Recently, I was at an event hosted by the Rutgers Newark writing program in which I’m currently enrolled. It was at a bar in the city and a few of my classmates were reading their work. One of them, when introducing my wife and I to his wife, said, “This is [name deleted for courtesy]. She’s a big Battlestar Galactica fan too.”
Now, I don’t know this guy that well. In all our interactions he seems like a good, intelligent, decent human being. We’ve had classes together before and chatted over beers once or twice in group situations afterwards. We are acquainted. Friendly. I have no idea how he got the notion that I was a Battlestar Galactica fan. I’ve never even seen that show. I don’t know the first thing about it.
Part of me was a little put off by the assumption. What, just because I’m a fat white guy with a beard and poor social skills who wears nothing but black t-shirts, you automatically assume I’m a sci-fi nerd? Probably a fair stereotype, and not a wholly inaccurate one—I like my Star Wars as much as the next pseudo-cultural Gonk-Droid-worshipping misfit—but come on, man. Battlestar Galactica? That’s a different level entirely.
The only other explanation is that at some point I had a conversation with him about the show and managed to convince him that not only had I seen an episode of Battlestar Galactica, but that I was “a big fan.” This kind of thing isn’t necessarily out of character for me. I like that kind of lie, and if I was in a situation where I was trying to be friendly over a couple of adult beverages, it very well could have happened. The issue is I don’t know when, or why, I would have said that I’d seen the show, or why it would have stuck with my classmate so much that it would be the principal identifying characteristic he would use in introducing me to his wife, or what I could have possibly said about it, since I know literally nothing about the world in which it takes place.
Here’s the thing: Now I need to.
When he said, “She’s a big Battlestar Galactica fan too,” I didn’t immediately respond with, “Uh, hey buddy, I never said anything about liking that show.” Instead, trying to be amiable, I went with it. And my wife did too.
As such, when this same acquaintance asked my wife and I to dinner out one night in Jersey City next week, we effectively put ourselves on the hook for knowing all about—or, at least, anything about—the show. I’m a Battlestar Galactica fan. It’s a matter of record.
Not only is it a matter of record, with confirmation directly from me, but it’s an already-established point of commonality between my wife and I and he and his wife. It’s what we’re going to talk about at dinner! I need to be able to hold a conversation about a cult television show I’ve never seen before, and I’ve got a week to make it happen.
I called the sci-fi’ingest person I know and asked for a crash-course on the basics. Turns out the pilot episode is four hours long. Guess I’ve got my work cut out for me.
There’s a lesson to be learned here, but I’m too busy wondering what the hell a “Cylon” is to know what it might be.
Living on Kobol,