Sometimes you go places looking for an adventure. Sometimes, you go places looking to have fun. Yet, sometimes still, you get to these destinations and just try and figure out what in the fuck is going on. I guess you could put the Furries vs. the Klingons bowling tournament into all three- with a serious emphasis on the latter.
On the night of Saturday Sept. 29th, I was in the big city of Atlanta. The city of bright lights, an uproarious nightlife, and now suddenly, a Mecca of nerd shit. Just a few weeks ago Atlanta hosted the national sci-fi convention “Dragoncon”. If you have never heard of it, it consists of 80,000 geeks, freaks, and passionate onlookers, mostly dressed up as variety of comic book, movie, and television show characters. I went to it and it was awesome. They all get together for 3 days of science fiction related geek-dom, rent out all of the hotels in the metropolitan area, and surely mate to spawn future leaders of fictional obsessions. It’s also a drunken madhouse, and good for fan fare. I’m assuming we (the city of Atlanta) had a few participating holdouts from this event. For it was truly evident at Midtown Bowling Alley in Atlanta just the other night.
I heard about this gathering online and through some friends out of state. The prospect of Klingons and Furries getting together and duke-ing it out in an epic battle of finger dexterity, laying claim to the anthropomorphic title once and for all, was something I could not in good conscience miss. I was disappointed in the fact that this was not a fight to the death, as I was prepared for bloodshed. They were only playing for some crappy trophy and I was not amused. Fortunately, when it was all said and done, there ended up being no shortage of amusement.
I feel it’s important to preface this with the fact that, until last week, I had never even heard of Furries. Klingons, I know. Everybody has heard of the ripple headed, short tempered, space travelers made famous through the Star trek series, but as it turns out, this was no Klingon event either. It was actually a Star Trek event labeled as a Klingon event, perhaps in order to get more people to show up, but, if that was the case, it didn’t exactly work out. The Star Trek force seemed to be about 7 strong, which, I believe only made for about 3 Klingons. Not what I expected, but then again, what the hell was I expecting? In addition, I come to find out that Trekkies (forgive me if that is not the term) tend to do these tournaments and events typically as fundraisers for some type of charitable organization. Now if that’s the “Save the Empire” or “Mr. Spock for President” organizations, I do not know. I do know that one even in the past was for Toys for Tots, which, admittedly, is a good cause.
These Furries or “Furs”, or any number of other ridiculous titles, are a very select occult. Of course, you must have a furry suit and it must anthropomorphic but, after that, it is relatively unwritten. I went to godhatesfurries.com and they have all these “rules” and such listed, but I have a select group of my own as well. To me, it appeared that the only way they would genuinely accept me was if I were to dress up as a walrus…in the winter, of course. Umm, anyway…let’s continue.
True to the culture, it seems you must know a great deal about the history of furries, and be fanatically obsessed with them in order to don the sacred 2-legged animal suit. Furries prefer not to talk while in costume due to the need to make up some rules and create structure for themselves. In addition, there appears to be a very real and large, yet hush hush sexual sort of deal affiliated with the furries called “yiffing”, replete with “yiff piles” and other “yiff” words. We’ll get into that in a minute.
Immediately I could tell that I was different, a minority, which is fucking ironic when you consider a bunch of guys/girls/combo dressed up in furry suits and Klingon outfits constitute the majority. Maybe it’s just the fact that I could be the last of my kind , a non fur bearing, clothes wearing humanoid, that really put this in perspective. No matter, I was here to discover the furry folds and scalely underbelly, or forehead, whatever, that is created when Furs and Klingons get together.
