The idea came to me a few months back like a bolt of lightning (pardon the Back to the Future line). I watched Married With Children since I was a kid and Al… c’mon, the lovable, reluctant, yet ultimately devoted can’t-catch-a-break patriarch of the Bundy clan is just too memorable, yet nice and obscure on the con circuit. So sewn were the seeds. And the fact that I have NOT seen it done before meant I had to be the one to spearhead it. My very good buddy C.R didn’t need any convincing as she too is a fan of the show and was only thrilled to be my Peg and yes, part of my pitch included the fact that I was going to bring a 3rd family member – that friggin’ couch!
I scouted thrift stores and Craigslist for months, keeping an eye out for what I was realistically resigning myself to as a pattern that was “close.” Then one day, when I was vegging on a bench prior to my boxing class, I peeked at Craigslist and couldn’t believe it. I did a double take. I found. The. EXACT. Bundy. Couch! Needless to say I drove all the way up there the next day and snagged it up. It belonged to a very genial and vibrant couple with two young kids who were moving (the wife adored its uniqueness, hence convincing hubs to approve). They were beyond tickled as to why I wanted it.
What can I say about the day itself… Peg and I eventually found our perch in the lobby, level 2.5. It was comfortable. It was mega relaxing. I had a steady stream of adult beverages in hand (keeping it in character). As I repeatedly remarked during those 8 or so hours, “there are worse ways to con; this ain’t one of ‘em -raised my bottle-.”
The guest stars were half the fun: Voldermort hung with us on and off for a good few hours, as did Tank Girl. The most menacing, in-character Joker I know kicked up his heels for a while. Mystique, Lady Stoneheart from Game of Thrones, Wolverines, Deadpools, photographers, and the most genuine fans of Married With Children plopped down and shared their positive energy – you really learn just how wide the breadth of the fan base is some 30 YEARS after it first aired. We even enjoyed the company of the best Svengooolie look alike we’ve seen at a con yet – because it WAS Svengoolie, Rich Koz himself! The man was rather bemused by how our prop was so comfy and he accordingly relaxed right there chewing the fat with us for a few minutes, ending with praise (HE praised US!) and a thank you. If that’s not the very definition of flattery… Right there was the high point – meeting a first-rate, down-to-earth Chicagoland icon whom we’ve been watching on TV since childhood.