Guide To Being A Geek, Pt. 2

Today's installment: The necessity of quotes.To borrow my own definition: "A nerd is someone whose intellect has at one point proven a barrier to social interaction; a geek is someone with an unhealthy focus on or obsession over any given band/TV show/created work. The two groups often overlap, but are, indeed, separate groups." You wanna be a geek? You need to know the quotes. True geek devotion to a particular area is proven by demonstrating a knowledge of that area's arcana. It doesn't matter whether it's knowing the name of Uncle Tupelo's drummer1 or what "TIE" stands for in TIE fighter2; you have to know the little details, and often, that means quotes. Quotes are the key to bonding with strangers. Trotting out your ability to instantly recognize a movie or TV show from the most random or obscure bit of dialogue is like displaying your geek badge: "I know this. I am this much of a geek. Maybe even a loser. I know this." I'm not just a geek, but a nerd-geek, meaning that in addition to being a film geek and book geek and music geek, a lot of my obsessions happen to be those related to, well, nerds. (There are other geeks, too, like sports geeks. But since I don't need to know the name of Ferguson Jenkins unless we're talking about the career crossovers of Janel Moloney and Aaron Sorkin, I'm happy to leave the sports alone.) This means that I swing a pretty big stick when it comes to nerd-geek quotes. There are at least a dozen Star Wars quotes I say on a regular basis3; I can recite the opening narration to "Quantum Leap"4; I have known since age 8 that you can't enter warp inside a solar system, though they did it once just for dramatic effect. I'm a geek. Those of you not laughing or crying out of pity should know that I've pretty much come to grips with it, though. So, what can you do about it? Well, if you want to be a geek, you need to know facts and quotes, the more obscure the better. You won't impress anybody with the hackneyed quotes from Seasons 3-8 of "The Simpsons," which are now practically imprinted on a newborn's subconscious. ("You know those guitars that are, like, double guitars?") It's not enough to know the characters or places or objects; you need to know if, say, she'll make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. You can't just know the name of the main character; you have to know which of the Twelve Colonies he hails from, and the names of his dead son, ex-wife, and father5. You smell that? That smell of pointless knowledge and musty apartment air and free weekends and burned Hot Pockets? Congrats; you're one step closer to becoming a geek. I'm a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar. I'll leave you with this. It seems appropriate (dialogue NSFW): 1. Mike Heidorn. 2. Twin ion engine. Duh. 3. Favorites: "Didn't we just leave this party?", when arriving at the office; "Just like Beggar's Canyon back home," when gliding onto the 101 northbound at Cahuenga; "She'll hold together. ... Hear me, baby? Hold together," when encouraging the car to make it home in one piece. 4. Call me up and I'll prove it. Anytime. 5. Caprica; Zak; Carolanne; Joseph.