Have you heard of ThinkGeek? My parents hadn’t, so I explained it to them as a website that sells science-y toys, focusing on franchises like Harry Potter, Star Wars, and the Lord of the Rings. If you’re familiar with TG, though, you know that it’s much more than that. It’s a sort of FAO Schwartz for the brainiacs, where fans of everything from Portal to chemistry can find delights at all prices. I mean, I love it and I’m not even mildly autistic.
(Despite my hopes, I recently took an online examination that resulted in a diagnosis of “neurotypical.” Granted, it was an internet diagnosis. But still. I’d so been hoping to have something to blame my poor social skills and misanthropy on other than poor social skills and misanthropy.)
Luckily for me, TG is headquartered right here in the greater Washington, DC area. Vienna, Virginia, in fact. So when TG holds events at corporate headquarters, and I find out in time to apply, and I’m selected out of the gazilionteen applicants to attend, I don’t even have to cross state lines.
Such a serendipitous convergence of events happened last Thursday. It was epic.
The event: Star Trek movie night. Wherein we would be fed and watered (Diet Coked), given a tour of the TG corporate offices, shown the 2009 Star Trek film, and given the chance to win TG raffle prizes. Not knowing what the traffic would be like, TheBoy and I left ridiculously early so as not to miss any of the action. As a result, we got there slightly-less-ridiculously early and staked out the place a la Dateline.
Very low-key. I like it.
Once inside, they checked our names off the list and gave us Timmy handstamps. Timmy is the TG mascot, a monkey with a penchant for STEM and lots of costumes.
I forgot about the hand stamp and almost hand sanitizer-ed it off. Whoops.
Rest assured I took dozens of mental pictures on the tour of the cubicles, but restrained myself from taking actual pictures. My work with Cabinet-Department-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named has taught me that you do not enter a corporate headquarters and take photographs if you know what’s good for you. So pretend I have pictures here of cubicles stuffed with prototypes and such.
Then it was on to the pizza. I believe I alone may have eaten half a pizza. Suck it, other 29 attendees!
Then it was on to the movie, which we watched on a big screen TV prominently displayed on some sort of postcard-festooned wall. I’m sure there was a story there, as there seemed to be with many of the things at TG HQ.
After the movie, it was raffle time. While I didn’t win anything, everybody got swag: a Timmy t-shirt, a Trek fish (like those Jesus fish people put on their cars?), and a replica Starfleet medical badge.
Loved every minute of it, including the feeling that I was possibly in the 60th percentile for social skills in the group. That never happens.