I worked for this computer store. Every year they set up a computer room at this odd gathering up in Schaumburg. They asked me if I wanted to go watch over the computers for the weekend. I'd get paid for long hours and the convention would put a rollaway bed in the room so I had a place to crash.
The whole convention idea sounded kinda silly, but getting paid for 12 or 13 hours on Saturday sounded good.
We got set up late Friday night, were open for a couple of hours and then I crashed out. I opened the room up again at 11am and kept it open till close to midnight. The guy who ran gaming (sort of, that's a different story) said he would take me around to some of the good parties. I still thought that this whole thing was pretty silly, but it beat going straight to bed. I ended up in this closed room with a half dozen other folks. Sitting next to me was this odd little man. We started talking, which led to various jokes, which then led to more jokes, then to awful puns, which then led to near violence from the other folks in the room. We laughed a lot, and after a little bit he said he had to move on, and it had been nice hanging out and talking.
He left the room and someone in there said to me "it looked like you and Bob were having a good time".
"Bob?" I said.
"That was Bob Asprin." she said.
Suddenly the whole convention thing was a lot less silly. You see the Myth series was one of my favorite things.
So Bob was pretty much directly responsible for me being in fandom, something I was pretty much unaware of before that moment. I knew there were gaming cons and media cons, but those didn't interest me. This Windycon thing though, yeah I think I can get into that.
If I hadn't ventured out of the room, and ended up in that party and shared some awful jokes with this very funny man, I would have missed out on all of this. I never had a chance to meet him again, to tell him about what he did for me. Now I won't be able to. So ...
Thank you for all the wonderful books, but especially thank you for giving me this part of my life.