Are You a Freak?

I hate to be one of the people on this page [the editorial page] who do nothing but whine and complain about how others behave, but I’m tired of the freaks.

When I say freaks, I’m talking about people who have chosen a subject, usually from pop culture, and have made it their number one priority, their very reason for living. The Internet was built for these people. (Imagine – you can obsess about your favorite thing without facing the burdensome tasks of GOING OUTSIDE or TALKING TO PEOPLE!) Anything you are remotely interested in, you can bet there are a thousand individuals who are so interested in it that they have devoted their lives to it.

You know which subjects attract these fanatics. “Star Trek,” in all its incarnations. “Star Wars.” “The X-Files.” Football, baseball, and basketball. Politics. Various rock groups. Monty Python. These are all fine things, but only when they are put in perspective. Not one of them is worthy of as much time and attention as some people devote to them, nor should they be emphasized to the exclusion of other things. Most of them shouldn’t even be taken seriously!

I heard about a group of a thousand people who waited all night to buy “Star Wars” tickets. Just as the box office opened, a group of 50 guys muscled their way to the front, bought up all the tickets, and then began scalping them at outrageous prices to the fans who had been waiting all night. Someone described this as a “tragedy.” But I think the real tragedy was that there were a thousand people waiting all night to buy tickets to a MOVIE! A movie they’d already SEEN!

Speaking of “Star Wars,” the guy next to me when I saw it reacted to each new special effect the way most of us would react if a new volume of scripture were released detailing the date and time of the Second Coming. He would say, out loud (which is irritating enough when you’re trying to watch a movie), “That’s new! That is totally new!” I thought his heart was going to explode when Jabba the Hutt showed up.

Some people were furious when BYU got dissed by the Bowl Alliance. I saw someone pounding the floor in anger. I asked him why he was so upset. He said BYU was losing several million dollars. I said the money wouldn’t have gone to him anyway. He was unimpressed.

Not sure if you’re a freak? Read on.

  • Have you ever gone to a movie dressed as one of its characters?
  • Have you ever seen a single movie in the theater more than 10 times?
  • Do you quote movie lines out loud with the characters?
  • Have you ever gone into deep depression over a sports team’s loss, or have you ever screamed at the television set while a loss was taking place?
  • Have you ever skipped out on church to watch sports on TV?
  • Have you selected one aspect of church doctrine and made it your “pet,” placing more emphasis on it than anything else? (Word of Wisdom, Sabbath behavior, and temple attendance are common selections.)
  • Do you own a laser-disc copy of the director’s cut of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”?
  • Did you go into deep despair when Bob Dole lost the election, cursing and gnashing your teeth and quickly accumulating a food storage because the loss was clearly a sign of the impending End of the World?
  • Do you find Internet providers who only give you 20 hours a month to be inadequate?
  • Is there a TV show that you tape AND watch simultaneously?

See Eric at his grumpiest! I think I intended for this column to be funnier than it wound up being. As it is, it just sort of stomps on people's innocent pleasures and makes me look grouchy. (I believe everything I said; I'm just not sure I wanted to let the whole world know that I felt that way.) Also, the column doesn't have a conclusion, which is only a problem if I intend to be a professional writer. Which I do.

I should mention that I, myself, am guilty of at least two of the freak warning signs listed above.