Why Geeks Avoid Clubs

I totally failed at making a daily update on Friday, so here is a little article about geeks in clubs to make up for it!

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Whenever I talk to my friends about going clubbing, I tend to get one of two responses.  First there are the people who have actually been to clubs and realize that they are not all that scary.  The other group, though, finds the club scene fairly intimidating, to say the least.

I think a lot of geeks would actually enjoy clubs if they gave them a try, but there are a few things that, as an “initiated geek,” I still find a bit frustrating.  After going to Mars Bar on Thursday, I’ve compiled a short list:

  1. Smoking – Of all the things that frustrate geeks, smokers often top the list.  Geeks know not only the dangers of smoke, but also the nitty gritty science of how tobacco can putrefy your lungs!  Also, it totally screws with our inhalers.  Seriously, though, that’s one of the main reasons/excuses some of my geek friends won’t even enter a club.
  2. Drinking – By and large, MOST geeks aren’t against drinking on its own, but more often what people DO when they’re intoxicated.  It all stems from high school.  The “popular kids” were the ones with the crazy drunken parties, and while they may not have learned how to control themselves back then, they at least got acclimated to the crazy stuff people will do when they’re plastered.  Geeky stuff is inherently a little more brain-oriented, so seeing a whole bunch of people with their brains off can leave us a bit out of sorts.
  3. Groping – This one especially goes for lady geeks (or homophobic male geeks).  A lot of club goers think it’s their God-given right to feel up anybody they do not even remotely know.  As more or less private people (except on the Twitter), geeks have a personal space bubble that’s a little bigger than normal.  Even modern hip hop dancing tends to violate that bubble, so even if everyone is well behaved it can still make some people uncomfortable.  Personally, I suggest an 80′s bar, where people have fewer excuses to rub elbows, so to speak.
  4. Unspoken Protocol – When it comes right down to it, most geeks walk into the club, get their hands/wrists done up, and then think…now what?  Bars and clubs have unwritten rules that one must apparently magically learn from faeries.  Also, unlike a restaurant, bars rarely have full menus of their drink selections and even these are useless unless you know what is what.  On the dance floor the same problems arise.  Is it ok to go up first to an empty floor?  How do you dance with somebody else (of the opposite sex)?  How do you dance in the first place?!?!

When it comes right down to it, geeks probably feel strange in night clubs because it feels like “enemy territory.”  All of society’s hip and cool people hang out there, so geeks, experts in the not-hip and not-cool (Doctor Who marathon anyone?) can understandably want to run right out of the place.  There is this feeling that everyone around you is judging you by rules you don’t understand.

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The secret is this: you’re older now and you don’t have to worry about stuff like that anymore.  If you want to dance and nobody’s doing it yet, then there’s more floor for you.  It will be more crowded up there later anyway.  If you don’t know what to order, ask for a fruity vodka drink…it’s hard to go wrong with that.  Lastly, remember that YOU’RE there to have a good time, not to worry about a high school caste system that has long ceased to function.  Just bring a gas mask for the cloud of smoke you can do nothing about.*

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* P.S. – Many states have begun banning smoking in clubs…check out your local laws and see if there isn’t a delegate you should be writing to!

[Awesome geek party pics from this photoset (author unknown)]

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