Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gratuitous Nerdity

As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a nerd. I loved math in high school. I thought history would be so awesome if only it came in something other than drab monotone. I have enough useless knowledge in this dome to choke Ken Jennings. (Nerd burn!) I'm pretty sure IMDb, Wikipedia, and TV Tropes are one click away from serving me with an e-restraining order. At times, there have been blackouts:

Wikipedia > Symbolism in The Matrix > Deus Ex Machina > *three hours* > Duct Tape.

It just happens. Generally when the trance is broken, I find myself sitting in bed next to a sleeping girlfriend who somehow manages to look judgmental as she saws lumber sighs contentedly. I like to know stuff. It's not so I can be that guy from Good Will Hunting who tries to make Ben Affleck look like a chooch, only to be schooled by Jason Bourne himself. No, it's just one of my many... idiosyncrasies, we'll call them. (We will call them that because this is my blog, and "weird brain thing" just sounds mean.)

A by-product of this "must know now" thing is that almost anything can become a collectible. It is now, or once was, pretty freakin' awesome, so it stands to reason that I should probably have it. There have been hits (Hot Wheels + DeLorean = nerdgasm), and there have been misses (a little white porcelain Buddha-looking dude that would look so great  right... uhh... well, maybe next to the... right. Closet it is.) But today? Today I found something that made my inner nerd go all "omgholycrapyougottagetthatthinglikerightfrickinnowomg." And I listened, because woah. He was right.

See, we went to Savers today to just kinda browse, maybe find a book or two, come across an arts and crafts-type thing that we seem to be all about lately, the usual. But then it happened. A huge wall of yellow, and that wall could only mean one thing. Someone got sick of all those damned boxes of National Geographics that have been taking up room since the Carter administration. And that someone decided to make  their problem Savers' problem. And man, did they. There they were. Hundreds of them. All in surprisingly good condition. Someone had taken care of them. But now they were homeless. Sitting there on the cold metal shelves under the harsh florescent lights. Poor things.

Suddenly, an idea popped into my head. It was a little disorienting at first, because these things tend to do less popping and more scratching at the walls, struggling to be free. But this idea? This was a keeper. I thought to myself, "Self, what do you think the odds are of finding that issue with the photo of that Afghan girl on the cover that has become a global icon?" "Slim to none, dummy," was my reply. I mean seriously, people have to process these things, categorize and organize and inventor-... ize. If something like a world famous photo found its way to their stockroom, there's no way it's making it out onto the floor.

So, having fully convinced myself that it would be pointless and a waste of time to search through the hundreds of magazines for that one particular issue (which, as far as I know, is something of a collector's item), I promptly began doing exactly that. There were five shelves, about 4 feet wide. Right next to those shelves were five more of the same. I had gotten 3/4 of the way through the last shelf, and I felt a little like an idiot. Sure, I had found the issue for the year and month I was born, and another with the cover story about the space shuttles Columbia and Challenger before they were launched, but no Afghan girl. Oh well, I still had two pretty cool issues (well, the birthday one was probably only cool to me, but still).

Then it happened. There she was. It was the girl! It was that picture! At the very end of the search, I had found it! Man, what a rush it was. I know that probably sounds super nerdy, but that's ok. In my hands was a magazine that was world famous, and it was for sale. For $0.29. And now it's mine.

Sometimes being a nerd can be pretty rad.


It's completely awesome that you found that magazine. But of course you found it at the end of the search. Finding it ended the search. :)

@SusanC As soon as I wrote it, I thought someone would say that (about the end of the search). Being lazy, I took my chances. Lesson learned: "When Mom is going to read your blog, cover your bases. And cover them well."

As for the article you posted, that's actually what inspired me to look for that issue when I saw them at Savers. I found it on StumbleUpon (which is a cool site/tool, you should try it).

"When Mom is going to read your blog, cover your bases. And cover them well." Excellent, grasshopper. :)

@SusanC Those bases? Those bases right there? Covered. Like you wouldn't believe. Covered is what those bases are. Completely. Done.

Ok so I fancy myself a hellva nerd in many forms. I tend to lean towards the oddities and laugh at the typical eye-brow-raised-wtf-is-wrong-with-her kinda stuff. I can relate in other words to your climatic nerdgasm experience. No..really that's all. Seriously, there was no point rather than a nerd nod and tip of the hat to you. Oh..and the girl in the picture is purty. :)

@Oceanna Thanks, Oce! It's nice to find a fellow nerd. Tip of the hat right back atcha.

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