A group of people you don’t know are conversing nearby, as you exit a building. You clearly overhear the phrase “lamb’s blood.” Though you are a bit alarmed at this phrase, and have no idea of the actual context of the conversation, part of you would find it amusing to approach them and interject the following:
“Excuse me, but you aren’t planning on killing a djinn by chance, are you? I only ask because in order to destroy that particular supernatural creature, the lamb’s blood needs to already be on the dagger or it won’t work. Also, it’s a good idea to have backup on hand as the touch of a djinn can render you incapacitated via psychic attack as it feeds off of your life-force.”
How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 245 (or “Is that a terrifying, classic film villain on your TV screen, or are you just happy to see me?”)
The thought occurs to you that if your younger self from twenty years ago were suddenly transported in time to the present, the world would seem very both fascinating and a bit scary, just based on the fact that you have a digital video recorder that allows you to record high definition versions of television programs without a VCR, which you can use to fast forward commercials.
Furthermore, two of the television shows on your DVR are centered around terrifying film villains Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter, the latter being broadcast on a major television network, which bewilders your younger self even as it confounds your present self, considering that people once found shows like Married With Children and The Simpsons edgy and controversial.
Your knowledge of various mythologies (Norse, Greek, etc.) primarily comes from college classes and the works of Neil Gaiman.
How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 243 (or Intergalactic gladiatorial arenas and personal dream sequences)
You recently had a dream that you accidentally traveled through an Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky bridge (also known as an Einstein-Rosen bridge or “wormhole”) connecting two points in space-time.
Upon arriving at the wormhole’s other end, you find yourself held captive by a group of aliens from the Predator film franchise, who force you to fight in an intergalactic gladiatorial arena alongside fellow captives Lieutenant Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Chicago-area wizard and private detective Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden from The Dresden Files novels.
Throughout the remainder of the dream, you embark on a journey of survival with these characters in which you repeatedly attempt to get a letter of recommendation from Data endorsing your application to Starfleet Academy, as well as secure a wizard’s apprenticeship with Dresden.
You have realized that how well you get along with a person seems to have a correlation between the ratio of how much that person likes Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels and how much that person dislikes Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.
Having read the first book and seen the first movie in the Twilight Saga, and loathed both with a passion, you have avoided the work of Stephenie Meyer and the subsequent film adaptations that have occurred. As such, when you first saw the trailer (provided below) for the film adaptation of Meyer’s supposed “science fiction” novel, The Host, you were shocked.
Why the shock? While you haven’t read the book, you have seen the film Bowfinger, a comedy in which a terrible director secretly films a famous actor without his knowledge in order to make a science fiction film called Chubby Rain, about aliens invading Earth via raindrops.
Thus, you exclaimed, “I can’t believe it… The Host is basically Chubby Rain being filmed for real!”
Behold, and judge for yourself.
How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 238 (or “Is that a Kindle in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Oh, that’s a Kindle… never mind, then”)
You often volunteer the number of novels you read last year when trying to impress someone in a dating situation, only to realize that half the time it makes you look as if you have no social life, and the other half, your potential date has no response at all.
While you have kept up with the HBO vampire drama True Blood since it first premiered, you have privately debated whether or not to discontinue viewing it each season, as it just seems to get more campy and absurd each year. Thus, when a die-hard fan of the show asked you how wonderful you would feel if the universe depicted in the series was a reality, you respond as follows:
“If I spent my life living in a True Blood universe, I think I’d spend my life annoyed with everyone around me, muttering, ‘You’ve got be kidding me’ everyday, until undereducated werewolves or overly whiny vampires attacked me and put me out of my misery.”
In an alternate universe, the much-beloved story, Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus, which was Francis P. Church’s response to a girl’s 1897 query to the The New York Sun concerning the existence of Santa Claus, did not gain popularity as a Christmas classic. This was caused by the much darker tone in Church’s alternate universe response, which was titled, Hey, Virginia, Just Who The Hell Have You Been Talking to, Young Lady?
During a long phone conversation with an old friend, who often takes the opposing view to yours in a discussion, you find yourself defending the legitimacy of Skyfall as a Bond film, in which you go so far as to list reasons why it is perhaps one of the best Bond films, the talks break down when you make the mistake of mentioning the now-defunct Stephen King Dark Tower film adaptation. The impetus of the Dark Tower entering the conversation was your reaction to seeing two actors working side-by-side who were rumored to be considered for the role of Roland Deschain, The Gunslinger, at various times.
The final insult was when he refused to believe you (as he will not read the series, though you have and love each book) as to why Javier Bardem’s Spanish accent doesn’t fit the role of Deschain (the content of Wizard and Glass serving as that reason, in your opinion), and he kept calling the series’ protagonist by a long list of incorrect names just to annoy you even though you had said “The Gunslinger” at least six times.
