Trying to Enlist Non-Geeks Via Christmas Presents

geekgiftIf there’s a geek on your holiday shopping list, chances are you’ll be stopping at the comic or game store for a gift for him. While you’re there you may bump into him buying a gift for you, even if you’re not a geek yourself. Especially if you’re not a geek yourself.

The sworn enemy of the geek is the evangelical Christian, but like Batman and the Joker, Indiana Jones and Belloq, or Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, they are very alike, two sides of the same coin. One of the many things they have in common is the idea that the best gift they can give to someone who doesn’t share their belief is something that will hopefully encourage him to share their belief. So the geek will be giving comics, toys, or games to every man, woman, and child they have to buy Christmas presents for.

An uncharitable soul might attribute this to the idea that geeks, having little sense of empathy, can’t imagine what another person might like. Since they themselves aren’t interested in sports or pop music, surely nobody else can be either. However, this is not completely the case. The actual reason is not that the geek can’t understand someone being interested in those things and wanting presents of that type, the truth is that the geek takes pity on people who have those interests, and wishes to broaden and mature the tastes of those people beyond such pedestrian trifles.

To a geek, there’s no such thing as a person who doesn’t like comics. There are only people who haven’t read the right comics. A few geeks will even make a token effort of buying you a comic book that is aimed towards a particular genre or subject matter that you’re interested in, instead of something they thought was pretty good. If you’re interested in classical music, for example, you can expect maybe a comic book adaptation of an opera or a volume of a manga about a girl with a magic cello. The geek might try to find you a painted miniature of a bard, or a card game involving musical instruments. What you should not expect from the geek is a classical recording of any type.

Keep in mind that when you are shopping for the geek, be very careful. There will be many angry message board and blog posts from geeks who just can’t believe that a well-meaning relative would buy them a “For Better or For Worse” collection because they “like comics”. The geek will wonder how the relative could be so thoughtless, especially after the geek gave them a burned Slam Dunk anime DVD he downloaded because he knew the relative liked watching basketball.

Should you receive one of these gifts from a geek, simply say how much you look forward to reading it or watching it or playing it or putting it on a shelf and looking at it and move on. It’s the thought that counts, and believe it or not, there really is some thought behind it other than, “Anyone who is not currently reading manga should begin reading manga because I like reading manga.” Don’t worry about the geek asking you later if you enjoyed it or what you thought of it; the idea of doing so will not occur to him.

Since it’s a way to do their holiday shopping without ever having to stray too far from their familiar territory, geeks LOVE Trying to Enlist Non-Geeks Via Christmas Presents!

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11 Responses

  1. People (read “geeks” if you wish) lost interest in “For Better Or For Worse” not because they are ungrateful, but because they grew tired of the Patterson family’s struggle against Manichaean Evil, due to the fact that it was trite and morally simplistic, and allowed scenarios where entire groups of people were deemed inherently evil and deserving of death.

    If I may continue to count gift-giving coup on you, “Blondie”, with its FLAWED HEROES (Blondie and Mr. Dithers) and ANTI-HEROES (Dagwood, Herb Woodley) offers a more rich and complex view of the world, and is therefore a preferable Christmas gift for geeks and non-geeks alike.

  2. Oh man, I have seen this. Very much so, especially with comics. I mean, they will really reach sometimes, to come up with what they think is a thoughtful gift that will help convert their hapless relative/friend from the boring and drab “mundane” lifestyle to geekdom.
    “Uh, uh…he likes coffee so why not a collection of Too Much Coffee Man backissues! Yeah, that’s the ticket!”
    “Uhhhh, he’s studying to become a marine biologist, why not give him some Aquaman TPBs?”
    And the hapless giftee is left confused as to why his or her relative or alleged friend would give them, you know, whatever.

  3. This one just doesn’t even ring true to me. I know a lot of geeks, but none who would be silly enough give geek gifts to non-geek people. And the whole Christian angle was kind of stretching it. So following Homer Simpson’s “It’s Only Funny Cuz It’s True” rule, I have to say that unlike the previous posts, this one wasn’t funny to me at all.

  4. Chris – It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Did you know that, in this new age of the “internet”, it is also the easiest? Let that be a comfort to us all, that flattery can be accomplished with so little effort.

    Thorpe – I fear I am perhaps too much of a geek to know what a TPB is… possibly it is a football term. ;)

    Geekboy: Can’t you see the man is hurting? He probably received a Super Friends DVD from some blackguard last Christmas, when all he wanted was a Red Ryder BB Gun! Cruel, how cruel it is to step on the face of Christmas with such a gift… the scars inside, Geekboy, they never heal. Let him be.

  5. Not only have I seen this geek, I have, regrettably, been him as well.

  6. That’s TPB as in Trade Paperback, as in story arcs and such in the comic book “floppy” or “pamphlet” form collected in the Trade Paperback format.

    And yes, those examples were slight exaggerations yes but based on real experiences.

  7. God, don’t you hate it when people try to share their enthusiasms with you? Or try to find ways to bridge your interests with theirs? How dare they not buy me exactly the same thing I would have bought for myself?

  8. So Geekboy and TheZomb…are you just hanging out here for the hell of it? Or is this maybe your job?

  9. Indeed! My wages are subtle dreams and inchoate fancies.

  10. interesting post- and I know what you’re sayin, but I don’t feel like Evangelical Christians and geeks are polar opposites, because I am both. you might wan to look into the overlap, f’r instance, a lot of geeks were home-schooled, and a lot of evangelical Christians home-school their kids.

  11. [...] made the point time and again that the social group geeks most closely represent are Evangelical Christians. One of the points of [...]

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