As near as I could tell, there was a hierarchy for the furs. Apparently ridiculous costumes like dragons and anything supernatural (i.e.- fictional, mythical,) are the leaders of the pack. After that, it appears to be the fruitiest animal with the most elaborate costume wins. Now that I think about it, that actually seems to be exactly how it goes. It seems that everyone is competing to be the biggest, gayest, furriest, “animal” they can be. That’s what furries do. It appears to be an ongoing quest to get the bigger, cuter, pinker, furrier costume. It’s sort of like a contest amongst pedophiles to see who can get the fattest 8 year old. OK, that came out wrong. Not all of the costumes were pink, and I knew of no confirmed pedophiles present, and there are a surprising amount of heterosexuals as well, however, all present could undoubtedly be deemed cute by custest of all standards. That is, of course, except for the guy just wearing the tail. I must admit, that did seem less than cute. In all seriousness,though, you have all kinds. Wolves seemed to be pretty popular. And I admire the work that goes into these very elaborate kid snatchers that they call costumes.
To be honest with you, I was a hell of a lot more scared by the Furries than the Klingons. Walking in there was almost like some tripped out fantasy land where you hope that if it came down to it, you would be taken down by the sword of a Klingon before you touched (or were touched) by those furry beasts. People were smiling and nobody yelled in disbelief, so I guess crises were averted, but, at same time, the Furs had this Mona Lisa thing going on where the eyes seemed to follow you. It seems the Furs were always watching, so I deduced that it must be one of four things:
1. They have big fucking eyes and it is an impossible for them to not look at you.
2. They are sizing you up to do some interspecies breeding
3. You are an outsider and no life will be spared
4. They are walking Amber Alerts, waiting to snatch your children
Now that we have laid the groundwork a little bit, we’re just going to do a play by play of my experience.
So it was held in a bowling alley in Atlanta, right near Buford Highway, home of Little Mexico, porno shops, and 3-dollar happy endings. I had never been to this alley before, but it was just what you would expect to see. It was a dingy bowling alley with browning multicolored carpet, some pre-made drink special and a fluorescent glow only attained through the use of ten million fluorescent lights. It was completely and utterly standard. The only thing not standard about it was that the sign said 24 hours, and that there were a bunch of Furries and Klingons herded together in a corner of the alley like the animals that they are.
This must have been something for the casual onlookers that were at the bowling alley expecting the usual casual bowling night. I certainly saw many faces of confusion on the other patrons, which was probably attributed more to the fact that they had to sit around while a bunch of grown men and women wearing costumes for pleasure were hogging a quarter of the lanes for 2 hours. You had no choice but to watch while you waited for your lane to open, and many did – I mean, it is pretty entertaining.
I walk in and mosied on over to the corner where they were playing. In front of the desk there were flyers to “Join the Republic” with membership fees listed. The president of that club was there too. How do I know? His picture was on the flyer cover. Right away, if they had gems like that, I knew we were in business. There were 2 tables with laptops checking people in. Why the laptops? Who the fuck knows, but to make them look cooler is all I could deduce from it. Two guys manned the entrance like they were going to a Furries vs. Klingon bowling tournament…wait a minute…
They had cropped off about 4 lanes and were charging a 10-dollar entry fee per person. That was to “register”. I’m not really sure what we registered for but we did. To register you also had to give your name, first and last. I thought that this was a little odd but, whatever, I obliged. They also asked for your ID to “make sure you are who you say you are”. They didn’t elaborate, and it didn’t make sense, and I did not like that one bit. Still, I reserved my tongue, as I needed to get inside. When I went to Dragoncon I had chosen to let my tongue fly and wound up in an altercation with a heavily diabetied overweight nerd “bouncer” because I was too close to their “exclusive” geek party, but that is a hilarious story for another day. This time I got a wristband that had paw prints all over it. Okay…. makes sense I suppose.
When you walked in they were giving out buttons too, with some sort of promotional writing on it for the event. I noticed the guy at the entrance had 2 left, but failed to give my girlfriend or me one as we walked inside. I mean, I can understand me, a dude looking like a fake reporter who could totally be the antithesis of the event, but a sparkly-eyed blond bombshell with a bright white smile- me thinks something is up. When I asked him a bit later, he plainly said “No, we ran out”. I might have misinterpreted it, but I don’t think he thought we deserved one and, by the end of this article, I am sure he will be standing by that fact. The lack of a button was a bummer too but let us begin the sequence of odd and puzzling, thoughts and events.
