Over the holidays my brother and I finished cleaning out our old closets at my parents house. We found some fun stuff his pogs, our caps from high school graduation, yearbooks, baseball cards, comic books and a picture of me sitting with all of my Star Wars toys when I was about 6 or 7. I look pretty proud of my collection.
I had two obsessions when I was that age: Star Wars and baseball. As I grew older other hobbies entered and left the mix: comic books, music, The X-Files, Jerry Lewis, sketch comedy, pretty much any sport, stand-up comedy, the history of all these things and dozens of other hobbies.
So as I near the age of 34 I am beginning to realize that I am a geek of all trades, but not really a master of any of them. Even baseball the one thing that I am probably more geeky about than anything else I am not really a master of. Sure I have a basement full of baseball stuff, but I am terrible with statistics, players names and history. I just really enjoy the game. Probably more than the average person, but my geekiness reaches a certain level and stops. It is almost like my brain is telling me to hold off before I cross into master geek status.
This is the same with almost everything else I am interested in. I know that Norrin Radd is the Silver Surfer, but I could not tell my wife who Cyclone was the other day. My defense is that outside of Batman I know very little about the DC Comics Universe. A couple of weeks ago Bob Anderson passed away. Who was Bob Anderson? He was the man inside the Darth Vader suit during the fight scenes. Anderson was an Olympic fencer, and I had no idea who he was until he I read his obituary.
I stopped watching The X-Files when David Duchovny left. I love sketch comedy, but do not like Monty Python. I have zero interest in Dungeons & Dragons or LARPing. My love of music is pretty much contained to music popular on blogs and that my friends introduce to me.
One of the running jokes between my wife and I is that I always screw up the quote. When I try to quote a show (sometimes a show we just watched) I tend to botch it. In fact, the only show that I can quote correctly on a consistent basis is The Simpsons. But I stopped watching The Simpsons about 10 years ago, so all of my quotes are from the first 10 years of the show’s run. Even then I am probably just paraphrasing.
Maybe this is not an issue with my geekiness, but an issue with my attention span and memory. Maybe I just do not care anymore. Maybe I would rather know bits of information about a variety of subjects instead of being the go-to guy about one. Or maybe I am just not all that big of a geek.
Of course I am a geek. As I write this in my office I can see a Batman button on my bulletin board, a Star Wars magnet on the filing cabinet, a My Morning Jacket tote bag, a book about the rise of comic books called Men of Tomorrow, an ESPN sports trivia page-a-day calendar and a Pink Floyd Animals mug.
I am just the James Franco of geeks. I like a lot of geeky things like he likes jobs. Now I need to ask my wife if that is what he said on Saturday Night Live.