A defining geek-out moment on a Friday after-noon

April/2004: Random Thoughts - After doing a long interview for a documentary, and then picking up my check from work, I hit the Lloyd Center for some shopping. In the middle of the shopping (I bought nothing, so any point could have been "the middle"), I decide to have some food. Neurotic as I am about mall-food, I decide to get the best deal possible. I walk through-out the mall, stopping at every place to contrast and compare deals. I'm feeling scientific, even.

Steak Escape? Would have gone for it, except the fact that they overcharge for fries and a drink when you get a meal deal.
Villa Pizza? Great stuff, still, 3.79 for a stuffed pizza is robbery, no matter how good the pizza is. Airport pizza costs less.
Pretzelmaker? Great pretzels, but two bucks for butter, salt and hard bread? C'mon.

So what do I end up doing? I get tired of going between each place three times and decide to just get some food. What do I get? Mrs. Fields cookies. Twelve small cookies. 3.60.

How stupid. I could have had two pretzels.

Then, as I'm walking away, I get thirsty (cookies make you thirsty, wow) and buy a can of Pepsi for a buck from an espresso place.

Now, I'm out 4.60 for some small cookies and a soda.

How fucking stupid.

So I walk over to the hat-stand in the Mall where I buy all my hats. I find a great hat. Huzzah. I try it out, it looks good. Very funky, loose, floppy material... I'm liking it. Then, a familiar question hits me. A terror, really. That terrible question?

"Is this a girl hat?"

I am male. I cannot wear a girl hat. I cannot tell if the hat I an contemplating to buy is a girl hat or not. Check the tag, no gender mention. Time to ask the salesperson in the usual manner. "Hey, is this a girls hat? I like it, but I don't want to walk down the street and have people know that I am wearing a girl hat while I stride obliviously, in my girl-headwear state. I suck at this." The woman I ask this to pauses, says "uhhhh" and then tries to tell me that the hat is made "for a girl or a guy."

Right, it's CK1 in hat form. No hat is made for a girl or a guy! It is impossible. This woman just wanted the commission and didn't give a damn if she sentenced some guy to walking down the street in a girl hat. I can just imagine it, girl hat. So I grimace at her, knowing that she either doesn't give a damn to find out and is guessing, or, the more likely scenario, she's simply lying. I don't buy the hat. I like the hat. But it could be a girl hat.


Anyways, after blowing the food purchase in spectacular fashion... not to mention screwing up what should have been a simple purchase, I had the coolest "geek" moment of my life. Cooler than my first pair of black-framed glasses. Cooler than LOTR Risk in San Francisco (a damn fine game). Cooler than making a pyramid of pez on my desk at work.

As I'm getting on the MAX, I hear "Hey Xavier!" Wondering who in this city would know me, I turn, not knowing what to expect...

And who is it? No other than Little Lost Robot getting off the MAX train!

There is nothing more geek-cool than randomly running into someone whose bloggeresque website your bloggeresque website links to. I was so shocked at even running into someone who knows me, let alone the momentous geekcasion before me that all I could say was "hey man!" before getting on the MAX myself.