I walk into an overwhelmingly underwhelming turnout. I expected to see at least 50 people dressed up in Furry outfits and Klingon garb, but it was more like 15. The caution tape that surrounded the bowling tournament completely commandeered the video game section as well as roughly 4 or 5 lanes. There were a pair of doors inside the area that lead to, what my best guess could be a dressing room, which was guarded by a large bouncer. I can only assume he was a furry out of costume, which brings me to an aside. One person I talked to implied that the human form was the “costume“, and that they are only “RIGHT” while in a furry outfit. Again, “whatever“.
Ironically the bouncer reminded me of the guy I had met at Dragoncon that I had a spat with. However, the doors to the “dressing room?” which said bouncer manned at this event were covered with signs that read “NO PRESS”. You would think that at an event with maybe 15 people in costumes there would be no need for such a precautions, or, for that matter, a fucking bouncer at a bowling alley for Christ sakes. Truth is there was actually more press than costume goers if you can believe it. The television network G4 was there to interview people and tape the event. Apparently, they are the type of videogame/ sci-fi/whatever channel that would interview Furries and Klingons. They had a grip of people with them, but they weren’t the only ones. Of course, I was there and as were numerous other nostalgia keepers with their little cameras and video recorders. It was a little surreal seeing this go down but I pressed on.
So the sign that reads “NO PRESS”, what on earth would be so important that no press or person could get into it without slaying the bouncer? Perhaps some sort of “Yiff Pile”, the aforementioned sexual adventures that select furs participate in? I say “select“, but after talking with the “humans” at the event that were knowledgeable about it, I imagine that a great deal of the Furries get off on the whole sexual connotation that goes hand in hand with furryism. Essentially, I bet a ton of people there wanted to get it on with each other, and, by that I mean fuck, but why not, right? Its not my cup of tea, or lump of fur, but you tend to be attracted to people that share common interests, so it only makes sense that they would try to make fur babies all the time. Since not one Furry could talk to me about it, I could only assume these things through the strikingly large amount of “plain clothes” people that would willingly talk to me about it. The funny thing about that though, is that every onlooker that I asked that question to had plenty to retort on the subject. They all seemed to be experts, even when I myself couldn’t remember all of the specific terms while I was talking to them. Each of them also said that they were there with friends and that it was, of course, “their friends” who were the ones into it. “Not me” was a common line, which makes me think that they must go to great lengths to cover this twisted shit up, as they should. I can only imagine the persecution that must come along with wanting to fuck a giant stuffed animal, but I digress.
Now most people want to know about the weird sex shit these animal people are into. This is supposed to just be a select few rogue Furries, so keep that in mind. Whether it really is… you be the judge. I found this excerpt and the definition on Wikipedia:
“Zoophilia – “Furry” characters have been compared to other intelligent and social non-human fictional characters who are subjects of love/sexuality fantasies without being commonly regarded as zoophilic, such as the Vulcan’s and Klingons in Star Trek,”
Isn’t that ironic? I originally went to look up stuffed animal phobias and what screwing stuffed animals would be called, thinking the Furries would dominate such a filthy act, and the two parties I was covering came up in the definition. Maybe they are closer than I thought.
Now, while not considered to be an exact definition of what the “Furverts” are into, I guess it is close.
Zoophilia -The emotional and (optionally) sexual attraction of humans to animals.
Here’s the Yiffing definition.
Yiff was originally invented by LittleFox as part of a range of onomatopoetic words that form the fox-ese language of the Furry role-playing community: yiff, yip, yerf, yaff, yarf, growf, and growlf (in order from most positive connotations to most negative connotations). Yiff meant “yes” or an exuberant “hello!”. Later, yiff was assigned a meaning of a sexual proposition, a meaning that had previously been assigned to yipp (a coarse form of yip)
(third-person singular simple present yiffs, present participle yiffing, simple past yiffed, past participle yiffed) (yuck- my yiff word to represent yiffing. -ed)
1. (furry jargon) To have sex, to mate.
