Thursday, September 15, 2011

Speak Out With Your Geek Out – Day 4

Unfortunately, there are still guys who
look like this at your local game store.
In trying to figure out what to write about today I started going down my list of geek topics. And I realized that, since starting this blog back in 2008, I have talked about everything I love that is considered geeky. Movies, comics books, games, TV shows; you name it, I have at least one blog about it, somewhere in here. And then there are topics that I could go on and on about, like RPGs or Star Wars or Robert E. Howard…but each one of those has about a bazillion articles on the ‘net at any given time. So, what could I possibly hope to contribute to that?

Then I got to thinking, what if I talked about life as a geek in general? I mean, my first post this week was kind of a general “What is a Geek?” post. But what are geeks like in real life? Do they all eat, sleep, live and breathe geek passions? Well, I’m fairly certain that, with a relative few exceptions, the answer to that would be no.

First, let’s look at what the “stereotypical” geek is like. There are certain traits that seem to be commonly associated with geekdom. Here are a few:

Bad hygiene: Ok, this one is hit or miss. And unfortunately, it is more common than some of us like to admit. The smell of sweaty body odor; yellow teeth with perpetual food in them; oily, uncombed hair. Yeah, we’ve all seen those people. When my gaming group used to meet at the game store on Tuesday nights for an RP session, we would invariably see many people like this. Guys and girls alike. Now, I will admit to not being the most fastidiously neat person, appearance-wise. But I shower every day, brush my teeth, keep my hair clean and somewhat styled (that last part is much easier now that I am sleeping with my hair stylist), and try to wear clean(ish) clothes at all times. It’s really not that hard, folks.

Horrendous fashion sense: I admit that I like to wear my geeky t-shirts. Most of mine are comic book related, and I have a ratty old Star Trek shirt I still wear around the house. But they are clean and more or less serviceable (no holes you can put more than a finger through). And I try not to wear the really bad ones in public. That being said, that is by far not my entire wardrobe. Generally, most geeks who suffer from bad fashion would be well-served with just buying some clothes that fit, including pants that cover the tops of their shoes. Speaking of shoes, dark-colored tennis/running shoes are a fashion faux-pas. If it were up to me, those would be banned from even being produced. Also, it’s 2011. Try buying something that is up-to-date. Dagger collars are only cool for runway models and rock stars.  And the bow tie?  Only Bill Nye can pull that off.  Sorry.

Couch (or Computer Chair) potato: Probably the biggest problem with the stereotypical geek is health and fitness. Now, I’m not saying you should be half-jock. But, maybe if you eat a salad every now and again, drink diet sodas and less sugary drinks, and walk faster than my grandfather. And nothing says you have to eat that entire pizza in one sitting. Bring a veggie tray to your game instead of bags of chips. Take the stairs whenever possible. I admit to being bad about this one too. But I try. I’m not as fit as I have been. And I can feel the difference. When I am in decent shape, everything just feels better. Interestingly, a lot of geeks who are in decent shape look to their geek passions for inspiration. I started weight training in high school because I wanted to be Conan. And I started practicing martial arts because I wanted to be Iron Fist (actually it was more like Bruce Lee).

The point is, it doesn’t really take that much effort to appear “normal.” Now, I know a lot of hardcore geeks will rail against the normal. I mean, after all, what is the point of being passionate about your geekdom if you bury it normalcy? Well, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And trust me, living on the fringes (or in the basements) of society isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Interacting with Muggles can be very rewarding. And you may even discover some who are actually geeks at heart.

My beautiful wife.
And the best part is, if you clean up and shape up, you are more likely to attract a member of the opposite sex. And let me tell you, no amount of Star Trek marathons can compare to the joys of that!


Charles Gramlich said...

You had me with you until you mentioned veggie tray. I tuned you out after that. Well, except when you got to the opposite sex part. :)

Tom Doolan said...

Haha! Trust me, some days the thought of eating veggies is abhorrant to me. However, I can still conceed the health benefits.