Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fan Shorthand

Full disclosure: I'm a geek. I've been a geek for longer than I knew the word, probably.

My geekness, for a long time, had a very specific grounding: I grew up on musicals. That was pretty much all I listened to (such that, through high school, I still turned my nose up at most pop music, since it didn't have a good story like musical theater songs do), and we can blame/thank both parents for this (mostly thank).

Later other geekdoms were visited and I acquired dual citizenship (or multi-citizenship, whatever). I discovered the works of Joss Whedon, which led to various other related geek and/or cult culture.

Now, due to a cultural expansion thanks to college and the good influence of countless friends, the Venn Diagram to represent all my overlapping geeklands is .... basically a big fun scribble I'm not going to try to organize.  Even the fact that I want to perform live theater delegates me to a select group of odd 'uns.

The fun game we play now is Fan Shorthand. How to tell, in the fewest amount of words, if that guy over there is "one of us?" I've always crutched heavily on quotes - and these can range from a Sondheim lyric to a line from Get Shorty, from a phrase of poetry to "That was way harsh, Tai." Sometimes I'll throw out the phrase "timey-wimey" to see if anyone bites. Other easy tells include tattoos, t-shirts, stickers, buttons pinned to handbags, or related tokens.

And of course there's always the delighted pounce once we get a hook in, once we see that light of recognition in his eyes.
"Omigod you read Fables? How epic was the battle? I'm so sad about [spoiler]. Do you read Jack too?"
"I want to marry Geoffrey Tennant and have his Shakespeare babies."
"I just finished Hunger Games too! Can you believe the casting?"
"I'm still sad Joss killed [fill in whoever you miss the most] aren't you?"
"Did you see the original or the revival? I got a picture with [best actor ever]!"
It's InstaFriends! Made even easier now with facebook profiles where you can list all your likes and interests. No conversation necessary! Just add water.

All kidding aside, it actually is a really fun way to bond quickly with someone - even if that bond may be based on the unguaranteed assumption that if you share one similar taste, you also share all tastes and values. But hopefully further interaction can actually help determine that. If not, God help ya.

This weekend, friendRosemary is visiting from out of town and we're going to see
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying tomorrow night, chiefly because I serenaded her all through high school with the song about her name. But our Fan Shorthand moment came when she messaged me, demanding to know if I had TiVo for Saturday night at 9 pm when we'd be out.

Because that's what we'll be watching when we get home from the theatre.

It's fun to have friends.

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