I’ve been a lot of different types of geek over the years, S.C.A. SF Nerd, The class History or Literature Maven, Gamer, a lot of others. One thing I have noted consistently across the board is a lack of timing. My D&D group has been together for over three decades, I don’t think any of us are sure exactly when start time is.
When I was a geek in Elementary and High School it didn’t really show because the schools ran to a schedule whether individuals did or not. My geek creds do run back that far, I was even the audio-visual nerd, running the filmstrip projectors and splicing the broken films.
As a side note, for any younger readers, the term Nerd didn’t come into common usage until the 70’s. Geek was much older than that, but the current meaning didn’t come in until the latter part of the twentieth century. The original meaning of geek was a sideshow performer who did something fascinating but horrific to the average person, such as biting the heads off live chickens.
Which leads to another side note. A side show was a part of a carnival or circus that was separate from the main event. Some times it was a geek show, sometimes a freak show with the bearded lady or whatever. Most commonly a side show was “hootchy-kootchy” dancers. Hootchy-kootchy dancers basically got up on stage and strutted their stuff for a male audience wearing whatever the manager thought would push the local morals without getting the show arrested or run out of town by the law. They almost never included clothing that covered less than a bikini would. The Cher song Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves referenced a hootchy-kootch show without the name.
Digressions aside, the first time I was really exposed to geek time was in the S.C.A. I didn’t know it was geek time then. I thought it was “Toni Time” one of our friends was notoriously late for everything. This of course put everything off schedule because we wound up waiting for Toni. As i grew older and expanded my experiences in geekdom i realized that it wasn’t “Toni Time” it was geek time. This does not mean that I think all geeks are always late, half of them are always early. Punctuality is apparently something geeks are not capable of grasping.
I see the same things at every con I attend and everything geek oriented and run that I am exposed to. I sometimes wonder if the reason for the success of the more professional geek things such as the various comic con incarnations isn’t that they aren’t run by geeks so much as business people. Lets face it, making the con run on time has to be one of the greatest gifts a con organizer could have.
So I live on geek time, so do most of you. One of my greatest gifts in my work life is flexible start time. My boss doesn’t sweat a few minutes late, he knows I’ll be there long enough at the end of the day to make up for it. I have noted that engineers are consistently late as well, not surprising as engineers are damned near geeks by definition.
All of this is a way of explaining why this post is late. After all, another geek characteristic is falling backl on the old truism: If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with bullshit.