more reasons why i am a nerd


I've been closing a lot of cases at work this week. It's to the point where my desk is surrounded by a veritable fortress of banker's boxes, and I can barely move my chair. One attorney in the office refers to it as my "cardboard igloo" project.

We have closed many cases over the years, and our box numbers keep rising. When I arrived, we were at Box 1583. Now we are nearing the 2000 mark, and possibly facing the ominous Box 2K crisis. Hopefully our software can be upgraded in time to deal with this issue, before there's a problem with termites or maybe some kind of moth. We must be ever-vigilant against the threat of the Box 2K Bug.

Our recent boxes have been in the 1950-1965 range, which to me means one thing: Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire". Ever since fifth grade, when I memorized the lyrics in one of the most obsessive of my many youthful obsessive-compulsive activities, I have had a lot of affection for that song. Though I no longer lip-sync the song in front of my fifth-grade peers while pretending to drum on a child-size table (which I would eventually upend at the dramatic, "Rock and roller cola wars/I can't take it anymore!" climax), I still can recall the lyrics as well as I ever could.

Which is why I have spent the last few days fighting against my nerdiest impulses. When making the list for Box 1956, I thought to myself, "Princess Grace, Peyton Place, transcripts for a closed case". When doing 1961, I muttered quietly, "Hemingway, Eichmann, correspondence from appellant". Now we're at 1965, which has thankfully ended Joel's year-by-year lyrical correspondences, and given my subconscious nerdery a break.

However, it's only temporary relief. The end of "We Didn't Start the Fire" associations only opens the door for something far, far nerdier: Lord of the Rings associations. For example, once we get to 1974, the official box list will read, "Closed Staff Cases", but in my head, there will be a subtitle that says, (Witch-King of Angmar overruns Kingdom of Arnor).


I trust you've seen one or more of the many YouTube videos of the song? I saw one yesterday that I thought was impressive until I realized several people had done it. The funny thing is that they all mostly use the same pictures, and you can tell what comes up first on Google Image Search. And all of them have one or two that are somehow inaccurate.

This is the first one I saw and thus my favorite...also because it purposely interprets things too literally, down to the syllable, and includes footnotes at the end.

I didn't know any of those videos existed before just now. I now feel like much less of a nerd.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on June 29, 2006 3:46 PM.

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