I have a confession to make, I’m a geek. Now I know, my friends who are reading this aren’t particularly stunned. In fact, they could have told you that had you known to ask. But you see, when I’m away from my friends and family I like to pretend that I lead a nice quiet existence where I do mainstream things, eat mainstream foods and watch shows like “American Idol”. (Ok, I don’t watch “American Idol” but you get the idea.)
My Mother wasn’t a fan of the term and when some of my geek friends suggested to her that I was in fact a geek, they might as well have said “Beth watches leper porn” because she was horrified and became quite adamant that her daughter was NOT a geek!
Now mind you, there are various degrees of geekdom and I imagine I fall somewhere in the middle – I’m more than a dabbler, but I can also maintain eye contact when I’m speaking and feign interest in conversations that go beyond who would win an arm wrestling match if it came down to Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine. (Luke may be stronger, but he lacks discipline.)
What I hate though, is being caught geeking out even if it’s in a completely acceptable place like the comic book store – which leads me to a story. I was at our local comic book shop and I had my Previews magazine tucked under my arm excited to run home and flip through the hundreds of pages of comics, t-shirts, toys, games, statues, etc. when some guy came up to me. This isn’t uncommon in a comic book shop, although as I’ve gotten older and chubbier it doesn’t happen nearly as often. It’s a true fact, nerdy guys swoon at the sight of girls in their shopping lairs. The guy claimed to be a journalist working for some rag I’d never heard of and he asked me if he could ask a few questions. “Umm… errr…” He wrote down my name for the article. “Oh GOD, my name is going to be attached to this?” went the horrified voice in my head. Then he asked his first real question, “I see you have Previews, what comics do you read?” I blinked. “I don’t read comics.” That was mostly true, my subscriptions had long ended and I just liked looking at the latest titles and reading the summaries just in case one grabbed me. “You don’t read comics? Why are you purchasing a Previews magazine?” I had to scramble and not being a natural liar, my lies are usually pretty weak, “Umm… I like to look at all the pretty pictures.” I even threw in a vapid little smile and batted my eyes, which must have looked horrifying but I get credit for trying. The guy immediately put away his pen and thanked me for my time. Whew, being labeled a nerd in an article narrowly avoided. “I am not the subject you’re looking for. I can go about my business. Move along. Move along.”
More recently, I had come home and thrown on one of several geek shirts that I don’t wear out of the house, but make me happy. (Yes, I have a collection that range from “w00t”, “I’m with illogical” to “Dude, RUN!” I pitched my Tzimisce shirt; they’re a little too evil to have sitting on your chest.) I went outside to watch Sam while pulling the sliding glass door behind me and the latch dropped locking me out. Here I am barefoot in an “I’m with Illogical” shirt and I have to now go ask one of the Stepford Julie’s if I can borrow a phone. Of course, Graduate School Stepford Julie wasn’t home so I stood on Mrs. Kravitz’s Stepford Clone Julie’s porch apologizing for my dress while explailning the situation. Her husband busted out laughing as I tried to fold my chest in on itself to conceal the the message on my shirt. You see, I like my comfortable geek closet in my comfortable geek home.
Maybe this confession will help me overcome some of my geek shyness. So, I’ll just lay it all out there and sprinkle it with a few trade geek acronmyns. I don’t read comics at this moment, but I do have the first TPB of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” that is on my “to be read” list along with J. Michael Strazinsky’s last TPB of “Rising Stars”. I have David Lloyd’s autograph and he kindly drew a picture of “V” for me that I consider a prize. I’ve met: Scotty, Q and Quark and I’ve seen Shatner speak. Scotty asked if I wanted to be in a picture with him, I did but I didn’t have a camera. I’ve been to Science Fiction conventions and I’ve been side-hugged by Kevin Sorbo. I play MMORPG’s. I’ve played GURPS, AD&D (back when there was an A in front of that), ElfQuest (also a fantastic comic, btw), etc. etc. I know what dice to roll to do a double back flip out of a tree and what chart to go to when I critically fail. I’ve played MUshes and MUDs. I do have a replica of Arwen’s sword. I knew who Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat was before you did. It’s a fact that Battlestar Galactica (the second incarnation) is the best science fiction series to ever hit the airways. Cry on you little Space 1999 lovers, this is gospel. My crowning geek achievement? I’ve been accused by someone’s mother of corrupting their child with my geek ways. (I’m so proud of how she’s turned out, too.)
I take it back. That didn’t help a bit. If you see me, let’s talk about CSI or gardening.