Dear member of the shopping public

When you are talking to people who are working or shopping in a sci-fi/fantasy bookshop it might be wise to keep to yourself opinions such as this:

“Anyone who buys a sonic screwdriver or a lightsabre, without the excuse of a 3 year old to give it to, is someone who is in desperate need of serious therapy.”

I couldn’t let it pass so I joined in the conversation with “My husband owns a sonic screwdriver that the kids are most definitely not allowed to touch and which lives in the pocket of the jacket he wears to work.”

“He must be a geek then” she says.

“Well, yes, very much so.” (Hang on, she thinks that’s a bad thing doesn’t she?)

“He’ll be one of those people who are just on the right side of the line of high functioning Aspergers.” She seems pleased to have proved her point, I’m thinking she’s just lucky I didn’t have any suitable projectiles ready to hand.

I was unpacking all this in my head as I drove home today and I have a list of questions I wish I could ask this woman.

Why is it necessary to sneer at people whose interests do not match your own?
In what way is being a geek bad?
Are you seriously equating being Asperger’s with being in need of “serious therapy”?
Are you seriously equating being a geek who happens to enjoy having a cool toy from a favourite TV show with being Asperger’s?
What’s the wrong side of the line of high functioning Asperger’s? What’s that supposed to mean anyway? Do you have the faintest idea what you’re talking about?
Don’t you know proper sonic screwdrivers and lightsabres are utterly inappropriate toys for 3 year olds!?!


It was like an “I know big words” version of a high school kid saying “Dr Who toys? That’s so lame!”

13 thoughts on “Dear member of the shopping public

  1. We always make fun of things that scare us – intelligence/geekiness/not boring and like everybody else scares people. I have always found it strange that geeks etc are picked on yet everyone’s pretty bloody pleased to have things like Penicillin etc.Just sad really.N

  2. Hey MimIt is really sad that people who don’t have the same interest as someone feels the need to put that person down…guess it is the only way they can feel good about themselves…Maybe if they opened their minds they might find it interesting too…..

  3. I was mostly amused and just a little irritated. It was a bit odd, she seemed to be trying to prove that her reasons for being in the shop (I think she was buying a book) were completely normal and reasonable, unlike all those weird people who buy the other stuff we sell.It’s pretty simple really. You don’t mock my R2-D2 robot, I won’t mock your signed and framed football jersey (or whatever).

  4. Was the “therapy” meant to fix the geekiness or the putative Asperger’s syndrome? Because either way, it ain’t gonna work!

  5. laurdhel – Exactly! Actually, I think she started out with a simple “people like that are weird and disturbed” but then had to scramble for what she must have thought was a less offensive version once I’d pointed out that hubby and I were “people like that”.I do like watching people squirm πŸ™‚

  6. She’s the one with the problem Mim. Your hobbies/ interests are cool as.We are all individuals and have every right to stand up for what we like and **** what other people think!

  7. I don't know, I reckon I will mock your signed football jersey (but clearly not my signed rugby scarf) – but NOT at a Wests game. Or at least not very loudly. It might be a stretch to ask people not to mock other people's interests, but I don't think it's too much to ask for them not to mock them on their home turf. And not to feel justified in the process.And yeah, the random, pseudo-scientific reasoning to bail yourself out of being caught mocking – utterly pathetic. Reminds me of the infamous "my wife is Japanese" incident, when Crash's dad was waxing lyrical about "those *#!&ing Japs". Bryan did a great job of making him squirm. Nevermind that he didn't even have a wife.

  8. Being married to a self-proclaimed nerd… having named our daughter Teagan (Dr Who fans should get that)… being a gaming widow (my husband doesn't go hunting or watch a lot of sports but he and his buddies lock themselves away in a basement to play D&D and other such fantasy games from time to time and he works a live play version of D&D at a big gaming convention each year)…I totally understand where you are coming from.

  9. WHAT the FUCK is wrong with people???I would have torn her a new one right there in the shop. James is an aspie and I wouldn’t change him for anything. THE GEEK WILL INHERIT TEH EARTHThen we can make silly womens like the one mentioned above our slaves!Er maybe not.

  10. LOL wish Luke had been there. He is just so proud of his geekiness (and rightly so) he would have argued her out of existence. It is his favourite activity after all.What is it with people and chucking around diagnoses without without knowing the first thing about the disorder and what is wrong with Aspergers anyway? As Yoda said her J has it and he’s one of the loveliest funniest people I know and Luke has severe ADHD – so what?btw we must visit your place of employment it sounds fantabulous!

  11. I think yodaobi said it, “The geek shall inherit the Earth!” Love that. :)I think we’re all even. I kind of make fun of non-geeks. πŸ˜‰

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