Friday, April 04, 2008

Holy Smart People

So, we're here in Chicago this weekend for the Prospective Student's day at U Chicago. We stayed with a very gracious and welcoming couple named Gene and Nissy. They put us up, and let us crash on their futon for the two nights we were here, which was great. Today we woke up early and went to the University for the actual prospective students day... which was... wow. Let me just say, the people here are really, really smart.

After spending an entire day with nauseatingly intelligent people, I think I realized that there are really three kinds of Ultra-Geeks out there. The most common Ultra-Geek is the guy who only talks about Foucault. The second most common Ultra-Geeks is the guy who only talks about how everyone only talks about Foucault. Then, the most rare Ultra-geek, (the kind I think I am) is the guy sitting in the corner looking like a chimney sweep at a tea party saying "Shit. Who's Foucault?"

I spent a lot of time with the first guy. He's nice. He throws out names I've never heard of and I play along. "Oh yes," I say, "I think that I intend to contend to simultaneously also agree with you on this important matter of transientdentalisticethnomusicalismticism." And he points his drink at me spilling single malt brandy on his leather padded elbows screaming "Exactly! Exactly!" While I nod my head and duck behind the guy in the green sweater vest. He doesn't even stop to breathe. He continues his lecture while he turns to the girl with the piercing in her lip as she tries to slink by and I watch as she stops and looks at him, trapped. And I hear her saying "Oh yes. Absolutely. Foucault! Yes. I think that I intend..."

Then, I bump into the second guy who chokes on his Gin and Tonic and says "They're all so fucking boring! I'm so sick of talking about Empiricism! Can't anyone talk about the Cubs?" And I laugh very loudly while my brain screams "Don't ask me about the Cubs. I don't know about the Cubs. Who are the Cubs?" And he claps me on the back and laughs through is grizzled black beard saying "Look at that bastard! Trapped that poor girl in a twenty minute dissertation about some lame ass book he just read!" So I nod my head and think about how I want to sit and hang out with this second guy forever because he's making fun of people and if I'm standing here, then he can't be making fun of me. But he sticks his arm in the air and says something about how he's gotta jet and I'm left there by myself. Terrified. Wishing I were much, much more drunk. And I see the second guy now, standing at the bar talking to some other guy, who points at me. And my eyes fall out of my head.

That's when I turn around and see that there's a guy behind me with four bottles of Sam Adams in his pockets with his hair messed up and his zipper down who looks like he spent the night under a bus. He looks at me. I look at him. We're both horrified that one of us might say something. We stand there, our eyes like huge roving UFOs, for a solid fifteen minutes before he finally squeaks "I don't know who Foucault is." I sigh and drop my shoulders and we both drink beer.

This is going to be an interesting four to sixteen years.


Marzipan said...

wow! Don't get discouraged...I hope you have time to enjoy the city a bit. If not you have many years to come to do that abd I will most certainly visit.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Dan Foucoult the quarteback for the Rams for awhile?

Or am I thinking of that other Foucaoult from Shrek, you know, Lord Faquad??

Rachel Elek said...

Yes and yes. You got it Timbo.

Carrie Babcock said...

Why are you not an author???

Sean said...

Maybe one of those smart people can finish my papers for me, I am sick of doing work. I am sure you will love every second of the challenge of the smarties around you. You should break out the green sweater, it'll be a good start.

Ryan said...


I crack up everytime I read your site, I love you man!

johnson_julie_ann said...

You're hilarious! I concur, you need to write a book... or at least a column.

Tim & Deane said...

How crass!! How could you possible know what they were talking about? How are you supposed to know if they meant Michel Foucault, or Charles de Foucauld, or did they really mean Umberto Eco' novel, Faucault's Pendulum?

Obnoxious NEW money snobs are called neauvue riche. what do you call intellectual snobs? Neauveu cerveau?

Of course you are an author!!!