So the end of the year was upon us and it was that time again when we wish joy to the world and peace to all mankind, with hopes that a jolly, bearded fellow (whose hair is red rather than his suit) would deem us blessed for a wonderful present. Yes, Butt-Numb-A-Thon was here!




The poster for the 14th installment played on last year's title BNAT 13Wolf (Thir-Teen Wolf). With Peter Jackson's The Hobbit hopefully playing this year the poster included 13 Dwarfs being led by Teen Wolf-jacketed Harry Hobbit (the 14th and "lucky one").




But seriously, what's up with Harry Knowles and Butt-Numb-A-Thon? Boromir says it best.



The BNAT 14 application was posted and it was off the races. One of the requirements was to show Harry "the face you'll make on November 1st if you don't get into BNAT14?"




I threatened to go Nic Cage on the world...




...while Thelma and Brian were going to shoot a rapist and take off in a '66 Thunderbird.



My bonus video.



Brian's bonus video.




In early November Harry tweeted the great news... we were invited to BNAT 14!




The night before our flight Terri whipped up a batch of her famous chocolate chip cookies especially for Harry (and Patricia, of course).




Brian's a bit creepy at 4:15 in the morning.




But not as creepy as a foggy 710 freeway on the way to LAX.




And certainly not as creepy as the wall of customer photos at the parking place near the airport.




LAX has swag!




The TSA has a sense of humor.




Heading for our gate we stopped at a fun Christmas tree.




Though I'm still confused by the choice of compass as an ornament.




Then we saw something bigger and better... so much so we needed a stranger to take our picture.




My favorite Jet Setter was ready for his flight.




Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels guide thee to Austin.




Brian got the Shatner seat.




The fact that the final warning warranted addition on the barf bag means that at some point someone did not exercise common sense.




Austin, baby!




Brian made sure Texas knew he was in town, Star Wars pillow case and all.




Ever wondered what happens when you type $12.00 into Priceline when trying to rent a car?




Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta.




Seeing as our flight didn't land until 11:30 we had to haul our Hot Tamale asses over to Franklin Barbecue before they ran out of meat. Fortunately...




...our favorite Mississippi girls were holding a place for us. (No thanks to Jason Dubinsky coming down the stairs because he had already eaten his food. Bastard.)




Aww, I can't stay mad at this guy. He joined us for our Franklin reunion photo with Jessica Griffis, Lisa Rucker and Sarabeth Seegars.




Then Lola and Master Bruce, the rest of the Dubinsky clan, joined us (Brian was kind enough to hold the little guy's beer so he could pose for the shot). Cathie Horlick and Dave Wilson jumped in, too.




Almost there... by "there" I mean the door, of course.




While waiting in the looong line Jessica sheepishly confessed to us that her Geek possession was a ring. But not just any ring...




...the One Ring.




The stress of the Franklin line.




After 45 minutes in line we finally made it... inside. This is where we were greeted by some BNATers who had already eaten. Look at the grins of Jamie Paisley, Josh Alder and Leigh Price.




Not to mention Pam Nail's food coma.




And Jason's best dying Jabba the Hutt impersonation.




Getting closer.




The Franklin menu.




We finally made it to the counter where I ordered two. Two what?




Two Tipsy Texans, y'all! Yes, moist, smokey brisket, slices of sausage laid atop (meat on meat!), and briny pickles and tangy, creamy coleslaw. As I have stated before, this is the tastiest thing I have EVER eaten.




Brian appears to concur.




Soooooo delicious. Sooooo worth the hour and a half wait.




Am I the only one who thinks Brian looks like Mr. Ed here?




While eating we saw the guy who was the last man guaranteed meat.




After Franklin, Jason asked if we could pick up an out-of-town BNATer who was staying at Chez Dubinsky for the weekend.




It seems we brought the L.A. traffic with us to Austin.



First fail of the trip: My pathetic attempt at scaring Jason and...




...Ashley Friedlander.




I had a little Austin tour planned, starting with Franklin BBQ. The next stop?




The Museum of the Weird! Coincidentally, Jason actually works here (not true).




My knight in shining armor.




Behold the Dubinsky Fish.




Behold Brian Day.




Poor Jessica.




Poor all of us and our noses: Meet Bigfoot's cousin, Big Stink.




It looks like Jason is smoking a pipe.




Brian's face is the weirdest part of this picture.




Jason Gorber joined us at the museum but may have had regrets hanging with this bunch of nutcases.




We sat for a presentation by John, a living oddity.




John was a master with the whip.



His first presentation.




But that was child's play for John.



Dude stepped it up.



But paper wasn't a real challenge.




