Alpha Know it All

It has been quite a while since you have seen an update over here on Alphageek's Thoughts.  That is because my other projects have been taking up some time recently.   You can go over to my other web site venture, where I review restaurants, and see what is going on.  Because you are likely not the geek that I am, I have to tell you to CLICK HERE!  It is okay, I do the thinking around here, and you do the, well, whatever it is you do.

One day, Mrs. Alphageek asked me if I was always a big geek.  When was that moment when I realized I was going to have to go with being a geek, rather than trying to hide away from it?  I said I was not sure, but I knew with cold certainty, when I was a pretty big dummy.  I told her the story, and she said it was pretty funny, so now I am going to write this for you to enjoy.

Modern web sites, like Facebook, will make the reaction, or lack of reaction, an interesting study.  The people who going to read this story fall into three categories.  1) You knew me before this happened.  2) You were actually there when it happened.  Okay, maybe not there, but you went to Europe with me.  Yes, there are two friends on Facebook who met me there.  What are the chances? 3) You have no clue I ever went to Europe, or at least you met me after I went to high school.  For all of you, I recommend you sit back, read and contemplate.  Maybe even have a bourbon, on me.

Let's set up who we are dealing with.  This guy, let's call him Alpha Know it All or AKNA for short.  AKNA set the goal of going to Virginia Tech in the sixth grade.  He was accepted (early decision) of his senior year of high school.  He spent the rest of the time telling everyone about it.  AKNA knew everything about getting into college.  He got an invite to travel Europe for the weeks, playing a musical instrument.  He was really good, if you had asked AKNA back then.  He was in New York city, at rehearsals, for the band that was going to tour Europe for three weeks.

A friend loaned him a Sony Walkman.  What a concept, you could listen a whole 45 minutes before turning the tape over!  This friend had suggested that he might want to get some headphones.  AKNA had been looking around New York City for a great pair of headphones, and found plenty of them.  There was only one problem: AKNA was a cheapskate.  AKNA simply was not willing to pay the prices that folks were asking for cool headphones. 

AKNA had been wandering around, looking at these interesting electronics stores that are all over NYC.  They have really cool looking stereos, Walkmans and headphones in the windows. There is only one problem:  they had brands like Cony and Pinehere in the windows. 

Right before the band was to leave NYC, a group ran out to one of these great electronics stores to get some tapes.  AKNA went along, and started looking at headphones.  Undeterred by the strange brand names, because he knew it all.

As he looked at the headphones, a kind sales guy began to bargain with AKNA.  AKNA said the headphones were too expensive.  Besides, AKNA had to leave, and AKNA's associates were busy paying up.  The salesman said he was getting ready to put all the headphones on sale.  He reached down, and said, "how about this pair for half off"?  AKNA knew that was a great price for a great brand, so he paid up and walked out the store, smug in knowing that AKNA got a great deal.

AKNA got on the plane, and headed to France.  You fly forever to get to Europe, at least that is how it seemed to AKNA.  During the trip, AKNA decided to get out his new headphones, and listen away.  He eagerly plugged them in, and put in something great to pass the time.

The headphones did not work.

While you probably saw this coming, AKNA felt like he had been kicked in the balls.  "How could I be so stupid?  He saw me coming a mile away!"  AKNA was not happy.  To add insult to injury, the return paperwork was still in the headphone packaging that had been carefully stitched back together.  AKNA obviously had some things left to learn. 

Feeling terribly disgruntled, AKNA had to put the headphones in the trash, the next time the flight attendant came around. 

This was an important turning point for AKNA.  It probably kept him from losing money playing some sort of gambling game somewhere in Europe, or losing his money in even more embarrassing ways in Amsterdam.  Sometimes in life, you have to pay the stupid tax, and this was AKNA's turn.  This began the unusally slow climb to Alphageek, but it would take many years, but the pre-Alphageek would never again be quite that gullible.