Putting my geekdom to the test

By Kevin Wilson

There are many problems in the world that I could talk to you about today. A scan of recent headlines could tell you:
• A few White House staff members are being accused of leaking the identity of an undercover agent, and each party insists it’s nothing more than a smear campaign from the other party.
• Junk food eaters are throwing their crumbs to the ground, and pigeons are being affected by the obesity epidemic.
• A new game is set to come out called “25 to Life,” which should briefly claim the title of most violent video game ever.
However, I wish to address something more important — my self-image. I was reading a story the other day that talked about how it was now “cool” to be a “geek,” thanks to the runaway cult film “Napoleon Dynamite.”
So I’m wondering if I’m a geek, or cool, or both, or neither … it’s a slippery slope we’re dealing with here, friends. I decided to take notes when I took part in an online quiz to determine my place in the geek food chain.
The quiz, available at www.innergeek.us, asks about 100 qualifier questions and asks you to check the boxes of those situations that apply to you.
I’ll give you a few of the questions I answered:
• Have you ever hated mainstream? No, but I find it funny that for the formative years of my life, the largest section in the music store would be for “alternative music,” music which by definition shouldn’t be popular.
• Ever looked forward to doing your taxes? Only when it means a refund.
• Have you ever thought you could win a quiz show? Yes, every time I watched some loser on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” use a lifeline to find out how many feet there are in a mile.
• Corrected a professor in class? This pretty much describes my experience in third grade.
• Dumped at a dance? This pretty much describes my junior high experience.
• Dumped at a Star Trek convention? No, I didn’t know people brought girlfriends to those.
• Argued about which Star Trek is the best? Yes, I had a friendship with somebody based on little else.
• Do you want to one-up Microsoft? Yes, if it involves one-upping Bill Gates’ bank account.
• Do you like to play with words? I’m proud of the fact that I wrote a message to a friend of mine in a complete palindrome — and if you know what a palindrome is, you may want to take this test.
• Have you cracked into a computer system? No, but my friend Jeff did in high school for the purpose of changing his grade. He got caught when the teacher thought his grade of 105 percent was just a tad high.
• Ever played video games for 12 straight hours? You mean this week?
• Do you know the value of pi to 10 digits? No, but I read about a man who could recite it to 1,000 digits. Insert your favorite joke here.
• Do you know the names of 10 Smurfs or more? Yes, and I’ve considered term papers on their underlying messages to children.
• Can you think of anything else that should get you points on this list? I own soundtracks to video games.
After calculating all of this, I find my percentage is 23.66864 percent geek. That puts me way above “Geek” and slightly below “Total Geek.”
I guess under the new definition, I’m not all that cool. On the bright side, there’s always room for improvement. The next geek level is only one Star Trek marathon away, after all.