Saturday, December 06, 2008

This week's column: Get a peek at your inner geek

Did you know that “geek” wasn’t always meant as an insult? In the old days, the word simply referred to a carnival performer who would bite the heads off live chickens. Just think, if there were no Internet, that’s probably what Perez Hilton would be doing.

Of course, it’s since somehow come to denote a person with odd tastes, poor fashion sense and a certain dearth of social skills. (Not me. Other people.) But as the CW matchmaker show “Beauty and the Geek” has shown us, that doesn’t mean people from all walks of life can’t be brought together by their common interests: namely, to humiliate themselves on national television.

So with “Beauty and the Geek” currently putting out a call for new nerds, you might be wondering if you’d be eligible. That’s where this simple quiz comes in — to find out, get your Ticonderoga No.2 pencil ready, and … begin!

1) Do you know where “Alderaan” is? (2 points.) “Mordor”? (3 points.) “Xanth,” “Gor” and/or “Discworld”? (4 points each.) Bonus: Add 1 point for every Starbucks you can name with WiFi access.

2) Do you have a friend who leaks you details about upcoming Java updates? (Yes: 3 points.)

3) Which of the following is the best song: A) “Cygnus X-1 Duology,” by Rush; B) “Gates of Delirium,” by Yes; C) “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (Part I),” by King Crimson; D) “Cygnus X-1 Duology” is actually two songs — duh! (“D,” 5 points.)

4) The term “wafer thin mint” brings to mind: A) A tasty snack; B) An obese man who explodes in a restaurant, leaving his entrails exposed. (“B,” 3 points; 5 points if you found “B” absolutely hilarious.)

5) Have the three “Star Wars” prequels or the “Clone Wars” cartoon movie ever made you want to kill George Lucas, not in an allegorical sense, but literally, to the point where you’ve actually planned the means and an escape route? (Yes: 5 points.)

6) An “Easter egg” is: A) A festive holiday treat; B) A hidden object in a DVD or video game; C) Stop bothering me, I’m trying to unlock the nookie scene in “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” (“C,” 3 points.)

7) Not that I have any insider information, but if someone were to say that Trevor Horn was planning a Buggles reunion, would your heart start beating a little faster? (Yes: 5 points.)

8) “The City on the Edge of Forever” is: A) A Lynyrd Skynyrd song; B) A U2 song; C) The “Star Trek” episode where Kirk has to let his one true love, Joan Collins, get run over by a bus. Sniff … What? I have something in my eye. (“C,” 5 points.)

9) At any time during your academic career, were you held upside down by a varsity football player? Had your books knocked out of your hands and scattered down a stairwell? Had your underwear pulled up past the small of your back? (Yes to any: 10 points, and have yourself a beer on me, brother.)

10) Have you ever worn a Starfleet uniform, a cape or a Conan the Barbarian loincloth to a movie screening, convention or other gathering in a public building? (Yes: 10 points. True story: I was once covering a “Star Trek” convention when I saw a guy buying himself a “Next Generation” uniform. When asked what rank he wanted, he replied, “Um … Lieutenant Commander?” For crying out loud, man, it’s your money — go for Captain!)

OK, this is usually where I’d tell you to add up your points, but the fact of the matter is, if you got past the fourth question without giving up, you’re a geek. You should audition right away.

But even if you don’t make the cut, you shouldn’t give up — there’s still always the chance that you might be able to impress and even date a buxom blonde woman who makes Sarah Palin look like a Fulbright Scholar, just like the women in the show.

Just make sure your online avatar is really hot.

Peter Chianca is a managing editor for Gatehouse Media New England. Follow him on Twitter at To receive At Large by e-mail, write to, with the subject line “SUBSCRIBE.”


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malta said...

Dil öğrenimi için başlıca merkezlerden biri olan Malta;
İngilizce öğrenme sürecini Akdeniz' in kültürü ve harika doğal güzelliği ile birleştirmek isteyenler için ideal bir seçim.
İngilizce adanın resmi dili ve heryerde konuşuluyor.