What separates typical fans of certain media properties from the fanatics and geeks?
Toys, of course.
If you click on the above imagine, you’ll get a pretty good idea what kind of geeks live here. The “geek display” as we call it, is home to most, but not all, of the toys.
Most of them came with Chris, although I assure him I don’t just love him for his toys. Sure, I’d always go press the button on the Enterprise model that lights up and talks every single time I was over at his place before we moved in together, but what red blooded (not to be confused with red shirted) Trekkie girl wouldn’t?
An astute observer might notice one item seems a tad out of place.
Don’t see it?
Her name is Honeybuzz and she’s not mine.
While she’s not My Little Pony, she is all my fault.
At Dragon*Con, Chris and I saw something strange while waiting in line for William Shatner’s autograph. I remember it was then because it was an extremely long wait in an open area with a good vantage point for costume watching. Picture it: Six or eight pastel pony costumes with heads removed to reveal each and every one of them was worn by a guy. As it happened, I’d seen a piece on the phenomenon of teenaged boys and twenty-something men into the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon. Brony culture, in the flesh, was much stranger than simply an entry at memebase. Naturally, I looked up the video I’d seen for Chris when we got back to our hotel room.
For whatever reason, the Brony thing has stuck around as a joke all these months. Maybe simply because it’s a fandom more silly than any to which we actually belong. Maybe because the fine line between cartoons it’s acceptable for a grown man to love (check out Gir from Invader Zim on the top shelf, front and center) and those it would be strange to enjoy without a child of appropriate age and gender to excuse the viewing is amusing from a sociological standpoint. Maybe I love a running joke far more than is natural.
Whatever the reason, the joke morphed with our friend Alex being accused of being a disgruntled Brony thanks to his colorblindness. The majority of the ponies are gray to him as are the majority of the backgrounds on the show. Poor guy. What torture, we joke, when his young daughter watches the show, that he can’t see his beloved ponies.
As Christmas rolled around, of course, Chris and I planned to get Alex a pink pony. What Chris didn’t know, I had a Little Pony surprise for him, too. Funny gifts make such wonderful memories. I managed to surprise them both. I was tasked with picking up Alex’s pony – any of them as long as she’s pink – and I showed Alex the pony I got for Chris. Neither of them suspected a thing. We set Alex’s up in a big box with his real gift – a pith helmet – well hidden beneath. I wrapped Chris’ before putting the obvious shaped package in a larger box for a second coat of wrapping paper. Along with the dollar store back scratchier wrapped in two Costco sized cereal boxes pushed together at the ends, his pile of gifts from me looked impressive while being 2/3rds silly.
The joke continues. Honeybuzz gets an occasional greeting, pat on the head, or hair brushing to go with her place of honor on the geek display in front of Optimus Prime. As I love a running gag, my delight is as much to blame as Chris’ silliness.
Chris pointed out, per the packaging, Honeybuzz is an industrious pony, always busy. Typically, we are not, preferring an evening on the sofa streaming Netflix to most anything else. Coincidence or no, since Christmas, it seems we’ve accomplished more around the house; cleaning, organizing and crafting more than we usually do. I wouldn’t say we’ve been influenced by little Honeybuzz, but having noticed the connection, she’s been dubbed the Patron Saint of Productivity in our home.