I am a father of two sons, 8 and 11. My wife and I make a moderate income. We can pay the mortgage and bills on time, and have a little extra put to the side for things like PAX. So when they started to expand PAX to Boston and Australia, I knew I would never be able to attend those. I wasn't mad though, because the people in the same situation as us would finally be able to go and enjoy a PAX. Then they announced Pinny-Arcade. Now while I loved the pins and the whole idea surrounding it, they seemed a little bit out of my price range. I wrote them off, not hating on them but just deciding they weren't for me. Thinking the free pins from the booths were cool but I would never be able to find any one like Gabe or Tycho to trade with. Then fate stepped in and thought different. Penny-Arcade announced a Lookouts set.
I'm a big fan of the Lookouts comic. Every few months a new copy would be up for download on comixology. A few bucks for a digital comic every few months was perfect for me. I get a little extra money and I scoop up the shirt from the PA store. Now I see the Lookouts pin set. I set aside money for this set the minute I saw it. I knew I would be buying it but I didn't want to trade it. I just wanted to have that set. Now my brother, wife and I were some of the lucky PAX attendees who got a Sunday and Monday badge. The first thing I do is check the PA merch booth. I had to contain my self from just yelling and jumping around. Scooped it up and after some encouragement from my wife I put then my lanyard for everyone to see. Knowing I didn't want to trade I had to turn down some offers. It seemed like everyone wanted the logo. But that by far was my favorite pin. Then I started to see other pins that I would want, but I wasn't willing to break the set up. Time to go look for some of the free ones.
With hope low I went to the MTG booth. I had been here in prior PAX shows "nope sorry we are out of swag." Not this time, fate once again intervenes. They still had some. So my brother and I get in line to play the demo, while the wife walks the expo. We finish the demo and each get a pin, my brother not into it all gives me his pin. Knowing the rules that you can only trade official pins for official pins this kind of sparked some excitement. We hook back up with my wife and I let her know I have two to trade now, and she replies I just seen on twitter they are going to be trading pins at Benaroya in a half an hour.
Benaroya starts off unorganized but I'm only a few feet away from Jerry and Mike. I feel really good about my chances of getting a zombie pin and a cts pin. Someone finally takes leads and forms us into a line, sending me farther back away from my goal. Allot of the traders around me wanted the other PA staff that were there at the time. So my hope was still there that I would be able to get my two I want, because I was not breaking up my Lookouts set. Trader after Trader go, I think to my self maybe I should chew on my nails so my outside actions match my inside feelings. Then its my turn. Mikes asks "You looking for CTS?" "Yes here is a Elspeth mint in package." Continue on and get my Zombie from Jerry, and quickly duck out of the line. I didn't even make eye contact with the other PA staff in hopes of not offending them. I had no other pins to trade I was content with what I had. Fate was not content with it though.
On the walk back to the WSCC it finally hits me. I just traded with the guys who created PAX. I had my picture taking with them, wait did I? My wife "yes, I will send you the pics." This ranks in the top ten of most awesome things I have done to date. So I get back and it becomes all about the pins. I wait in line, play this game, watch that game demo, spin that wheel. I even changed over currency to get some pins. I don't know the exchange rate but 5 bucks for 300 yen. If I get a pin sure! I didn't get them all, and I couldn't buy all the sets they had for sale. But wow am I hooked! The vendors did an awesome job making sure they had pins for all four days of PAX. Traders were great and friendly. It made for one of the best PAX weekends ever. BTW if you live in the Puyallup area and want to trade let me know. Thank you if you read this post. I know its way to long, but I'm way to excited!