There was once a time, somewhere between post-high school and pre-adult responsibility, when my friends and I would pile into vehicles and take road trips to cons. I don't really know how we survived the trips, much less not contracted ebola from the sanitary conditions of some of the places we stayed. We did some crazy things: getting hung upside down in a sleeping bag out a hotel balcony yelling "Mothra, Mothra", off-roading through well-manicured university grounds, eluding the police, and and even transporting underage girls to Canada (we were 19, they were 17, still frowned upon).
There was one constant: Elmo.
My buddy Wooly was looking for a giant stuffed Cookie Monster for some crazy reason, perhaps to balance the feng shui of his parent's basement. No Cookie Monster could be found, but he did find a 30-inch tall Elmo.
Our normal con road trip was five plus long hours from Easton, Pennsyvania to Buffalo, New York to attend the University of Buffalo's UBCon. Great con, great co-eds (the girl's volleyball team always had a game that Saturday and they always went to Burger King, in uniform), and when the Viscount is in charge of navigation and we're cheap dudes who don't want to pay tolls on the NY State Thruway, it's a long leisurely drive on the Southern Tier Expressway (NY17 - Nowadays most of it is I-86).
And who had his head out of the window, waving frantically, and usually uttering sometime at the top of his lungs?
Elmo, that's who.
Elmo made an appearance at my friend George's wedding to his first wife. There, the kids in attendance practiced their curb stomping and moshing with him.
He frequently had a seat of honor at various festivities (see pic above) and never threw in a cent for all the beer he drank.
Once, at Origins, he lept into hotel shower while the President of Global Games was showering. He was also in bondage gear, Elmo, not the dude.
As the years passed and responsibilities accumulated, Elmo grew more and more faded. I can't remember what happened to our little travelling companion, but I hope he's cruising America's roads in the back of a Jeep, giving passer-bys the Muppet finger, partying to a level only matched by Snuffalupagus