“Did you doze off during that last lecture?”
“Was it that obvious?”
“I wouldn’t know – I think we were all unconscious.”
They surreptitiously glanced around at their fellow conference attendees and saw the same blinking, bleary-eyed look that they felt on their own faces.
“Want to take a walk?”
“Please – my rear end is still napping and needs to wake up.”
The two women walked out of the conference room and continued on down the hall.
The spread before another set of conference rooms featured balloons, a buffet table, and signs pointing to a carnival.
“Looks like another convention.” She walked over to a stand and read the poster on it: “State Chapter of Fun-Loving Party People.”
“That sounds AMAZING. We should go in.”
“What? We can’t just walk in; we’re not members!”
“No one will know! It looks like they’re not doing registration anymore, and we have badges that can make us pass as members if we just flip them over!” She did so to demonstrate her point. “Anything is better than sitting through another two hours of pedantry, and this is a real-live party.”
“I don’t know – ”
She grabbed her colleague’s hand and dragged her to the other set of conference rooms, dumping their vendor logo-emblazoned swag bags on the way. The main conference room was filled with people and dim lighting, which made the insinuation of their non-member selves into the affair all the easier.
“Perfect – we can sneak in like it’s a rave,” the instigator whispered.
“If you say so,” her companion whispered back. She felt as if her association’s seal was stamped on her forehead, advertising her deception.
Once their eyes adjusted to the black light, they could see that the conference rooms had games of chance and actual amusement park rides spread throughout. Overlooking the enormous power drain, the two infiltrators circulated the room, ate some popcorn and cotton candy, and rode on the mini-roller coaster. They had started with “Fool the Guesser” when the main doors burst open, letting in too much of the hallway light for everyone’s pupils to handle.
“You!” The silhouetted figure pointed at the two undercover attendees. Everything fun ground to a halt and everyone else started at the strangers in their midst. “You left our conference before all the sessions were done!”
“Yeah, well, the speakers on the line-up are all dull, dull, dull!” The instigator felt the need to point out.
“Your lecture’s up next!”
“Right. Just give everyone the two credits, with my blessing.”
“That’s not how it works!”
“Oooh, I don’t want to talk about my topic! It’s as boring as hanging wallpaper!”
“Excuse me!” A man who appeared to be in charge materialized next to the two stowaways. “Seeing as you’ve crashed our party, hand over any uneaten food and go suffer at your own conference as punishment.”
“But I’ve just resuscitated my inner child here!”
So the convention crashers were led back to their proper conference in shame, the instigator had to present her mind-numbing lecture, during which she nodded off in mid-sentence, and the Party went on all night long. The crashers vowed to join that organization no matter what the membership criteria actually entailed – anything to free themselves from the monotony of their annual conference of the State Association of Office Drones.