Now that we have that covered, about the whole no-talking thing. It wasn’t just because I was asking questions about their sex life. It wasn’t even about the fact that I was not in costume. No, that is the way they prefer to interact, at least with those not “in the know“, I assumed. I definitely saw a couple of Furries talking but it was Furry to Furry, and it did seem very secretive, so maybe I wasn’t supposed to see that, but, when asked, one Furry showed his or her ability to open and close his or her mouth. I guess that’s kind of pointless now that I think about it. The said Furry was able to drink through a straw, which I found perplexing. (photo)
When I finally got down to brass tact’s with a Furry and an interpreter (a friend of the Furry) some things came to light. You will really only get somewhere if you ask yes or no questions. Most of these people have been into this shit for many years. There are a crapload of sites and fan clubs related to this.
I did ask the interpreter why he himself didn’t have a costume on, but, before I address that, there is one important point that I failed to mention. This was a take side’s event. You were either with the Furries or you were with the Klingons/Star Trek group. The middle ground that I was traversing was truly uncharted ground, as everyone seemed to have sides drawn. OK back on topic. As for the interpreter, after I asked him in a very straightforward manner, he responded with a tone of shock and amusement, as if I had been living in a cave my whole fucking life.
(Insert geeky superior laugh here) “These costumes cost between 3,500 and 5,000 dollars each! I’m still working on mine. It will be ready for Dragoncon.”
So I says to the guy, “This shit costs 5 grand? Holy shit!” and, naturally, I asked him what one picks to be their costume. I mean, how do you choose your Furry fate?
“Well“, he says in the same superior tone, “you go with your spirit animal”. Once again, I lay miffed. “Whatever you want” I believe he said after that. Seeing the stupid look on my face no doubt. A look surely turning from stupid to stupor as the Long Islands were starting to kick in. Speaking of which, the long islands at Midtown Bowling Alley were, near as I could tell, vodka, sweet and sour mix, and coke. The grossest, weirdest, alarmingly cheap drink, I might have ever had. Not recommended, but potent.
As my girlfriend and I meandered around the sanctioned off area, there was a great deal to see. Even with the small turnout (40+ people tops) all this shit was going on. We had Klingons at the far end (a crazy lot you can attest),Furries in the middle, videogames in back, a bouncer covering a yiff puddle (?), people with laptops everywhere typing incessantly, multiple camera crews filming the event, fans clogging the aisles, photo ops occurring right and left, and deranged losers talking shit about me to their friends.
This one tight clothes wearing guy kept louding saying to his buddy, “If I had a camera, I would be on the side. That’s the best spot. Why would you be anywhere but over there”.
This guy said this like three times, while I was standing next to him taking photos. I can only assume by his emperor-tinged tone that he was talking to me, while still not talking directly to me. Of course, we were not on the side of the bowling alley but rather, directly in the middle. What he doesn’t understand is that you need an array or, variety, if you will, of different photographs from different angles all over the place. Know it all boobs like this, salivating at the thought of getting fucked by a Furry, should probably be put in jail, because I’m sure they could find that their lifelong dreams and fantasies await them in the comfortable cemented confines of a prison cell. Surely, caring individuals with taste for constant asshole, and a propensity for acting out deranged fur laden fantasies would welcome him with open cheeks.
While the Furries were readily available dancing to the music there and posing for photo-ops, The Klingons–slash–Star Trek–slash–Republic guys were more reserved. Not in actions, as they were loud and boisterous, but in color more than anything. How can you compete for fans when your main colors are metal and everyone around is in blinding hues of the rainbow? Having a violent history might have staved a few off as well I guess. Certainly the costumes of the Furries were not reserved as attested to by the olfactory system.
All in all, this event was a battle. Sides were drawn and, as imposing and powerful as the Klingons were, their real shortcomings appeared to be fanfare and women. Most everyone was rooting for the Furries. One common reason given for this was that, “they (Klingons) don’t need any more help”, and clearly they did not, as it appeared they won the tournament, although details were a bit sketchy when I left. Seriously though, how the fuck do you expect to bowl wearing giant furry gloves? Let alone take home the prize.
