Tyler plopped down on a barstool next to a white-haired woman in a pink blouse and thought back on his day: Conventions were fun, but he'd overslept and with the time it took to get into costume and makeup, he was almost late for Masquerade rehearsal. Then it was classes in visual creativity, writing, and a round-table discussion on advanced makeup techniques—which he chaired. During snatches of free time, he dashed in and out of the art gallery and dealers' room, so it wasn't until 6:30 that he had a chance to grab dinner, which he washed down with a couple of beers. He was running late again and almost missed his spot in the Masquerade.
Then his ex called. When she learned he was at Anthrocon, she launched into her usual rant against him and his friends. "Freaks!" she shrieked. "Furverts!" After almost a minute of this verbal abuse, he punched disconnect. Stupid harpy! Damned broken record. After that, he was mad as well as exhausted so he thought he'd blow off the rest of the evening, and that's how he ended up in the hotel's bar.
As I’m submitting this story to a publisher—or more accurately, an edited version of this story—I must remove this version from the Internet.