We Are Nerds! We Own The Streets! (If There’s A Game On)

A friend of mine once explained his people’s fine tradition of going out for dinner and a movie on Christmas Day.

(“Lights, please.”)

“There’s no traffic, there’s plenty of parking, and you can walk into nearly any restaurant and get seated immediately,” he began. “And I know this is going to come out the wrong way, but there’s a tiny, hard-to-describe pleasure in looking around the room and knowing that for just this one day, all of the Christians are somewhere else.”

(“That’s the meaning of Jewish Christmas, Charlie Brown.”)

Saturday night was a regional holiday for all New England football fans: the Patriots were 15-0 before last night’s game, with just one final victory to go before they’d end the season undefeated. Actually, it was a holiday for all New England sports fans, period. All across the Northeast, people were basking in the warm glow of enormous TV sets and heroic volumes of brewed beverages.

Me? I went out to dinner with a bunch of fellow geeks. I have this monthly thing with my friends that normally takes place on a Tuesday night. Because of the Christmas holiday, I moved it to Saturday, not realizing that it happened to be an Important Night. O’course, among our nerdly little group, that didn’t really matter.

Another thing I didn’t know was that our usual restaurant doesn’t take reservations on the weekend. Tuesday is usually a slow night for restaurants and there’s no problem phoning ahead earlier in the day and arranging a seating for ten or twelve people. So I was a bit worried about just trusting to luck but sure enough, we all showed up and we only had to stand around long enough for waiters to push three or four of the restaurant’s (many) empty tables together.

I was halfway through my bowl of chili when it finally hit me: this must be what Josh was talking about when he told me about Jewish Christmas. It really was quite lovely to know that for just this one night, nobody in the restaurant was a raging football fan.

I was tempted to make a joke about Gold Kryptonite. I bet this was one of the few situations other then a hotel restaurant at a comic-book convention where you could make that kind of a joke and draw a laugh from people at adjoining tables.

4 thoughts on “We Are Nerds! We Own The Streets! (If There’s A Game On)”

  1. Good story Andy. It’s so true, and I totally relate to it. It feels so good when you are surrounded by people who “get it.” I used to love to go to MacWorld when it was in NY at the Javits Center because I had 5 whole days of concentrated geekdom (that it was Mac Geekdom made it all the better). Same feeling of wonderfulness at all the other tech events.

    It’s not fun when you make some witty (read hilarious) remark only to have blank stares returned, and then feel the need to explain but would really rather not.

  2. I’ve relied upon the peace and quiet of Jewish Christmas (and an occasional empty-Manhattan Thanksgiving) for many years. Now, if only someone could get those pesky blue laws off the books…

  3. We spend Christmas in Lexington, Kentucky. Yes, home of the University of Kentucky, in the state of “we have sports because there is NOTHING else to do in the entire state”. The Saturday before Christmas was a dinner with good geek friends of ours — the problem? How could we bow out of a dinner (with television) during the UK basketball game. We did it quietly, explaining that our friends were traveling on the 25th (the planes are empty that day) and could only see us Saturday. Our friends do live in Lexington, but Scott swears that every time he has been forced to watch a UK game, they lose, so he is allowed to abstain. Lucky him.

  4. I like to go food shopping during football games. Supermarkets are damn near deserted, but don’t expect to find much junk food in the store.

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