Embodiment of a Geek
By Brian T.
There it sat, leering at me through its narrow, earthen eyelids. It drew me forward with the primal call of the ancients. It resembled a grotesque shrunken head, staring ever onward, but unable to see through its blind, filthy eyes. It had a single, distorted ear and bore a mystic inscription: NUNN. I ignored the adjacent knickknacks and crockery and went straight for the prize. Lifting the clay head from its pedestal, I felt like Indiana Jones. I thoroughly inspected the idol, taking careful note of the adhesive label, which in cryptic symbols read $2.00. Clasping my treasure tightly, I inched across the yard whilst keeping an eye out for booby traps and hundred-ton boulders. Gradually, I neared the decrepit, wizened old woman running the yard sale, deposited my payment, and dashed for the exit. I sprinted through the neighborhood, just inches ahead of imaginary cannibals, dodging blow-darts all the way.
The idol now sits on a shelf in my room beside a coconut head, a Chinese incense burner, a bronze Indian, and several other priceless antiquities I’ve collected in my hair-raising adventures. My trusty fedora rests on a hat stand nearby.
These yard sale flights of fancy may seem strange to the uninitiated. Initiated into what, one might ask? Geekdom, of course. What is Geekdom? Geekdom is a way of life, a plane of existence. It encompasses those souls unafraid to break the mold of the everyday, the mundane, the humdrum. Geekdom is freedom. People who make plants grow saran wrap, or make motorcycles from matchsticks, or speak fluent Elvish, or analyze the anatomies of Vulcans versus Klingons…Three-dimensional chess, Dungeons and Dragons, the Sci-Fi channel, memorizing all the documented phobias, knowing the words to each and every Monty Python skit by heart...that is geekdom. That is the world in which I live.
We geeks lust for eBay. It provides all the geeky paraphernalia we could ever need to keep us on a geek fix interminably. My eBay experiences are various and sundry. Foremost in my mind is the time I went for the gold in a world both shadow and substance...The Twilight Zone.
Picture if you will, the first science fiction show intended for adults. It is suspenseful, chilling, and every episode ends with a bizarre twist, casting harsh light on the shoddy reality of the morals of man. It aired between 1959 and 1964, at the height of the Cold War, so the morals are still valid, but the episodes are full of those anachronisms typical of pre-space age science fiction. With aliens, time machines, and nuclear doomsdays, it is all very geeky. Never before have all the episodes been offered in the same set…until now.
They were arrayed on the page like stacks of gold bouillon, only infinitely more precious. “All five seasons! 156 episodes on 49 discs,” echoed their siren’s call, eerily reminiscent of what had pulled me towards the yard knickknacks. But these were not mere knickknacks. Opposite the tantalizing photos of the big black box brimming with Twilight goodness, dwelled a figure that chilled my blood. “Buy it now price: $359.00.” My jaw dropped to the floor, and I bent to retrieve it. Securing it back into place, I vowed that someday the Twilight Zone Gold edition would be mine. After months of odd-jobs and begging my parents, my vow was fulfilled. The box arrived three days prior my birthday. For weeks afterwards, an obsession with all things Serling possessed me. I was in the Zone and only wanted to delve deeper. I had obtained geek Nirvana. Finally, I finished the 156th episode, “The Bewitching Pool,” feeling a great emotional catharsis. Here was paradise. Sitting among my knickknacks and my umbrella hat and my Back to the Future posters and my stacks of Weird Al CDs, a revelation hit me. I was a geek. A super geek. It’s super geeky.
Geeks suck knowledge from their surroundings. Like sponges, they siphon in random bits of the stuff, and over the years collect prodigious amounts of trivial detritus. This absorbent ability is what makes geeks so good at game shows. This trivia collecting is my single favorite aspect of geekdom. In eighth grade, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays were made interesting by my Phobia-of-the-Day announcements. My classmates will thank me one day when asked the definition of alektorophobia (the life-consuming fear of chickens.) As one may expect, this pent up knowledge seeks release in any way possible. My favorite way to relieve this buildup of trivial detritus is by watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Oh, what I would give to be a phone-a-friend. Too often I find myself screaming the answer at my T.V. screen as the contestant makes the wrong choice and fades into mediocrity. Ripley and Guinness are my best friends, but they sit here, dejected and unwanted, waiting for the phone to ring. My stores of knowledge are going stale, and stale knowledge is no good to anyone. Call me Regis, I know the answer! If only they offered a phone-a-geek lifeline.
It’s chic being geek. Geeks built the space shuttle and the PC. They made the toaster and the light bulb, the Internet and the atomic bomb. Without geeks, Western Civilization as we know it could not exist.
I am in tune with my geeky side, and only hope to become more so. I sincerely believe that one day more people will live this way, seizing the ordinary and expounding upon it until it’s something new and brilliant and beautiful. Carpe Philologus. Seize the geek!''