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A Villainous Guide To Surviving Con Crash

What is con crash, how can you avoid it, and how can you give your friends terrible advice on the subject?What Is Con Crash, And Why Does It Happen?

Con Crash is a “crash”, or what Alice Cooper might call a “come down“: a serious of physical and emotional symptoms caused by leaving the convention and going back to your so-called “normal” life.  Nobody is precisely certain of what causes a con crash, anymore than we know exactly what causes a hangover.  In general, it’s thought to be some alternation of sadness–the pain of parting with a weekend of like-minded souls, only to be dumped back into the ‘regular’ world; physical effects (most people do not eat, sleep, hydrate, or otherwise take the best care of themselves at events); and the malevolent work of angry demons.  We can’t know for sure, but we can do is make some educated guesses.

Now, I’ve run an event company, Jeff Mach Events, in one form or another, for over 25 years now.  And I’ve found that con crash is an incredibly pervasive phenomenon.  I don’t tend to get it myself, but that’s because of my own mantra: “If you don’t stop, you don’t drop”. Or as a former friend said, “Jeff Mach is basically a machine.  All he ever does is work.”

And that’s quite true.  But most people both can, and do, go back to their regular lives after an event.  And that’s when Con Crash is at its most dangerous.  

Con Crash is, in some ways, a positive thing, because it tends to indicate that you had an amazing time.  You go to a convention or festival, you have an incredible weekend, you meet amazing people, you do things that will remain joyful memories forever–and then you get home and crash hard.

Some of the best ways to avoid Con Crash include:

– Making sure to get enough sleep over the weekend

– Make sure to hydrate and take in nourishment

– We really mean it about the sleep part. Seriously.

– Preparing yourself–say, on Friday–by saying your goodbyes, taking photographs to enhance your memory, and re-establishing your bonds with friends old and new before you go. 

– Find ways to stay connected to your convention/festival family throughout the year.  Social media is good for this; although we’d also like to remind you to be careful  not to try to substitute the direct human interaction of a convention for the performative glimpses of peoples’ lives that you get through social media.

Of course, we’re villains.  So while we sometime want to help, it’s also important for us to offer options which are unbelievably, incredibly, supremely unhelpful.  So if you want to assist people with their con crash poorly, we recommend you follow the advice below.


1. Do not throw your friend into piranha tank. Piranha make an ugly, buzzing sort of noise while they strip the flesh from your bones. This noise can easily be mistaken for that of a Starbucks Frappuccino blender, and you might draw a crowd of people who will be sorely disappointed when they find that there is no caffeine to be had. I recommend barracuda – keep them hungry enough, and they can eat someone fairly quickly, and they’re MUCH easier to deal with than a horde of coffee-deprived Starbucksians.

2. If they’re cold, do not set them on fire. This plays havoc with household smoke detectors if you’re inside, and if you’re outside, it’s really inconsiderate to set your friends ablaze if you can’t provide people with the makings of S’mores when they come investigate.

3. Avoid blankets made out of poison ivy, unless they have really cute things embroidered on them.

4. Do not lock them in a room and play the Donald Glover novelty song “Werewolf Bar Mitzvahseventeen times, unless, of course, it’s near Halloween. Let’s be seasonally appropriate, okay, people?

4. Sharks with frickin’ laser beams. Effective? Sure. But most residential areas won’t let you bring in more than one shark at a time, and that means you have to leave the rest of them in your car or something, where they’ll get really bored. Pro tip: If you do go this route, loan the sharks your Game Boy. There’s nothing whinier than a shark who’s been hanging out in the parking lot with nothing to do but criticize the music in your Spotify playlist.


Yours in Villainy,

Jeff Mach

Written by Jeffrey Mach

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