Jim: "Hey what's up, I'm Jim Thresh."
Tim: "And I'm Tim Ripp."
Jim: "And we're The Ims. Get podcasted, friends."
Tim: "Get podcasted."
Jim: "Today we're here to talk about InfluencerCon!"
Tim: "Yeah we're in the big leagues now. We got invited. They were like, 'these two idiots are important.'"
Jim: "They're not wrong."
Tim: "They're extremely wrong."
Jim: "They're not right. Anyway, so they flew us out on Thursday. The airport was a madhouse, like I think there was some other event with some historical cosplay stuff because there were a bunch of guys in like... that fucking ancient Roman armor that's not like the nipple suit from Batman & Robin. It's a bunch of plates."
Tim: "Lorica segmentata."
Jim: "Lorica suckmydicka! Gottem."
Tim: "Got me."
Jim: "Anyway there were a bunch of Roman legionnaire cosplayers on the plane and we passed by them picking up their shields and spears at the baggage claim. Weird that the airline let them check those, but whatever."
Tim: "Very weird vibe at that airport. So when we get to the hotel, which is like the same building as the convention center, we check in at the front desk, and it's as smooth as those things ever go."
Jim: "Hotel check-in can go real bad. Real real bad."
Tim: "People have died."
Jim: "Or worse!"
Tim: "Unspeakable horrors, yeah. So after that there was like a dinner for the featured influencers, and it was quite a diversity of vibes."
Jim: "There was this guy whose face was red like a tomato and he kept trying to shift the conversation to right-wing conspiracy theories, and people would just ignore him."
Tim: "There was this... I think she had to have been like a makeup tutorial person?"
Jim: "If not, she should be!"
Tim: "Yeah, really bold look. Very unsettling and realistic. She was really nice, though. Grounded, friendly. I think she stopped a couple of fights."
Jim: "I mean, they would have been fights."
Tim: "Yeah, she de-escalated. Probably has had to get in the middle of conflicts before."
Jim: "Talk about that bathroom encounter."
Tim: "Oh yeah! I had to take a leak and when I came out there was this weird guy standing there waiting. He said some real cryptic stuff about how we all get what we deserve in time. I was like 'sir this is a Wendy's.'"
Jim: "It actually was a Wendy's."
Tim: "Yeah they really cheaped out on where to host the dinner."
Jim: "So then Friday morning, we head to the expo floor for the first actual day of the con.
Tim: "Yeah our panel and meet and greet weren't until Saturday."
Jim: "So we're just sorta browsing and attending, like the common folk."
Tim: "We're very much like the common folk. Almost exactly."
Jim: "Yeah we're a dime a dozen. Anyway, they had some really weird sponsors at this thing."
Tim: "Oh yeah some of those booths were like. A little experimental. There was that one that was like. This guy was standing in like a wrought iron cage, and they were doing some kinda light effect to make it look like the cage was on fire?"
Jim: "He kept apologizing to everyone that passed by. There was like a little ledger on a table next to him that was supposed to be a list of his crimes."
Tim: "Some of them were pretty bad but some were just petty."
Jim: "He did seem pretty sorry, though. Like I'd give him a break, if it was up to me."
Tim: "Oh yeah, same."
Jim: "The first panel we wandered into, we left pretty quick. The vibe was not great."
Tim: "Yeah this toy review youtuber had his parents on the stage with him and he was just crying and yelling at them about all this really personal shit from his childhood."
Jim: "Deeply uncomfortable. Why are you airing this out in public, dude?"
Tim: "The audience was eating it up, though. They were laughing sometimes like it was sitcom jokes. Awful."
Jim: "You gotta cultivate a better audience than that, as a creator."
Tim: "For real. None of you, I'm sure, would laugh at us having a sobbing personal breakdown on the podcast."
Jim: "Unless it was really funny."
Tim: "Yeah, like. The threshold is a little higher. Because we cultivate a high-quality fanbase."
Jim: "Friday was just a lot of that. Weird high-concept vendor booths and panels that felt too personal."
Tim: "The photographer guy was a highlight, though. He had this slideshow of black and white analog film photos of people crying."
Jim: "They had to have been actors, because the theme was 'people reacting to finding out I'm gone.' And like, dude you're right there. With a camera."
Tim: "Consistently good actors, though. It was kinda haunting."
Jim: "All good art haunts you, I think. In its own way."
Tim: "True. I think I agree with that."
Jim: "So, Saturday."
Tim: "Yeah! Our panel was just recording an episode live, and we did a Q & A at the end. People had some really heartfelt stuff to say. The vibe was very communal, very grateful. They were grateful, we were grateful. It was nice to reach out and be reached out to."
Jim: "It was really nice."
Tim: "The meet and greet, though. Jesus christ."
Jim: "I still think we were pranked or something. The vibe was so different from the panel. Like none of those nice people came back for the meet and greet. It was just a bunch of really, like, weirdly resentful people."
Tim: "This guy told me I snapped his pencil in half in elementary school during an argument, and I think I did, but also. Why are you holding onto that, dude? It's a fucking pencil. It was so long ago."
Jim: "My senior prom date was there. I had actually thought we had a really nice time, that was a fond memory for me, but she said some remark I made about the way her dress fit started her down a path to hating her body, and now the only thing she hates more than her body is me and people like me?"
Tim: "People really hold onto things forever. It's a bit alarming."
Jim: "Hey, uh. Tim be real with me for a second."
Tim: "What's up?"
Jim: "What city was InfluencerCon in?"
Tim: "What? It was, uh. You know."
Jim: "I don't! That's a bit alarming, I think."
Tim: "...Yeah, it is."
[a long pause]
Tim: "Where are we now?"
Jim: "I, uh. Hm."
Tim: "Jim, I think this is a dream. I think I'm dreaming."
Jim: "I actually died in 2018. Car accident."
Tim: "That's rough, dude."