Then this guy stepped up and...



...NAILED IT!




But wait, there's more!




He forked himself!



Meet the new Balloon Boy!




Then John stepped back up, plugged 10,000 watts into the wall and grabbed on to a live wire.




Yes, grabbed it.



Lest you think these are mere parlor tricks, I can tell you from personal experience this is the real deal.



Enlightening.




Hold up, is that a SWORD?




He's not going to...




Awww yeahhhh!




Fay Day!




$10 for an autographed poster? Yes, please!




The BNAT crowd mingled with the Universal monsters (can you tell the two groups apart?).




These guys rule!




Our next stop was along the river.




Wait, what is that in the distance?




I've seen this guy before...




...yep, that's him! (Sorry, Jason.)




Not to worry, I scooped.




Why were we using our valuable and limited time in Austin to trudge along the river?




Stevie Ray Vaughn, baby!




The man is missed.



Texas Flood!




Next stop, Peter Pan Mini-Golf!




But first we dropped some quarters in the Peter Pan "Arcade".




Slow your roll, Brian.




Jason led the attack.




Brian showed his Phil Mickelson skills.




T-Rex!




How does anyone visit Austin and not hit this place?




Jason agrees.




A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel hanging from his fly.

Confused, the bartender asks, "Hey bud, do you know you have a steering wheel in your pants?"

"Arrr," the pirate says, "it's driving me nuts!"




I can't take this guy anywhere.




HOLE IN ONE!




In its defense the place opened in 1948.




The home stretch!




Sadly, the machines were empty.




I like to relax after a long day of mini-golfing.




Brian made a friend.




As we drove to our hotel I sensed Hitchcock was somewhere smiling.




Tom Stradlater flew in again from Austria (and boy were his arms tired). We had decided to catch a pre-BNAT showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark: An Adaptation at the Alamo Drafthouse.




We ran into Harry and his pops inside the theater. It looks like we also stole Jay's soul in the process.




Behold, Jamie Paisley is in the building!




After the film Harry interviewed Eric Zala (director/Rene Belloq) and Chris Strompolos (producer/Indiana Jones).




We ran into Natasha and Chris Moore, BNATers and newlyweds.




Then I found Windy Bowlesby (plus a sweet photobomb by Melissa Kaercher, as a bonus).




The Raiders guys were signing their book on the making of their movie.




Tom had fellow BNATers sign his BNAT 12 shirt.




After the movie we headed across the street to Gibson Bar for the BNAT pre-party and hung out with Pam again, plus Candice and Mark Roma.




I believe Lee Vanwallene took this photo of us, Patricia Knowles and Leigh Price, which explains the angle.




Harry held court.




People mingled.




Lola and Ashley.




More mingling.




Mingling.




Mingling.




Mingling.




Harry and Dominic Dobrzensky.




Derek "Stuntrocker" Mahr.




Holly B in the hizzy!




Uh oh, Windy and Brian are up to their hijinks again. This was our signal to call it a night and get some sleep for the following day's cinematic festivities.




The next morning we stopped to pick up a birthday card to include with our presents for Harry.




Brian and I are a bit spiritual.




Emphasis on "a bit".




BNAT 14!




While standing in line to purchase our tickets we saw that the early Mississippi birds caught the worm.




Meet Palamino.




Getting closer.




Maybe I should have warned the guy before I took the picture.




Melissa was handing out the swag bags and posters. Yay Melissa!




Dominic asked BNATers to sign next to our faces in his photo book.




Brian's got swag.




We were SO ready!




BNAT 14, baby!




The Cargills and Stuntrocker were also ready!




Breakfast at Maudie's included Stuart Thompson (who, by the way, seduced me with his British accent), Kristen Boykin, Emily Boykin, Brandon Toohey, Desirae Toohey, Alicia Rutledge, and young Nevan.




At the other end, each face tells a story.




Speaking of stories from the other end, Mexican food was probably not a prudent choice before 24+ hours of movies. But I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.




I peeked through the window of the Highball to see the sad demolition of the bowling lanes.




Harry checked into BNAT...




...then shared some thoughts just before the event.




Then it was time!




Harry's table o' gifts.




Harry sent me his best wishes for a great BNAT.




So many captions to choose from. Thank you, Jamie.




Much to Jessica's excitement, Sarabeth survived the stand-by line to make it into her first Butt-Numb-A-Thon!




Harry opened up BNAT 14Wolf by introducing Teen Wolf (well, 99% of it as it turned out).




Daisy De La Torre and Jason Gorber agreed that Alan Cerny was dressed appropriately.




Just hanging with some Viking chums between movies, that's all.




