Geeks R Us
Next: a funny thing happened to me on the way to the checkout at the grocery store today. I'm waiting for my turn behind the dude who's clearly doing the weekly shopping for his family of 300, when I hear a voice:
it's really the case that it's always day, because that's in the name. Sun-DAY, Mon-DAY, Tues-DAY. All of them! See, so that's why I always tell people 'have a good day' even at night. Because it's always DAY, since it's in the word. So when the correct me, and tell me that it's night, I tell them that it's in the WORD, right?The eminent source of this linguistics/logic lecture is, of course, the bag boy, who looks like he's related to McLuvin', only not as nerdly cute. Or as tall. With more acne. His target audience, it appears, is the poor checker, who looks to be all of 15. [Sidenote: aren't there child labor laws? And shouldn't at least one of them involve not exposing young folk to the great unwashed of the local grocery store? I'm including myself here.] Miss Thing looked like a deer caught in the headlights---a deer with a box of cereal in one hand and an avocado in the other. Clearly, this firehose of wordage had been going on for quite awhile. She never looked at him directly, and occasionally answered non-commitally, in some sort of Churchillian appeasement strategy.
There was a brief respite for all involved when Not-McLuvin' was called away to another lane, but he returned to us when I got to the checker. He was talking as he approached, so imagine this with a Doppler effect:
...when it's on a show. I don't think anyone in real life talks like that. No one I know talks like they do on tv. The language people use comes from tv, not the other way around. I think that writers sit around in a room and decide what they want it to sound like on MTV or whatever, and then we all start saying it.I can't remember the last time that I had a moment of intergenerational oneness, but when the checker handed me my receipt, I met her eyes and commiserated with the length of her shift, the way that this incarnation of the Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons was all over her. She got it. I hope she also got my telepathic message that these guys grow up.
Do you think that's the way it is?
Not-McLuvin' knew that something had happened. No dummy, that kid. He was particularly subdued as he told me to "have a good day" (I choked down my desire to tell him "goodnight."). I so desperately wanted to grab that kid by the arm and tell him: "Look, I'm a 33 year old woman, and I LIKE geeky boys, so let me give you a few pointers. Maybe you could try asking her what she's interested in. I know, it's totally out there, but give it a go. First the net, then the trident."
I thought about my little imaginary speech all the way back to my car, where I loaded my groceries, cued up the soundtrack to the Buffy musical, and drove away.