TIME CONVIENCING MY LOVELY WIFE TO INVEST IN A 2 DAY PERMIT AND JUST PUT A HALF KEG AT THE FOOT OF MY COFFIN AND LET THEM TOAST AS THEY GO BY!

November 02 2007 at 6:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevin J

Jay... I grew up in Scrabton, and am completely fluent in Scanuneese.
A corpse house is a completely accptable term for a funeral parlor;as in the sentance:
" Me and a cuppa two, tree of mise buddies is goin' uptoda corpse house. They got ole charlie laid out real nice. Den wheese going down to da beer garden to tro back a cupp cold wonz."

October 31 2007 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BIKINI JIM

Happy HOLLOWEEN!

October 31 2007 at 6:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BIKINI JIM

CHECK OUT SCRANTONS "DINKY DA METRO-SEXUAL ELF ON MYSPACE.
HOPE EVERYONE HAD A GREAT TIME HERE IN SCRANTON!

October 30 2007 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hollywood Ron

I think I'd like to be embalmed by the best corpse house in Scranton, personally. They might actually honor my request and stuff me with candy.

October 30 2007 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KMF

Wow I wouldn't imagine they'd stretch events out over different places. I'm used to the one hotel style sci-fi conventions were everybody gets drunk and cheats on their wives. Seriously though, the closest thing to the spread out events was a Doctor Who convention's site tour in Swansea to locations where scenes of episodes were filmed in the area.

I can see people enjoying going all that way and then wathcing episodes, some DW conventions usually had screening rooms that showed various classic episodes through the day.

Looking forward to more of your Scranton Adventure!

October 30 2007 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Holly (FUN)

Jay, I'm one of the ladies you talked to that travelled from all over the continent to meet at the convention, and you specifically promised you'd mention our hotness....don't see that anywhere. How could you leave out such an important detail? I mean, we're smokin'!

October 30 2007 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kelly

I dont know if it was the same funeral home as the one you showed in the photograph but I did see a funeral home that had a sign for services for Ed Truck. There was a sign above it that had something to do with paper not being dead. Being caught up in the Office madness, I thought it was amusing but even then, in the back of my mind, I realized it was kind of tasteless.

October 30 2007 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners