This is Geek Bowl wrap-up week. Every day this week, I’ll post something from our recent trip to Austin for Geek Bowl VII.
When Geeks Who Drink does installments of their “Meet Your Quizmaster” segments, they always ask, “Do you consider yourself more Geek or Drink?”
While almost no one is entirely one or the other, you definitely trend strongly in one direction. Had you asked me this question until I was 28 or so, the answer would have been a resounding “drink.” Until I have kids, three of my teammates I count as the three people I’ve seen vomit more than anyone else. Friendship!
As it stands today, I am much firmer in the “geek” camp. This isn’t to say we can’t still throw ‘em back, as I have the hangovers to prove it, but I don’t chase the booze like I used to.
I think when you go to Geek Bowl, if you asked this question to all the competitors, you’d get at least 80% who identified as “geek.” And this is being wildly conservative.
Our little crew isn’t exactly your high school lacrosse team in terms of coolness, but man, we’re like the Rat Pack compared to some of the bridge trolls and mole people who brave the sunlight for this once-a-year dork bacchanal. There were some seriously pasty dudes at this thing who, not to stereotype, but fuck it we’re going to anyway, look like they haven’t gotten out from behind their computer monitors in about a decade.
And while I poke fun, it genuinely warms the cockles of my heart to see such a daffy group of weirdos all collected in one place. The table right in front of us all dressed up as characters from “Community” from Starburns to Chang to the Dean when he dressed as a half-man/half-woman hermaphrodite. The team behind us last year was called “Anal Hersheiser.” I saw them there again this year. That name is so beautiful in its vulgar simplicity, I want to wear it as a scarf and offend uptight people with its soft touch and offbeat sensibility.
I suppose this is just a simple way of stating my happiness and gratitude that a Geeks Who Drink exists. It’s a nexus of so much I enjoy about the world: drinking, getting rewarded for remembering useless obscure shit, off-color humor (two weeks ago at pub quiz we were called “Sriracha Ranch Bukkake” and the week before “Factory Reject Dildos”), community, pop culture references, travel to cool cities and the opportunity to bond with people you might otherwise never meet.
I love being in a room of over 1,000 people that gets excited by seeing someone like Dan Savage read a clue right before Peter Sagal from “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on NPR does it too. Average people don’t give a fuck about Wil Wheaton, but this crowd lost its mind as soon as he appeared on screen. Getting jazzed by the presence of an NPR host and a guy best known for his role on “Star Trek: TNG” puts you in a select group. And it’s a group I’m proud to be a part of.
I’m a geek at heart. And the fact that I got to be there with several of my best geek friends while enjoying some of the tastiest, geekiest microbrew around just makes it that much sweeter.