Nailed It : A Geeklet Story

My wife had her nails done today and told me that the color was, “Romeo and Juliet.” Neither of us has any clue what about that color makes it in any way related to Romeo and Juliet, but hey. We work with what we can. And, we get stories like this out of it.

We’re at the dinner table with my daughter, my son having gone off to do homework. My wife flashes her nails and says, “Like my color? Guess what it’s called.”

“How would I have any idea?” my daughter replies.

“Think Shakespeare,” I hint.

“Hamlet!”

“No.”

“Macbeth!”

“No.”

“Othello!”

“No.”

You get the idea ๐Ÿ™‚ On it went. “Much Ado About Nothing! Taming of the Shrew! King Lear! Wait, would there be one called King Lear? Ophelia! Desdemona!”

“You’re forgetting an obvious one,” I tell her when there’s a pause. She considers. She has no idea. “Romeo and Juliet,” I whisper.

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that one!” Pause. “How does that color have anything to do with Romeo and Juliet?”

“We have no idea.”

How To Sell A First Folio

You may have heard by now that a First Folio recently sold at auction for $10 million. I saw at least one post that said, “If you’ve got that much money, how about donating a million dollars to 10 theatres?” I see the point.

I’ve got an idea for how to make money from a First Folio. Whenever something physically big needs to be sold, what do they do? A building or something. Do they say “Hey, anybody want this building? Million bucks.” No, they break it into pieces and sell those. I’m from Boston, and the “Cheers” bar recently went through this when it closed. Could you buy the whole bar? No. But you could buy the glasses. And the stools. And the signs. And so on. So now there’s hundreds of Cheers fans around the country who can point to a collector’s item and say “Like that stool? That’s from Cheers.”

So you see where I’m going with this. I still kind of feel like it’s sacrilege to even suggest it, but take a First Folio and sell it one page at a time. How much you think we could get? There’s only so many people in the world with $10 million. And then what do they do with it? Sometimes it just goes into a private collection, never to be seen again. Sometimes, best case, it goes on display somewhere so you have to travel to see it, if you’re lucky because it’s only on display sometimes.

But there’s plenty of people willing to drop a few thousand dollars on an important collector’s item. And then there’s hundreds of households all around the world with a framed piece of Shakespeare on their wall for people to admire and ask about and learn about.

I know it’s a silly idea, you don’t destroy a copy of a book when there’s only a few hundred copies of that book in existence. Besides, the math doesn’t work. At around 900 pages you’d still need to average over $10k per page to approach that $10 million mark.

Just daydreaming, I guess.

Attention Slackers

Show of hands, who knows what Slack is? As somebody whose day job requires that I live within its walls I just kind of took this question for granted, but literally everybody that’s taken part so far asked me, “What’s Slack?” So as we continue, I thought I’d start there. If you do know what Slack is, you can skip down a bit.

Slack is an online collaboration space. It’s not really in the “social media” bucket because it’s not public, companies and organizations create their own, invitation-only space. Other than that, though, it’s very much like social media. You ask questions, you answer questions, you post media, you share files.

Imagine Facebook, only everybody on it is talking about one subject (or works for one company). There’s channels so you can organize the conversation and decide which ones you want to join (or not). There’s persistence so you can scroll back in the conversation (and search!) in case you don’t want to monitor all the time (like Twitter requires). There’s emojis, there’s private notifications, there’s direct private messages. There’s multiple ways to access it – web, desktop app, mobile app.

You’d think I work for Slack at this point. I do not. But, like I said, I am so used to having it open all the time that I got to wondering whether I couldn’t put it to good use. See where this is going?

We have a Shakespeare Geek slack!

Right now there’s less than a dozen of us breaking it in, working the kinks out. Generally introducing ourselves and telling our “What’s Shakespeare mean to me?” stories. I asked for volunteers on Twitter a few times to get us started.

But many of you out there aren’t on Twitter. Maybe you found this like on Facebook, or on the mailing list. I want to make sure you’re invited to the party!

