Monday, 25 April 2011

Gentleman Geek

Recently a friend of mine paid me the compliment of being a ‘Man about town’, which got me to thinking. Geeks are no longer required to lurk in enclaves and dark corners, they’re just as likely to be socialising with non-Geek, mainstream folk. Here are some thoughts on furthering Geek-kind, and leveling up to the Prestige Class I call Gentleman Geek: Geek About Town.

Note: Not rules, merely guides.

1. The Gentleman Geek is passionate about his chosen subject, but rarely opens a conversation about it. If it becomes clear the people you’re talking to have nothing to contribute to the conversation find a new topic. You may think you’re bringing them pop culture or genre enlightenment; in fact they just want to sneak off to the bar.

2. The Geek-about-town can still profess his undying love for his cherished sub-culture without having to proclaim it across a t-shirt. A measure of sartorial finesse will bring respectability to oneself and the Geek collective as a whole.

3. Facial hair, whilst sported by every hipster in Christendom, needs occasional taming. You’re a Geek, not a Viking.

4. If your fine locks go the way of Firefly (Great while it lasted; now but a memory) then consider The Picard as your new look.

5. Geeks have taken to Japanese food, and sushi in particular, as if it were their birthright. If you are chopstick impaired then there is no harm in asking for a fork. Far preferable than decorating your fellow diners with rice. Standing your chopsticks up in rice is bad form.

6. Never, ever assume that because you attended the signing you’re a shoo-in for the drinks afterwards. The Geek-about-town is always invited, never an unwelcome hanger-on.

7. Always have a couple of non-Geek anecdotes up your sleeve for parties, weddings and bar mitzvahs. Rehearse your small talk if the idea of it gives you conniptions.

8. Listening is sexy. If you’re not a natural raconteur at least listen attentively.

9. Never berate anyone (Geek or non-Geek) for not having read or seen your favourite films, books and comics. Recommend enthusiastically, by all means, but a person should never be made to feel bad for missing out on a pop culture gem.

10. Holding doors open for women (and indeed people of any gender) is still classy. Period.

11. When in the company of non-Geeks do not use excessive film quotes or recite large parts of Withnail & I or The Big Lebowski. What you and your friends may find hilariously charming is baffling at best and weird at worst for regular folk.

12. Rarely insist and always suggest.

I don’t profess to have adhered to these guides. In fact many of them are a direct response of my very own Geek Failures (sometimes Epic). I include them so others may learn from my mistakes.


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