This month at Happy Yess Comedy, we had a show and tell night. The idea was to rock up with some strange or quirky item from your house and do a five minute set about it.

 I’m sure I’ve got plenty of funny or ridiculous things I could bring along, but I’ve been suffering a bit from geek blindness. Geek blindness is a bit like cultural blindness, which is the principle that you can’t describe your own culture because from your own cultural perspective, everything related to your culture just looks normal. It’s not until you step into someone else’s culture that you start to see the weird stuff in your own worldview and start to ask things like “Why do we feel compelled to stop at red lights when there is no one else in the intersection?”

Similarly, geek blindness is the inability to find anything unusual to talk about at comedy because from my cultural perspective, everything in my house is awesome. It’s not until I take couple of steps back from the bookshelf and really examine it that I can find the perspective to ask “Why do I have 5 chess sets?”

I know the answer in part: It’s because other people keep buying them for me. In my life I’ve only bought one chess set, which I do still have. It’s a nice wooden one, but it wasn’t really convenient to carry it up on stage. I took along the first set one I ever got. It was a gift from my grandmother, who I guess had run out of ways to shut me up. It’s conveniently pocket sized and like all good travel game sets, it’s missing a piece.

My sister got me an awesome one from India, which sits on our bookshelf, and my wife has now bought me two chess sets. For my 30th birthday she got me an awesome set. About a foot and a half by a foot and a half, with classical wooden pieces and drawers to put them in. I thought that was the coolest and biggest set ever.

Then for my 32nd birthday this year, she got me another one. This son-of-a-bitch is the size of our coffee table, which is fine since neither of us drink coffee anyway. So it’s basically just that and a couch in the living room.

Okay yes. The dinosaur lego is reasonably geeky too.

Here’s how much my wife apparently loves me: Kim hates chess. She likes the aesthetic of it, but hates playing it. So we have these chess sets that just sit around the house for us to look at. Kind of like how other couples have televisions. Or babies or whatever.

Make of that what you will.


Garry with 2 Rs

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