Monday, May 19, 2014

Today in History: Acheiving Nerdvana

Do you ever read those "Today in History" columns that appear in Newspapers?  I think it's fun to look back and see what happened today a year ago, or 5, 10, 100, 1000 years ago.  I have an app on my phone that peruses my digital history and tells me what I was doing today in history, up to ten years ago.  (I probably have more digital history than most people, but even I don't go back more than ten years.)

Today was a very important day in history.  I don't have any digital record of it, but something extremely important happened fifteen years ago today.

I saw Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace for the first time fifteen years ago.  Also, I saw Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace for the second time fifteen years ago.  Yes, I saw it twice opening day.  When you stand in line for 5 days, you want to make it worth your while.

Yes, I was in line for 5 days to see a movie.   I suppose that's not entirely accurate.  There were 7 or 8 of us, and at least one of us was in line 24 hours a day for 5 days.  I was there about 80% of those 5 days.

Most people think that doesn't sound fun.  I'm pretty sure that, up to that point, it was the funnest thing I had done in my life.

You see, I had several of my best friends hanging out with me 24 hours a day.  We had a tent, a TV, a Nintendo, and a VCR. (For the young children reading this, VCR stands for Video Cassette Recorder.  You would carry around these boxes that had tape inside.  The tape had super low quality video on it.  Also, it had a really cool thing called "tracking".  No one actually knows what tracking means other than when the video looked bad you turned a knob until it looked good.  Yes, we were all excited when DVD players were invented.) (DVD players are like Blu-Ray players but less awesome.)

Here are a few ways I can think of to describe camping out for Star Wars.

It was like camping, but with more video games.
It was like Occupy Wall Street, only with no rapes, murders, or hippies and lots more nerds.  (Okay, maybe the no hippies thing isn't entirely accurate.  The girl in front of us in line may have had Leia hair, but she was pretty much a flower child.)
It was like Comic Con, but without the celebrities.

Are you catching the vision?  Doesn't a little part of you want to camp out next year for Episode 7?

A part of me is a little bit sad that camping out for movie tickets is no longer a thing.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that the internet has come along and made it possible to buy tickets from home in my underwear.  (The more things I can do without actually having to put on clothing, the better.)  But there is a sadness as I realize that I'll never do something like that again.

Maybe next year, I'll just have to rent out a theater for Star Wars.  Perhaps that will help me feel like I've returned to nerdvana.

But for now, let's all have a moment of silence as we reflect on the moment that I first met Jar Jar Binks.

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