Thursday, February 7, 2008

A True Story From One Of My Jobs

This one goes back to when I worked in a comic shop. I never quite became Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, but he was one of my co-workers.

On this day, there was a small group of boys in the store, ages in the low double digits. That was not at all unusual, of course. What was unusual was the fact that they were sort of huddled in, excitedly discussing something in hushed tones. Clearly a matter of great importance, but not one they wanted to share with the entire store.

I began to hear whispered urgings that made it clear that they wanted my input on something. "Go ask him." "No, you go ask him." "I'm not gonna ask him, you ask him!"

A comic shop is nerd Mecca (which I say with respect and affection - for the "nerd" part, if not the "Mecca" part). When you work there, you are revered as the Ultimate Authority on a great many deeply geeky matters.

After a couple of minutes of the debate, during which I pretended not to notice them (comics fans, even the young, sometimes startle easily), one of the group was pushed to the front and toward me. A spokesman had apparently been elected, probably quite against his will.

He approached me, clearly reluctant, the others watching vigilantly but remaining a safe distance behind. They occasionally offered an encouragingly hissed, "Go on, ask him!".

"Ummm... we have a question."

"OK, what can I help you with?"

"It's kind of stupid."

Working in a comic shop pretty much entails stupid conversations all day long, so I assured the young man that I'd probably heard worse. Probably several times already that very day.

"No, it's really stupid. You're going to laugh at us."

"I probably won't."

He turned to the others and made one last plea for his dignity. "Come on, we don't need to ask this. It's stupid." They were unsympathetic.

Although I was intrigued, my patience was beginning to wear. I don't remember now exactly what I wanted to get back to doing, but it probably involved reading comic books. I hauled out the cliche.

"It's OK, go ahead. The only really stupid question is the one you want the answer to but never ask."

After one last deep breath, he asked, "Who would win in a fight... Star Wars or Star Trek?"

"I stand corrected."

Enough rambling. Here's a picture of one of my bookshelves as seen through a toy basketball net.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I have heard this question before and I am a much bigger fan of Star Wars as opposed to Star Trek, but a wise geek once told me that lasers can't penetrate the navigation shields of the USS Enterprise. So whereas Star Wars ships use laser based weapons, I guess Star Trek would win

I'm pretty sure he isn't a fan of Star Trek or Star Wars, but he some how knew that answer without hesitation.