GenCon 2013 Part 1 — the Wheaton Conundrum

Last Wednesday night I almost met Wil Wheaton.

Let me rephrase that. Last Wednesday night, I almost inflicted myself upon Wil Wheaton. I was standing with Scott Lynch at the Diana Jones Award, held the night before GenCon begins, and not ten feet off was Wil Wheaton, bigger than life. Well, actually, he was appropriately life-sized.

As I saw him and briefly considered introducing myself, several scenarios played through my head.

Scenario 1: Visceral 

Me: I have noticed that you are Wil Wheaton, and I wished to say that it’s really cool that you are, and how nifty it is that you are in the same room with me.

Wheaton: I praise you for your observational skills, for I am Wil Wheaton. And it is, indeed, a nifty room.


Scenario 2: Self-Promotional

Me: Mr. Wheaton, I love your essays. They frequently leave me chortling.

Wheaton: That’s kind of you to say. You just don’t hear the word “chortle” enough anymore. I wish to commend you for using it.

Me: Thanks! I, too, am a writer, which is how I know to employ words like “chortle” and “lugubrious.”

Wheaton: Zounds! You’re exactly the sort of writer I like to read! You should send me all of your writing, and I’ll promote it through the inter webs, which, as you know, are a series of tubes.

Scenario 3: Friend of a Friend

Me: Mr. Wheaton, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your essays and blog posts.

Wheaton: Why, thank you!

Me: We have a mutual acquaintance, John Scalzi.

Wheaton: He’s a good friend of mine!

Me: I’ve spoken with Scalzi on at least four occasions — in person even, sometimes for several minutes at a time! We’re practically brothers.

Wheaton: You should fly out and chill with me and Scalzi and Michael Dorn. We’ll do lunch and make prank phone calls.

Me: Count me in!


In the end I simply turned to Scott and said: “There’s Wil Wheaton.”

After consideration, Scott nodded sagely, as he is wont do do, for there was no denying the truth of my words.

“I’d like to introduce myself, but I’m not sure what I’d say.”

Again Scott nodded, which might have been because he’d reached that same conclusion, or might have been because he’d climbed out of bed at four in the morning to drive to GenCon.