Why is it that people who would describe themselves as ‘geeks’ frequently repeat jokes over and over again, without any sign of the appropriate decrease in amusement?
I would image that most non-geeks might laugh when hearing ‘We are the knights who say ‘nee’’ in the Monty Python movie, and might even repeat it once or twice and still get a chuckle. But beyond that, it would eventually cease to be amusing. Same thing goes for ‘42’.
But among geeks, these same phrases continue to elicit the same degree of amusement, regardless of how many times they have heard it. They never become stale or grow tiresome. Why is this? Are there physiological differences in the brains of geeks vs. non-geeks??
My favorite is when my geek makes the same reference fit a multitude of situations. I suppose he’s displaying that Babylon 5 has meaning for everyone and everything. As for physiological differences, he’s my first one and if he runs true to form, viva los geeks…and he likes to say that chicks dig his large cranium. But I still married him.
I find that in my own circle of geeky friends, it isn’t just saying what was in a movie or whatever, but memories of particular times it was mentioned in-or-out of context in real life that makes it repeatedly funny.
He he he.
I’ve got one! “What color are their hands now?”
Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!
People who describe themselves as geeks often tend to have issues with not ‘fitting in’, whatever that may mean. Most geeks I know (who describe themselves as such) spend a lot of time railing against ‘mainstream’ society and culture. I think it has to do with re-affirming their geek status, and emphasizing that they belong in this particular group. If all of your immediate friends shout ‘Ni!’ and collapse in laughter, you start doing it, too. It becomes a group thing, in which all participants feel included and accepted. I think. It may also be a way to emphasize what they see as their perceived difference from mainstream culture. Not everyone knows where ‘Ni!’ comes from, and geeks seem to delight in playing the “I-know-something-you-don’t-know” game.
This is most likely a totally ridiculous example, but it’s the best I can come up with: in old movies, Communists were always heard to call each other ‘comrade’. This was a shorthand to let everyone know that they were Communists, belonged to a group, and were privy to information or experience that you, as a non-group-member, were not. (Note: I have no idea if real-life Communists wandered around calling each other ‘comrade’.)
OK - let’s get this straight. References to 42 and “Ni” are not intended as geek humour. They are the secret handshake. I may be kicked out of the club for telling y’all, but basically this is how we recognize each other.
Yes, we both may look like reasonable, business-like adults. But if someone says, “What IS the meaning of life” and you mutter “42” under your breath, you are instantly my ally. Everyone else will look at you as though you’re a moron, but I got the joke and will say something about dolphins.