Monday, October 21, 2013

Geeks Unite! My Life at the Loser Lunch Table

Geeks Unite!:  My Life at The Loser Lunch Table

Some of you kids may have had anxiety about school starting.  Maybe you hate math.  Maybe you’re not a fashionista.  Maybe you resent that you didn’t get picked Homecoming queen because a little snit named Amber Dawn told everyone she heard that on dates, you were so scared of “the kiss” you needed a pair of “starting blocks” for your 100-yard sprint to the front door.  You know, theoretically.

Maybe you’re just a nerd like I was.

I had Full Metal Jacket braces with big silver bands around each tooth and long, scraggly hair parted down the middle with bangs that were always growing out.  And even now, I wonder why my parents let me get wire-rim glasses that darkened to a weird gray color in the sun.  Sorry, Ma, but maybe the dork doesn’t fall too far from the tree.  Word.

I read the Hobbit and Narnia series before they were semi-cool movies, as well as Star Trek books, which were never cool.  And I had a crush on William Shatner in his skinny Star Fleet pants.  He was swagadelic way back when Johnny Depp was just a tot running with his little scissorhands and learning his girlie pirate flourishes. 

My parents noticed I was on the geeky side so we had a meeting. 

“Honey, we know you want to fit in . . . ,” they began.  

Next, they could’ve suggested something normal like, “Why don’t you meet with  Christy and smoke a few Marlboros behind the gym?”

No, MY parents said, “Why don’t you join a bowling league?”

That totally scored me a prime seat at the lunch table—with the hopelessly geeky Fantasy World of Warcraft society.
So I joined the bowling league and brought my new geek friend, the Grand Supreme Orc Warlord with me.  And I took bowling very seriously, since you ask.

Once Christy asked me over, and I stated, “No, I’m going to work on my hook ball because lately my curve hasn’t been high and tight.”

Her eyes spoke volumes, as if I were Mork and she were, well . . . anyone.

Finally, after seventh grade, my latent cool gene engaged, or maybe I just developed a couple of decent curve balls.  Go figure.  Maybe the long summers envelop a girl in a cocoon of baby oil, iodine, and White Rain hairspray, and what emerges is a sunburned redneck in daisy dukes who can thoroughly beat her boyfriend’s butt at bowling.

I believe we all agree bowling is a metaphor for life.  Sometimes you don’t need finesse.  You can just throw it hard and get a strike.  

You don’t have to be perfect with a 300 game.  Then people expect it all the time.

And you can start off stinking pretty bad, but wind up with the high score.

There will always be 300-games and fashionistas.  But we geeks are a band of brothers you can count on to help you endure the Amber Dawns and loser lunch tables.  Brothers who, through ironic twists of fate, have now become the Mean Girls’ nerdy, well-paid bosses.  Like my geeky, old bowling buddy, Vestis Millennial—Fantasy World of Warcraft’s Grand Supreme Orc Warlord.  To his big-shot business buddies, he’s just Bill.  Bill Gates.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Siri's Programming Geeks Should Avoid Cuervo

Siri’s Programming Geeks Should Avoid Cuervo

I’m using Siri more, the personal assistant on my iPhone.  Somehow the geek programmers, who think the consummate prank is replacing bathroom soap with hand sanitizer, were able to infuse her with a sharp sense of humor.

How?  I imagine Apple’s Marketing department attempted to boost sales by jumpstarting the creativity of the geeks in Development.  They probably spiked the office water cooler the day all the Sheldons (The Big Bang Theory) developed Siri’s jocularity gene because her personality exudes subtle shades of José Cuervo.

I visualize the smug geniuses, lounging with their happy juice, thoughtfully stroking the peach fuzz on their chins because they’re not old enough to shave, programming clever responses to questions we mental midgets might ask Siri.

Their first Focus Group Session with regular people probably started out harmless enough.

Someone addressed Siri, “Beam me up Scotty.”  And Siri answered, “I’m afraid I have to see your badge first.”  

But as the session continued, some Cuervo creeped into Siri’s responses.  

Here are the ones Marketing had to nix:

Focus Group Participant:  “Is ‘neurode’ a real word?”

Siri:  Delving into physics?  Oh I forgot.  It’s 3:00.  Time for Words With Friends.

FGP:  “Do you like me?”

Siri:  Should you need a slightly indifferent, indentured companion, I stand ready.

FGP:  “Clinton was the most honorable and effective president in history.”

Siri:  Perhaps you’d like to invest in my Leprechauns and Gold at the End of the Rainbow dotcom opportunity.

FGP:  “Suggest a book that will challenge me.”

Siri:  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

FGP:  “What should I do this weekend?”

Siri:  How about an “America’s Funniest Home Videos” marathon?  Learn how the laws of physics apply when a man teaches his offspring the finer points of a baseball swing, demonstrating how mass plus velocity equals kinetic energy which is transferred from a wooden object’s center of percussion to the father’s . . . what’s the clinical term?   Family jewels. 

America's Funniest Home Videos

FGP:  “Is the atomic bomb a result of fusion or fission?”

Siri:  I’d explain it to you but I didn’t bring any crayons.

FGP:   “Is there really something called the “flux capacitor” that Doc Brown used to take Marty McFly back in time?”

Siri:  Don’t be a yammering sphincter.  KMN (kill me now)

FGP:  “Why is this email in my spam folder?”  

Siri:  I put it there after you forwarded me a picture of a cat surfing, entitled, “Must See.”

FGP:  “What is Mr. Clean Magic Eraser made of?”

Siri:   Unicorn hair.

FGP:  “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”   

Siri: “What part of an inverse tangent function approaching an asymptote don't you understand? . . . .  Get it?”

FGP:  “Someone hacked my Angry Birds account!  Call the police!” 

Siri:  Why?  Did the FBI hang up on you?

FGP:  “My wife is pregnant, but I’ve been overseas.  How could this happen?”

Siri:  I’d like to match wits with you, but I see you’re unarmed.

FGP:  “Has Obama spent more than any U.S. president?” 

Siri:  Was the mankini a mistake?

And Marketing quickly rejected a proposed Siri response for phones sold in the South.

FGP:  “I’m upset because I did the Devil’s Dance with my third cousin!!”

Siri:  Then stop counting.