Friday, December 01, 2006

The Ups and Downs of the Go-To Guy

A few weeks back, I got a call from Cap'n Cluck, who was at a friend's party.

Cap'n N: What's up?
Cap'n C: Got a Pop Culture question for you
Cap'n N: Fire away
Cap'n C: Okay, back around the time of Daria there was a show with a red-haired girl, Joss Whedon did it --
Cap'n N: First of all, Joss Whedon has done a total of three TV shows: Angel, Buffy, and Firefly --
Cap'n C: [repeats what I just said to people on other end, followed by the statement "and he would know"]
Cap'n N: And second of all, it sounds like you're probably talking about My So-Called Life
Cap'n C: [to someone on her end] Was it My So-Called Life?
Someone on Her End: [in distance] That's it!
Cap'n C: Okay, that was it, thanks, bye.

There are times (such as the above) when I enjoy being the Pop Culture "go-to" guy for my friends and family, if for no other reason than it gives me a role to fill, even if that role little more than "The Sits In Front of the TV Too Much One." Plus, I like being able to answer people's questions; it's one of the things that initially drew me to library work (even if that's not even close to being an aspect of my job anymore). But there's a downside to it as well.

You see, I've discovered over the years that as the designated "go-to" guy, you're expected to have an instantaneous, infallible, encyclopedic knowledge of every aspect of your specialty, which results in much mockery when you, say, can't quite place the line someone just quoted, or are drawing a blank on a performer's name and/or filmography. Along those lines, a few phrases which have a high likelihood of making my head explode at some point in the near future:

  • You don't know what that's from?
  • You haven't seen that? I thought you'd seen everything!
  • Don't you know him/her, he/she was X in Y!
  • Ha, I stumped you!

While I can appreciate these reactions as a form of schadenfreude, once the same person has exclaimed "I can't believe I've seen something you haven't" for the 42nd time, it starts to wear thin.