Here's one of my recent creations, which I wrote just last night, though it's been mulling through my head for about two weeks. What you're about to read is entirely fictitious, but I hope you enjoy it non-the-less.
Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to attend a major Star Trek convention, something I’ve always wanted to do. As the date neared, someone from my social media circle who would be attending, sent me a link advertising for a secondary event taking place, attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the most number of people cosplaying as the character Khan Noonien Singh, in one place. As “The Wrath of Khan” had always been my favorite Star Trek film, I decided that I would lend myself to this undertaking, and started assembling my costume. The Facebook page my friend linked to, cleverly calling itself “Khan-Con,” indicated that there would be a fee of $450 per entrant, needed to cover costs of the event. The venue would need to be booked, as well as paying for the official Guinness Records counters, who would certify the results. I decided that it was money worth spending, and forwarded my contribution.
The Facebook page indicated that a couple hundred people had signed up to be present, but in the last few days before the date, a special bulletin was posted, indicating that they had managed to convince William Shatner himself to attend, where he would cap off the event, by yelling “KHAN!” at the whole lot of us. The thought of such a high-profile guest, sent us all into full-on nerd mode, and applications soared to six hundred and twenty-seven by the time the sign-up period closed.
Well, the date arrived, and I attended the main Star Trek Convention, enjoying it thoroughly, then made plans to meet up with the rest of my fellow Khans the next day to set the record. I was slightly puzzled the next day, when I arrived at the venue to find that it was an abandoned warehouse at the edge of town. Well, it occurred to me that such a place would cut costs, and as there were many of my fellow Khans there, I decided to settle in and wait for the event to start. There were people dressed as Khan from the Original Series, with the orange jumpsuit, or as the Benedict Cumberbatch iteration, some of them wielding massive prop mini-guns. The most by far however, were dressed as Khan from the film, with the torn clothing, slick-ed back white hair, some having paid extreme attention to detail. There were also “fringe” Khans, which basically crossed him with other un-related characters, such as a Khan-Elvis, a Khan football player, and even a Khan baby… with Khan parents, of course.
Time went by, and our numbers swelled to the expected six-hundred plus, but we couldn’t seem to find anyone in charge. There was no-one there who had arranged the event, no Guinness Records people, and definitely no William Shatner. As impatience turned to concern and anger, people started using their phones to do a little investigating, trying to get in contact with the event organizers, but to no avail. The website for the venue did exist, and the phone number was registered, but some deep-dives revealed that beyond the address, website, and phone number, there was no other information about the company than that. The phone calls went unanswered, emails bounced back, and eventually the phone number was disconnected. By the time dusk was arriving, we realized that we’d all been scammed. The Facebook paged promptly disappeared, leaving us all very disappointed.
We filed police reports, and went back to our lives feeling unfulfilled. Some were angry that someone had scammed us out of our money. Others were more disappointed that they wouldn’t make it into the Guinness Records after all. They felt that they had spent the money anyway, and certainly would have set the record, had an official from Guinness been there. Most were disappointed, that they wouldn’t have the chance to be yelled at by their idol. Thankfully, Shatner himself heard of our plight, and recorded a brief YouTube video, thanking us all for our efforts, and finished it off with yelling “KHAN!”
Months went by, and eventually we got some updates on the police investigation. It confirmed what we’d all deduced, that the same person who set up the Facebook page, had created the fake shell company. That person had gone to extreme lengths to create a very convincing façade, in order to convince us that this was indeed a real and vetted venue. Eventually however, police were able to track down and identify who had scammed us, but he and the money were long gone. They confirmed that he’d left the country within hours of us attending the bogus event, and that some $280 000 had been wire-transferred to an account in the Cayman Islands, then to a numbered Swiss Bank account, and then became untraceable after that. His name was Lyle Blackwood, and had a history of running scams and cons. Furthermore, he had recently been released from prison, having been convicted of scamming senior citizens out of their homes.
We never got our money back, and we never made it into the Guinness Book of World Records, but as was pointed out to me, the whole ordeal did answer that age old question: “How many Khans could an ex-con con, if an ex-con could con Khans?” The answer, is 627.