The world’s largest outdoor Furry convention is in Oklahoma this weekend…

The Furries are coming… again.

For the 11th year in a row, Roman Nose State Park in Watonga, Oklahoma, will be home to Oklacon, the largest outdoor furry convention in the world. And no, we’re not joking.

If you have live a sheltered life and don’t know what a furry is, it’s basically a person who likes to dress up in an animal or mascot costume and assume a different persona. A furry convention, on the other hand, is where furries gather to talk, interact, mingle and have sex with other furries while dressed in their costumes. Make sense?

Okay, okay, it’s not entirely that way. That’s just a stereotype. To get a better understanding of a furry convention, watch this highlight video from 2011:

So, who wants to drive up to Watonga and trip acid with me this weekend? That looks like the most amazing and or terrifying thing in the world. I wonder if Rumble was there in disguise…

Anyway, this is usually the part of the post where we examine the Oklacon website, crack some jokes and write other immature things in an attempt to boost our own self-esteem and feel better about our own normal mundane lives. But before we do that, let me tell you a kind of embarrassing, yet somewhat funny thing about me.

I was once a furry.

Well, kind of…

When I was 16, my first ever minimum wage job was at the Chuck E. Cheese on NW Expressway. My responsibilities included bussing tables, running food, stamping hands as people entered and left, and most importantly, being Chuck E. Cheese, the mouse at birthday parties. Yep, I was that guy. The 16-year-old kid who dressed as a gigantic mouse in a tuxedo and danced around in circles getting kids to clap their hands – CLAP CLAP CLAP – and stomp their feet – STOMP STOMP STOMP.

It all makes perfect sense now, doesn’t it?

Before you judge, let me clarify two things. One, my time at Chuck E. Cheese didn’t last too long. It was a summer job, and I quit once the school year started. Two, the same little gold tokens they used at Chuck. E. Cheese also worked at Celebration Station, so my friends and I basically got to play video games for free the entire summer of 1994. What a great benefit! Plus, I was able to eat all the free Chuck E. Cheese cake I wanted. At least until I was caught by a manager.

So you see, being a former Chuck E. Cheese really isn’t all that weird. It was just a summer job. It shouldn’t creep you out or anything.

What should creep you out, though, is that I was also Zippy the Mailbox for a Mail Boxes ETC during the tail-end of my Senior year of high school and intermittently throughout college. What the fuck was Zippy the Mailbox? I’ll let this other poor soul describe the costume:

It’s shaped like a mailbox, covered with plush orange and blue fur. It has armholes, and big white plastic mesh eyes with big blue pipe cleaner eyelashes. The front has a flap that opens with velcro. The front flap is supposed to be where the mail goes in, like on a real mail box. The inside has straps to hold it up… The whole contraption came down to my knees. The most horrible part is that underneath I have to wear a red leotard.

I should probably clarify that I didn’t do the whole leotard thing. I usually wore red sweat pants from Walmart or mesh shorts. But who cares about that minor detail? I, Patrick from The Lost Ogle, seriously had a job where I would wear a gigantic mailbox costume over my body, dance around while holding up a “2-cent copies” sign and then wave at cars as they sped by me on either NW Expressway, N. May Ave, N. Western or N. MacArthur. I still remember how I landed the gig. I was at a PC North High School party playing drinking games with the guys who would some day be in Hinder. We were talking about weird jobs and…

You know what, let’s just skip the nostalgia for a sec and let me clarify that I’m not a virgin and was never physically abused as a child. Well, one time two kids did attack me while I was Zippy, but that’s a different story.

Being Zippy was actually a cool job. I got to listen to headphones – usually the KATT, 95X or Sports Talk 1340 – and was paid $5 an hour in cash. I also made my first fake ID on the new color copy machine at the Western MBE location. The 26-year-old store manager and I made it as a joke. We taped my picture over the face on her driver’s license – no, that’s not a typo – and made a copy. We then laminated it and I put it in my wallet. It said I was 5-foot 3-inch female who was born on June 16, 1969. Three weeks later my friends and I needed beer and I found myself terrified inside a STAX STAX STAX trying to use the thing. It worked!!! The rest was underaged drinking history.

Anyway, I’m telling you all this because my past employment history makes it sort of difficult to make fun of people who congregate in Roman Nose and play frisbee while dressed as the Easter Bunny, Pokemon or McGruff the Crime Dog. This isn’t because it would make me a hypocrite or anything like that. I got paid to dress up like a mouse and mailbox. It wasn’t a lifestyle. It just brings back some really, uhm, peculiar and confusing memories. Asking me to riff on these folks would be like asking Sweet Brown to make fun of cold pop drinkers at a barbeque. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

That’s a shame, because there is some great material on the Oklacon website. For example, did you know the guests of honor for Oklacon are Kimmy and Laken Steeljaw? The convention will also feature panel discussions on topics ranging from “Intro to Leather” to “Scritch and Bitch” to “What’s the deal with porn?” They will also have planned activities liked “Fursuit Volleyball,” “Writing Saucy Scenes” and “Pup Play Meet and Greet.” See what I mean? Most people just go to these things to have sex.

So on that note, if you have anything funny to say about Oklacon, or seriously want to drive up there and drop acid with me, leave a comment. In the meantime, I’m going to be scouring the Internet for a second-hand Zippy costume.