Nerd hilarity. -or- Why I love volunteering at the planetarium

Today I had my biweekly volunteer shift at Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland. My days there are always an endless parade of people running the gamut from really annoying to really interesting.

I’m fairly knowledgeable about astronomical things, but I don’t even remotely pretend to be an expert… it’s humbling to be around some of the amazingly smart people there who put in far more hours than I do, and for no pay. Still, I’m pretty knowledgeable about the subject matter… but that seems to only guarantee that the proverbial socially-maladjusted geek will come along and try to one-up me (or one of the other volunteers).

Today, there was one who came and skulked around for a while, spouting off about various scientific topics to some of us volunteers and two even more geeky guys who appeared to be, essentially, his sidekicks. He talked and talked. He was easy to tune out, but I caught the tail end of what he was talking about because he delivered his final words with such conviction. Or more correctly, arrogance.

The end of (whatever point he was trying to make) was:  “I’m 45 years old. I plan to retire at 47. And in my career I’ve amassed enough personal wealth that I can.”

And as he said this, there was but one thought in my head, which I regret now that I did not verbally state, despite the beauty in its direct simplicity. And that one, single, bemused thought in my head was this:

“Dude, you are wearing a wizard costume.”

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