Break.




Break.




Break.




I visited Jessica and Lisa at their seats.




Yes, that is Peter Jackson introducing The Hobbit. No, I did not use zoom on my little camera. Yes, I was that close to him.




I yoinked this photo from Harry. I love this shot of Harry interviewing Sir Peter. That is Brian and me front row center. Yes, WE were the lucky ones.




After the movie I caught Peter Jackson's motorcade waiting to wisk him away.




Break.




Break.




Cameron Harrison shared the front row with us.




Guillermo del Toro and Andres Muschietti rolled in for Mama. By the way, I'm never eating cherries again.




Guillermo del Toro had the crowd locked in.




Muschietti chatted up the crowd for a while.




We finally saw Anna Herrod, our seatmate from a couple BNATs ago.




Then the rush began as Jessica Cargill, Windy Bowlesby, Susan Hydzik and Heidi Zarse crowded onto my transporter platform. Is it the man or the robe? (Yeah, it's the robe....)




Mark and Jason headed back for the next flick.




Guillermo del Toro is a damn funny dude. His crowd-play was better than most of the stand-up I've seen.




Meet the Alders. There was a problems with Emily's flight Friday night, which lead Josh to drive three hours from Austin to Houston to retrieve his wife. And that, folks, is love.




Jamie Paisley is a sexy beast. There, I said it.




I love this sign.




18 hours in and Chris is going strong, Brian not so much.




Windy broke into song and dance, a BNAT tradition.




Harry and Steven Prokopy plotting?




Paul Feig rolled in and not only showed us clips from his upcoming film The Heat (which had me howling)...




...but also delivered donuts to the crowd to celebrate Harry's birthday.




We met Paul a while back at a Freaks and Geeks reunion. He invited us on stage, much to the chagrin of security, so we could get a photo with him. He is a genuinely nice guy.




No need to adjust your computer screen. Yes, you are seeing this correctly. Elijah and I got a photo with Brian Day!




Atlanta crew represent! As always they were also in the front row: (left to right) Glenn Leavell, Darrel Golliher, Ed Kelly, Bernie Johnson, Ben Jones and Jen Hoyt.




The time to chat between films adds to the overall fun of the BNAT experience.




This is our boy Jorge who works security for the movie studios. We met him a couple years ago and now we're buds. When he's in the room that means a new flick.




25 hours later and BNAT had handed our asses to us.




We caught Jeremy Stomberg, Heidi Zarse and Amy Stomberg on the way out.




Harry was able to find spots for the Raiders guys, Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos. It was really cool to share BNAT with them.




Ladies and gentlemen, Wesley "Mr. Brotato Head" Dodd.




The BNAT 14Wolf line-up, including the pre-BNAT screening. Here is Melissa's nice write-up.




The man with the legendary mutton chops, David Canfield.




Harry opened up our gift, which included a miniature of Devils Tower bought from the official giftshop in Wyoming. I guess the aliens took his eyes.




Chris Calilung, the guy Brian referred to as simply "Pajamas" before he learned his name.




Brian, Chris, Mike Saulters and Patricia conversing.




Tim League, the dude who brought you the Alamo Drafthouse, and who nearly bought the Rialto in South Pasadena. We can only dream.




I don't know how I made it through all of BNAT without getting a photo with Meghan Murphy.




A moment after I took this picture, Gwyneth Paltrow's head rolled out of the box.




Before we left Brian made a special purchase from the Alamo.




We had a few hours to kill before our flight so we hit some Austin spots we missed on Friday.




While touring the Zilker Botanical Gardens we found this abandoned cabin... and a HUGE pile of cherry pits inside (that's for you, BNAT 14 friends).




Then we nearly got lost trying to find...




...the Zilker Zephyr!




We didn't have time for this on Friday.




But we did today!




Train time!




We choo-choo-choose excitement!




So many things going on in this picture....




We enjoyed the "art" along the tracks.




Downtown Austin.




The train ride was quite soothing.




So much so Brian actually fell asleep (I challenge anyone to watch 24+ hours of movies then take a 20-minute kiddie train ride WHILE staying awake).




Just after I took this picture Brian actually started awake and nearly fell out the left side and off the train.




But then we hit a Christmas light-decorated tunnel and dude was back with a vengeance!




It was nearing evening so we returned the car and headed to our flight, but not before Brian's swag-stuffed backpack exploded in the middle of the Austin airport. It was awe... wait for it... some.




Jeff Mahler and Emily Rauber were taking the same flight as us, though he looked none too pleased about it.




I had enough time for some Amy's Ice Cream, which was the cherry on top of the greatest weekend of my year.