lovehate: Finding Your Inner Geek (Part Two - Tools)

While I endeavored, in Part One of Finding Your Inner Geek, to show how geek culture is just as applicable to fishing as it is to computer or internet technology. The argument stands that any knowledge of the microcosm of a topic pushes one ever-further toward a level of geekdom. The relevant medium used to explore that relationship with fishing was print periodicals that refined from the generic to the hyper-specific Euro-published Carp Web.

The standard seemingly set by any geek culture is dancing on the fine line between the zen-like esoterica revolving around the people, places and things and the unbridled acquisition of stuff. As one moves up the chain from Hobbyist to Ubergeek, the winnowing of things occurs as knowledge and expertise fills the need for experimentation. But there are people who know how to exploit the Threshold Geeks and Geeks who's prime motivation to buy everything about everything within their field.

And so go the trade shows/conventions/conferences that, with much hype and grandeur, promote products like they've found a cure for cancer. Perhaps nowhere, outside of computer or gaming technology, do products get pumped out with minor tweaks and no real differentiated functions that those of tools.

Everyone knows the tool geek. Whether it's you, your father, mother, sister, brother, someone in your life owns several redundant pieces of hardware (actual hardware, not a 5-bay tower) that do exactly the same thing.

To prove this to you, I offer up the following questions:

1) Do you know someone who owns more that one hammer or drill?
2) Do you know someone who owns more than one set of router bits?
3) Do you know someone who has a collection of tool aprons with various logos?
4) Do you know someone who wears a "Black & Decker" or "Ryobi" hat or shirt?
5) Do you know someone who goes shopping at Home Depot "just to look"?

Like any geek continuum, names beget opinions and opinions beget arguments and purchases beget bikini-clad women in calendars holding power tools with conspicuously-placed innuendos in quotation marks that include words like drill, pound, hammer, screw that inspire clever quips like "grinder, I don't even know'er", or "sander, no that's okay I like'em rough". In fact, porn geeks and tool geeks could probably speak exactly the same language and mean completely different things. When talking about a Ridgid Clipped Head Nailer with consistent driving power, adjustable depth of drive, and rear exhaust, who would've thought one could be discussing the menu options at Paris Hilton's new bordello instead of an item in a Home Depot catalogue.

While Nascar followers are total realm of geekdom in themselves, there is a Venn crossover with people who cheer for the cars with their tool brand emblazoned on the side. When your girl can draw the Dewalt and Makita logos before the age of four and your boy knows Milwaukee as a Hole-Hawg drill instead of a city, when your spouse's best friend Stanley is a worn tape measure, when the only glasses and mugs you have in the kitchen cupboard have Bosch etched on them and were won as a door prize at a stag and doe or golf tournament, you have a tool geek in your house.

And all of this proves only one thing: that the person you stereotypically think is biggest redneck you know might also be the biggest geek you know. Does someone in your family know more about one topic than you know about computers or the web? Can your partner name 200 kitchen utensils and prizes a collection of melon ballers - ball'er I don't even... nevermind. Can your grandmother talk intelligently about 20 different kinds of needlepoint? Do you know ANYONE that scrapbooks, because trust me, I guarantee you, there is no such thing a hobbyist scrapbooker; they are either a full-blown scrapbook ubergeek or they've given it up.

Find your inner geek and point out the inner geek in others, then go fishing.

tool orgy