It was truly comical watching Furries bowl. Since they have no fingers, they simply threw the ball down the lane. A most popular method was the two-handed underhand between-the-knees toss and it was surprisingly effective. Sadly, nothing can beat the ample dexterity that flanges paired with an opposable thumb bring. The Klingons and trecksters seemed to be having no trouble at all bowling but, why the hell should they? None of those guys brought out their possum gloves to the bowling tournament.
Some of the fans that came out to this event, like Meg, a
Furry Supporter, wielded signs.
Others wielded future swords and sci-fi crap like that. Two very different methods of support – but support nonetheless.
I must say I enjoyed the Klingons shtick very much. One of them was a large imposing man with a baldhead and a blond mustache that had faces made for primetime. He kept doing this Jim Carrey “claw” type dealy with his hand and growling while doing it. I swear I kept laughing every time he did this. Really great. Still, I had my fill by the time I left and probably for a good while.
It appeared to me as though the Klingons were more “animated”, although that term would seem to apply more accurately to the Furries, considering that many of them morphed from anime and the like. This may have only seemed that way because the Klingons had “human” faces and expressions, along with the fact that they were actually willing to speak. That being said, the Furries were, in fact, more apt to dance and have a good time, as they tried to interact with everyone there, and ham it up for the cameras. I suppose, in those situations, the Furries were more animated when it came to obviousness.
When I finally talked to one of the Trekkie guys, it proved to be invaluable. I walked up to him with the intention of asking him why he had a furry hat on with a Star Trek shirt. There was actually a furry present that wore a Furry costume with a Star Trek shirt -The ultimate tournament paradox. I suppose he was my “favorite” Furry. Turns out it wasn’t a furry hat but “he just liked it” and started to wear it everywhere. So that angle was debunked.
He was a fan of DragonCon, as everyone was, and stated he met the group he was with at DragonCon in 2003. He cited his love of Klingons, specifically Warf and season 2 episode 1 “The Child”, having been a defining moment to lead him where he is today.
When I asked him how long he had been into Klingons, he said, “This should explain everything”, and proceeded to lift up his shirt and showed me his tattoo on his right bicep of what, I can only assume, was Klingon symbol. Now that’s fucking hardcore. He gave me his business card, which was a picture of him at Dragoncon last year in a badass Borg getup. He likes to change it up every year and do something different. He also mentioned how they do these events for charity, usually, as that is the way of the club. Their Toys for Tots event (mentioned above) is something that they do every year during Christmas time.
All in all, I got a warmer reception from the Klingons. The Furries just had too much to hide. Above all, must be pride, because it certainly isn’t shame.
Nearing the end of my fabulous journey at the bowling alley, a group of young ruffians emerged wearing wrestling masks. The kind of masks you might see when you hear some sort of struggle going on at your neighbors house, and you run over to see if everything’s okay, but then you glance through the window only to see that your neighbors are in the bedroom, rocking full leather get-ups, snapping whips, and shouting obscenities at each other. Yeah, that kind of mask. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. It first appeared that they may have been trying to steal the fanfare that encompassed the frenzy that was Furries vs. Klingons, but upon further review, I suspect that they were just drunk.
My girlfriend left the shenanigans before I did, and she was waiting outside for me when I left. Some guy outside was telling her about his life story and living situation, which was currently on a porch. He was a Furry supporter. I asked him about the yiffing and, while he was extremely knowledgeable, he said that it were his friends that were into it, but, by that point, I had already heard that line way too many times before. I’ve decided that if you say “my friends” are the ones into it, that basically translates into, “I’m into it”. Just fess up people. He didn’t seem too interested in talking to me after that so we left and took the party uptown a bit.
I would recommend that everyone go to one of these events in their lifetime though. I mean, you cant pass this shit up. It was a fun night and it wouldn’t have been if the Furries vs. Klingons bowling extravaganza hadn’t paved the way. I was really planning on toning this article down as well, but, I thought, hey, this is what I saw. I don’t give a fuck. Besides, the Klingons decapitated all the Furries after the tournament and yiffed their headless bodies. Ah, victory.