the geek shall rise

contrary to popular opinion, i am not a nerd. not to discredit those who are, or who profess to be, but i don't consider myself a nerd, my few geeky obsessions notwithstanding. not because i have an unkind opinion of nerds, not at all. truth be told, i've always wanted to be called one. when i was a kid, my parents brought my sister and i to the doctor to have our eyes checked. my sister was already getting fitted with really thick glasses and of course i also wanted a pair for myself because i had this notion that kids with bifocals were smart (or smarter), so when it was my turn to look at the chart, i purposely misread the letters. i think the student ophthalmologist at the time concluded that i had perfect vision, but was most probably illiterate. of course, it's one thing to be branded a nerd, and altogether different to be called smart. not all nerds are smart, after all, but i don't want to get into that right now.

having said that, this did not stop me from participating in something absolutely geeky last week. niel, with whom i am currently locked in a fierce battle for words with friends supremacy -- and i've already lost a wager with him, resulting in that treat to la cuisine française where i attempted parler en française avec la serveuse and i asked the waiter if the wi-fi password was spelled with a cédille and in both cases received blank stares -- invited some of us to a board game night at the anino office over pizza and beer. i came with my travel scrabble (it was originally a scrabble night for us word addicts) and i was hoping to stamp my class in a game where my only talent gets to be useful, but i ended up getting schooled in both settlers of catan and star wars monopoly.

when i got there, niel was already playing zombies with his co-workers who kept calling him sir, although he insisted that outside of work he should just be called niel. this game isn't for kids. not just because the theme involves zombies whose brains you'd have to blast with hi-powered guns, but because the pieces are so small, i wouldn't be surprised if a heart, or a bullet, or even a character goes missing after you first play it. they next rolled out settlers of catan which seemed simple enough: build roads, build settlements, upgrade later to cities. collect resources, trade with others. of course, not knowing the most basic rules, i had the least development on the board.

when fabian came we started on monopoly, which had a star wars theme. i've only played this game once before and couldn't even remember the rules. my character was senator palpatine, and i was coached left and right on which properties to sell, trade, buy. i tried to look like the cutthroat businessman eager to establish a monopoly on imaginary real estate, but i'm really bad at negotiating anything, and i gave up a few really bad deals. some folks drive a really hard bargain: they take this really seriously. i can't even get a 10 peso discount for a purchase, so that isn't so surprising. at least i didn't finish last.

hopefully next time we'd explore other less geeky games. i have cranium and taboo at home, and if anyone's interested, i could also probably volunteer tangos. i may not consider myself my nerd but i might actually secretly want to be one still. playing these geeky games is certainly a welcome respite from the usual mindless things i do. so i'm not a nerd, and since i've matured from the day when i attempted to deceive someone into prescribing a pair of glasses for me, i've stopped wanting to be considered smart. it's just not enough anymore. the truth is, i'd have to lose not just a few IQ points to be considered smart.