Dan Zak: The scent on the breeze is — what? Guava, with a hint of lion’s mane? Or maybe a cocktail of vanilla and cherry menthol and jungle juice. Past the hotel lobby, the haze thickens. Smells sharpen, then muddle, then sharpen again. It’s smoky, except it’s not, because it is vapor that’s being expelled in great white plumes in the ballroom, which is clogged with vapers, because this is Vapefest. An announcement is being made.
“Meet Beefcake the Mighty,” says a young vaper in a teal polo shirt into a microphone, referring to the large man dressed as some kind of mythic warlord from hell. “He will autograph your juice for you.”
Where to begin.
With the haze, yes, and the smell. But then?
Start simple. Vapefest is a convention and fundraiser for users and vendors of electronic cigarettes. Users of electronic cigarettes are called vapers. Vapers vape vapor. Beefcake the Mighty is a member of the thrash metal band Gwar, whose albums include “This Toilet Earth.” You may remember the song called “The Obliteration of Flab Quarv 7.”