It was a then that you realized that you react the same way to people making negative comments about The Dark Tower series, when they haven’t even read any of the books, as Marty McFly reacts to being called a chicken in the Back to the Future films
When asked, “What are you reading?” you reply as follows:
“A series of books called Sandman Slim, about a guy who gets transported to Hell while he is still alive, and has to to fight in a Hellion gladiatorial arena for several years before escaping to Los Angeles. Part of me knows I should dislike it because the writing is very unpolished, but the irreverent, ‘I don’t care’ attitude of the main character is surprisingly engrossing.”
In an alternate universe, the directors and casts of the films Ghostbusters and Goodfellas swapped movie projects. This means that Martin Scorsese made a paranormal thriller called Ghostbusters (using the original script by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci. However, the Scorsese version was released in 1990 rather the 1984 release of the Ivan Reitman version of Ghostbusters.
Goodfellas was then directed by Ivan Reitman as a true-crime comedy using the screenplay adaptation written by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese, based on Pileggi’s book. The film’s cast was led by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. It was released in 1991, rather than 1990.
Both films were huge hits, and in this alternate universe, Scorsese’s Ghostbusters is widely considered one of the scariest films of all time.
When a friend tells you that they’ve reluctantly agreed to placate another friend by viewing all of the Twilight Saga films, you suggest that they decree a caveat to this arrangement in order to tolerate the experience. Specifically, you suggest that they only agree to watch the films if it can be done in conjunction with the corresponding RiffTrax audio commentaries, in which the individuals known best for Mystery Science Theater 3000 make fun of these movies.
When a person familiar with your reading habits recently stubbed their toe on a piece of furniture in your presence, uttering a curse in reaction to the pain, you respond by saying, “Ya know, ‘pain rises, from the heart to the head.'”
They then reply, “Let me guess, that’s another Dark Tower quote, right?”
You answer, “Good guess.”
In an alternate universe, J.K. Rowling partners with Stephen King to write a Harry Potter novel in which it is revealed that the recently defeated Lord Voldemort was a servant of the Crimson King. When low men in the Crimson King’s employ begin using muggles to hunt down and capture magically-inclined people, the American counterpart to Hogwart’s summons forth a ka-tet of gunslingers, led by Cuthbert Allgood via his death at the Battle of Jericho Hill, from another level of the Tower to do away with these villains.
Through the course of the story, Randall Flagg is unmasked as having assumed the form of the American “defense against the dark arts” instructor, and Harry Potter himself turns out to be the villain directing these abductions as the Crimson King possessed his body using a glass from the Wizard’s Rainbow, capable of facilitating possession. The novel ends with Cuthbert Allgood killing Harry Potter, who is then resurrected by the Wizard Maerlyn who has left the solitude of his cave on another level of the Tower long enough to save Potter and place him as the new head of Hogwart’s before returning with Cuthbert to the magic school’s American counterpart. Cuthbert is then sent to New York where he gets a job as the head of security and black bag operations for the Tet Corporation.
Because you have been reading the Dark Tower books for a second time, you have had to force yourself (on several occasions) to not speak to people at your workplace in the diction of Mid-World in order to prevent possible awkwardness and conversational embarrassment. However, close friends and family have been getting plenty of text messages with phrases like, “Thankee-sai” and “The world won’t move on tomorrow.”
While most of those chosen few have endured your Dark Tower palaver with mild amusement, you did actually provide manage to impress a friend by responding to the terrifying spectacle of witnessing a Red-tailed Hawk shaking off its slow-speed windshield collision with a nearby car on an access road and then flying away, with the following Dark Tower quote from The Gunslinger:
“The hawk does not fear you, boy, and the hawk never will. The hawk is God’s gunslinger.”
Long days and pleasant nights, avid reader!
While, I won’t go so far as to say that I’ve forgotten the face of my father, I cry your pardon for this overdue post. Relatives from New York (not so fast, sai… they’re from this when, I say thankee) and more family from across the pond required my attention this past Saturday. Though time is a face on the water, time does move but one way on this level of the Tower, so I was forced to make the hard choice to provide two extra posts on this day in order to honor our khef. Ya ken khef, I hope… ’tis the sharing of water (or in our case, nerdy ideas).
So, behold, my ka-tet of readers… two more posts shall follow this one, by watch and by warrant.
May your days be long upon the earth!
— Brandon, Proprietor and “would-be” Wordslinger
Someone catches you singing a song under your breath and asks, “Are you singing Addicted to Love?” You then explain that you were actually singing a Dark Tower-inspired parody song you thought up (but have yet to complete) called Addicted to Lud.
Your fondness for the Dark Tower books has led you to promise yourself that if you ever start a company you will investigate the possibility of naming it the Tet Corporation or North Central Positronics.