CherCon 2006: One Journalist Remembers
Cher: the biggest press event ever
Cher: I’m still waiting for my Kathy Griffin moment
Cher: I couldn’t win a god damned thing at the charity auction
Cher: WHERE MY GAYS AT???!!!!
CherCon. 10,000 square feet of wall-to-wall Cherâ€¦Woodland Hillsâ€¦a Saturday afternoon. I arrive with our star intern Shane and report to the media check in. Shane is sporting a new tie and I am donning my best Lois Lane attire. As members of the press, we are shuffled off to a holding area. I recognize some of my peers from the White House Press Corps. Anne Kornblut from the NY Times, Christopher Cooper from the Wall St. Journal and Nedra Pickler from AP are all there. This is going to be big. When I spy Liz Smith from the NY Post I get a sinking feeling we might be scooped. Shane and I are hard at work trying to procure a wireless signal to no avail. We manage to break into the ELAYNHUNTCORRECTIONALFACILITY wireless account but service is sporadic and corrupted. Inmates are in our IM. The messages start flying. E.L. Woody strolls in with the TMZ guys and they ask to borrow a pen. Hmph.
I’ve worked with the media coordinator before. He’s generally in charge at the James S. Brady Media Briefing Room in the White House. I try to catch his eye but he keeps telling us to sit tight. So far he’s only come to personally escort reporters from LOGO TV in. I start to get antsy. We’re going to get scooped. We’re going to get scooped. My computer keeps saying SHAKE YA ASS! WATCH YA SELF!
Three hours later, the press coordinator is back. I grab my notebook and move to the front of the tent and look at him coyly. He pushes past me and grabs the FAB 5, sending them right in to Cher city. They’ve waited all of about 2 minutes. At this point I’m starting to think there’s a conspiracy going on. â€¦a big pink velvet conspiracy. My fears prove not to be unfounded when Humpty E! Gossip correspondent Ted Casablancas is shuffled right in the moment he arrives. “Who is Toothy Tile?” I manage to yell before as he’s being led away from the rest of us. I start to get paranoid. I think maybe the guys from Out magazine are jamming our signal. Maybe not. They’re taken in next.
“Time for Plan B!” I hiss menacingly at Shane.
“This obviously isn’t working for us. You keep trying to reach Ryan on IM. Ignore that gibberish and just try and post eecue’s review. I’m taking one for the team!”
Five minutes later, I emerge from the parking lot in my emergency red wig and Ali Rahimi gown. I’m completely in character and cruise past security, the press tent and Cher impersonators screaming “Who’s D-list now, bitches?!?” “Chance! Pompom..where are you??” “Bite me Seacrest!” and finally as I enter the 10,000 square foot Cheremporium I yellâ€¦ “WHERE MY GAYS AT??!!!”
Elderly couples seated at banquet tables glare at me as I interrupt the charity auction.
Officials from the Children’s Craniofacial Association are making funny faces at me. I slink off to the corner and do some undercover operative work.
THINGS I LEARNED AT THE CHER CONVENTION 2006:
- Sonny and Cher Frisbees go for $6.00 and come in both orange and black
- Cher wears a size 8 shoe
- Cher toured with then husband Greg Allman and the tour was named “Allman and Woman”
- Cher will perform in Vegas soon
- Cher had a rather large collection of Marilyn Manson type boots in the 90s which she no longer wants
- Cher had a rather large collection of bedazzled tank tops in the 90s which she no longer wants
- There are 66 types of unlicensed t-shirts available for purchase at the Cher convention
- Cher may be reviewing the Ali Baba Coffee Shop for Losanjealous soon
- Chad Michaels, a really, really, really good Cher impersonator was mistaken for Cher the entire day
- Cher is not 6’3″ tall like Chad Michaels
- Chad Michaels pulled me aside and told me he was “on to me” and knew I wasn’t Kathy Griffin
- I told Chad Michaels I never claimed to be Kathy Griffin and that if he didn’t shut up about it I was going to start telling all the Germans with fanny packs in line to get photos with him that he’s not Cher.
- Mark Parry and Catherine Marie Carter were Sonny and Cher impersonators with English accents.
- Remarkably, some people from Asia thought they were really Sonny and Cher
- I was outbid on every single item at the Cher charity auction â€¦even the giant cardboard Cher Logo “pendant” covered in craft store glitterâ€¦ by a crazy woman who even bid against herself.
- I won Cher’s Mount Rushmore socks only when this woman went to the bathroom
- Intern Shane is able to sleep peacefully in the press tent for 4 hours
- The White House Press Corps and Anderson Cooper were still waiting to get in when we left.