If any of this sounds interesting, request an invitation from me directly. You will need to provide your email address.

The Rules (What Few There Are)

  • The whole idea of this experiment is to have a giant Shakespeare-themed cocktail party. Pleasant, on topic conversation. This isn’t Reddit or Twitter, it’s a private party. No spamming, no disruptive nonsense, no authorship debates. I have to unfortunately reserve the right to revoke the access of anyone at any time, and hope never to use that right.
  • I have no idea how many responses I’ll get to this so I can’t promise to immediately respond to all of them. I will openly admit to being partial to those that are not entirely anonymous to me, so if we have any sort of existing relationship (have corresponded in the past, or if I know you by another social media name…) you’ll be higher on the list (so make sure to mention it). And if we don’t, introduce yourself! That’s what you do at a party, you start by saying hello to the host. ๐Ÿ™‚

If that sounds interesting, I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank You For The Education

A plague on neither of your houses!

Learn something new every day.

I’m out at the pharmacy wearing my “A plague on neither of your houses” mask, waiting in line, doing the social distancing thing.

I’m called next, he asks me the patient’s name, and I tell him as I’m approaching to my safe distance. He leans forward and squints. I think he’s misunderstood my mumble through the mask, so I repeat it.

A plague on neither of your houses!

“No,” he says, “I was trying to read your mask. A plague on neither of your houses. Huh. Hmmm. Date of birth?”

I tell him and he goes looking for the medicine. I wonder when I’ll have the opportunity to explain.

He brings back the medicine and, after ringing me up and while I’m doing the credit card thing, he seems to have figured it out. He says, “I like that. Kind of like, good will toward everybody? Wishing nobody gets sick?”

“It’s from Shakespeare,” I told him. He looks curious. “Romeo and Juliet? There’s a famous line that goes, A plague on both your houses. So, we’re in a pandemic, we’re wearing masks so nobody gets sick …?”

“Oh!” he says. “Ok, I see, very good. Thank you for the education.”

I realized at that moment that I’d always assumed “A plague on both your houses” was as recognizable as “To be or not to be”. Apparently not! Thank you, pharmacy man, for the education!

Achievement Unlocked! A Geeklet Story?

Ok, this is a fun one. Is it a geeklet story if the geeklets aren’t actually in it?

Ever since I’ve had Shakespeare Geek merchandise, I’ve jokingly said that “the goal” is to bump into a stranger wearing my merchandise. That’s when I’ll know I’ve made it. You see where this story is going.

My daughter’s off to college. Perusing Facebook one night I see a group for parents of students at that college, and send a request to join. It gets approved, followed by a message. Which I assume is just an automatic “Your request has been accepted” type of thing. Nope!

It says, “Out of curiosity, are you the maker of the To Yeet or Not To Yeet shirt on Amazon?”

“I am!” I reply, “Though I’m sure by now there are a number of knockoffs, but yes, that is definitely one of my designs.” The nature of Amazon is that brain dead “sellers” with no ideas of their own will just steal the originality of others. We deal with it, and we move on. It’s definitely not winning the game if you bump into somebody wearing a knock off of one of your shirts. That’s negative points.

“Yup it’s you!” she replied, posting an image of the shirt. Turns out her daughter’s in the college’s Shakespeare group. I concede that while I’d love that, I know my daughter’s a math/space geek and wouldn’t want her to feel forced to follow in my footsteps.

But, still! Maybe this doesn’t count as me randomly bumping into somebody with my merch. But my daughter might! Now I’ve got this whole vision in my head where this woman’s daughter has one of my shirts, and all the other people in her club are all, “Oh, whoa, where’d you get that? I must have it!” so there’s really dozens of people wandering around my daughter’s college wearing Shakespeare Geek merchandise, and one day she’s going to stroll out onto the quad and be surrounded :). I can’t wait for that phone call!

Hello to new friends!