I had wanted to wake up at 6 a.m. on Thursday but I had a real tough time falling asleep, so I slept until 7 a.m. which did not leave enough time to shower and go out for a good breakfast. Scott and Jim were anxious to get to the show. They like to walk the floor and dig through cheapy boxes before the show officially opens to customers.
So we hit a nearby McDonald's. I injected some insulin and dined on an Egg McMuffin and hashbrowns. Whenever I inject insulin, I have to calculate my carb intake to make sure I ingest enough carbs so the insulin does not overwhelm my body and cause hypoglycemia, which is a risk every time I inject insulin.
I thought the carbs in the muffins and the hashbrowns would be sufficient. I thought wrong. The long walk from the parking lot to the convention center in extreme heat caused a major sugar drop.
Have you guys read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies? Well the best way to describe what it is like to go hypoglycemic is an analogy to the Harry Potter Dementors -- those ghost-like figures that guard Azerbaijan Prison and suck the life out of all who dare to come near them.
Whenever I go hypo, it feels like there is a dementor hovering over me and sucking the life out of me. It is absolutely horrible.
An hour into the show when HUGE crowds flowed into the room and I was at my busiest, the dementors got me. I started to fade. Eyesight went hazy. Strength gone. Ability to function limited.
I tried to help the hoards at my tables the best I could. I was selling cards left and right, unlike Wednesday when the hoards just wanted to lowball, this morning they were spending cash! While I was helping customers, I was trying to figure out how I could get some sugar. Oh, I forgot to mention that death is nearby whenever hypoglycemia hits. It is a serious situation and I lose my ability to think straight.
There were some kids last year in Atlantic City that walked the show with a wagon full of candy and water for sale. I saw them Wednesday here in Rosemont and hoped they would arrive now! I needed candy. I needed sugar... the kids never walked by.
Well, I should never really bitch about Dave, as I did in yesterday's blog, because he has seen me go hypo before and has helped me out in the past. He really is an excellent guy who always makes me a sandwich. When I had a break from customers, I struggled to ask Dave for a sandwich. He knew right away what was going on and tossed me a sandwich. Dave saved my ass! That sandwich stopped the dementors and I started to recover. Whew! Serious situation averted!!
I was able to wolf down that sandwich, regain my eyesight and some strength and get back to helping customers. I was still weakened and when another break in the crowd occurred, I went off to the taco stand and got some tacos. Tortillas have a ton of carbs.
That hypoglycemic episode kicked my ass and I had to really labor through the show. I haven't a clue as to what I sold but I know that I sold a TON. I was back on track, as I knew I would. The National has never let me down.
Like Wednesday, I know I ran into a whole bunch of people I know. Sorry, if I was a little spacey but I was really struggling on Thursday. I think Thursday was the day I sold cards to pals Bill Nest and Steve Wilson. Thanks guys! It was great to see my main man Scotty P., along with Rich K., Tim W., Shong, Beau, who promotes the Madison show. Beau was walking around with his million card Cubs sign. I love that guy. What a character and he is always smiling. I know I saw a bunch more people, but hypoglycemia also effects my memory. I really don't know what happened Thursday. I am just thankful I am still here and breathing. It is so great to be me!
I was crazy tired when the show ended at 6 p.m. Dave went home early to beat the crowds to the parking garage. Scott and Jim went back home to Wisconsin. PJ was staying at a hotel nearby and wanted to grab a bite to eat. As lousy as I was feeling, I needed some food and more carbs.
That PJ is a clever fellow. While I followed the masses each day into the forbidden depths of the parking garage across from the convention center, PJ figured out a way to obtain rock star parking for every day of the show. He pointed out that if your vehicle is of a certain height, you can park in a designated area on the ground floor of the parking garage, right in the front of the lot! So PJ placed this huge luggage container on the top of his SUV and increased the height of his vehicle to the point where the Rosemont Parking Garage folks laid out the red carpet and invited him to park in the froooont roowww. Ingenius!
PJ suggested we dine in the little square behind the parking garage that has eight to 10 restaurants. I loved the idea. Prior to the show, Dennis had told me that he eats in the square most nights after the show to allow the masses to vacate the parking garage before he gets to his vehicle. I was all too happy to allow the masses to vacate the garage and to have an easy exit after dinner.
PJ had eaten at the Park Tavern on Wednesday night and suggested we go there. Upon entry we learned there was a wait for up to 45 minutes. The square was crowded because a stage was set up in the middle for bands to play and food and drink booths lined the square as well.
However, it was way too hot to eat at one of the food booths. I needed air conditioning in the worst way.
I remember at one of the Nationals prior to the pandemic, I went with Craig and Jack over to an Irish pub in the square that was very good. I observed that the building that had housed the Irish pub, was now a seafood restaurant. I suggested we try that place.
Man, I really enjoyed the walk across the square to the seafood place because of the large number of pretty ladies milling about. After spending all day with heavy, sweaty middle-aged men, it sure was nice to see all the pretty ladies.
Speaking of pretty ladies, our waitress at the seafood restaurant was drop-dead gorgeous. PJ and I had a nice meal. I went with the salmon that was drenched in this tasty cream sauce. PJ went with a roasted chicken. We also drank a few beers.
Conversation was excellent. PJ has a certain knowledge about oddball, rare card issues from the 1950's through the 2000's that is unmatched. I learn something at every National from PJ, who was in a great mood because his sales that past two days had been tremendous.
It is common knowledge that cards from the 1980's were overproduced and worthless. But PJ has found all sorts of rare issues and specializes in them. Buyers at the National are all about the rare issues, no matter what decade. PJ was well stocked with this stuff and selling a ton of it. Kudos to PJ!
The best part of having the National in Rosemont is that I live just a half hour drive away. After dinner with PJ, I was the only one in the convention center parking lot and it was so easy to exit and get home.
Not long after leaving the seafood restaurant, I was home, in my bed and snoring. Day two of the National, a distant memory.
Hey! Let's talk hypoglycemia, the National, rare card issues or anything at all on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at the Salvation Army Community Center, 8853 S. Howell, in Oak Creek, WI. I already decided that I am not taking any insulin Saturday until I get home after the show! See you in Oak Creek!
More National blogs on the way!! But first I will share a couple of photos from Thusrday below.
Sorry I did not take more photos. I normally like to walk around the National and take a bunch of photos but I was having all sorts of physical issues and could not move around much Wednesday and Thursday.