Webcomics, Video Games, Books, Geek Toys, and Life in General

Monday, March 06, 2006

Geek Cred

See that guy—the too-smart looking one with the prominent glasses and the in-the-ear hands-free device for his phone-slash-mp3-player? See him effortlessly switch from phone conversation to casual listening preferences with the touch of a button? See him slip another obscure device out of his pocket, check a screen, make some fast adjustment and pocket it all in the time it takes you to think, “What’s th—?” See him use his phone to snap a picture of pigeons canoodling—a picture to which he can add some text, for a truly geeky “thinking of you” pop-up card on his girlfriend’s phone? See how he is so wrapped up in his own world that you have to shout his name to get his attention?

What a geek.

You might think a look like that is easy to pull off, but it’s not. And you should try talking to the guy. “Hello,” you might say, reeking of social graces. In less than a picosecond, he steers the conversation to territorial waters—for him, computers, of course. “I’ve got a triple processor pulling simultaneous multi-threading, but it can’t keep up with the SDR necessary to run the code I compiled—I’ll just have to upgrade again.”

Guess so…geek.

Sure, he’s smart and savvy, in a Jimmy Neutron kind of way. Sure, he probably gets paid way too much just to make people feel inadequate while he’s making minor adjustments to their office PCs. Sure, he dresses like an eighth grader.

He’s got…geek cred.

It’s that quality that can’t be quantified—that “Je ne sais quois” that you feel when you want to say, “Je ne sais quois you’re talking about…geek.”

You’ve probably asked yourself, “How can I gain some geek cred?” It’s not as easy as downgrading your wardrobe and buying up half of Circuit City, preppie boy! Back in good old 1985, there were some easy in-roads to geek cred:

1. Learn the long name for your computer. (It’s not a Tandy—it’s a Tandy 82000LT BusCom with an 8-inch floppy-drive and easy-on-the-eyes amber-lit screen…geek.)

2. Reel off a seven-digit high score on fill-in-the-blank pop computer game—even if you’ve really only played it once. (Yeah, I got ten-million on Centipede, but then the counter flipped, so it says the high score is six-thousand. Beat that…geek.)

3. Clearasil.

Well, those days are over. This is the information age, geek. There’s only one way to get the goods on the geeky scene. I’ll bet you want me to tell you what it is. Forget it.

Jus’ kidding. That was me being ironic. Why? Because the key to geek cred is being a know-it-all on some obscure topic!

Better make it extra obscure though! You might think no one out there has examined all the similarities between the current Eastern Bloc political climate and the intergalactic politics on the hit Sci-Fi channel revival of “Dragonfly Battlestar Station 9.” You’d be wrong, though. (And don’t get me started.)

It could be as easy as checking out the right book in the library—preferably the one book no one else on the planet has read, such as “Mug Art: A Buyer’s Guide”. Research the subject carefully—find out everything you can about “vaccuu-forming plastics”! Every not-quite-useless topic has a geek out there waiting to embrace it—and then dreaming of making “Hair Knitting for Fun and Profit” an Olympic Sport in which he or she alone will excel! (They said you were mad. Fools. You’ll destroy them all.) There are bird call geeks, car upholstery geeks, cable collecting geeks, weird law geeks, vegetarian geeks, and even geekiness geeks—yes, that’s right! Imagine: an expert at “geek.”

He’s probably out there, somewhere, like a gunslinger, practicing away, nervously imagining the day someone comes along looking and talking better geek than he does. I can see him now, typing away in his little cubicle, the fluorescent lights making him pasty and pale, his smudged glasses perched askew on his nose, oblivious to the folly of life around him, pursuing his dream…utter geek.

That’s right! I am cementing my geek cred with this very article detailing “How To Obtain Geek Cred”! That probably blows your mind, right?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5:39 AM

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