Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Overheard at my Daughter's Gymnastics Class

So yesterday I took my daughter to her first gymnastics class of the year. We’ve switched nights, so it’s an entirely new crop of parents. I was sitting there reading a manuscript on my new Kindle, completely tuning out all of the talking around me, when suddenly it was like a personal radar just went up, and one conversation out of the dozens happening around me came out clear as a bell….

“I really liked him with Julia, don’t you think? I was surprised when they came together but he and Julia made a really great couple.”
“Oh, yes, I completely agree. I never liked him with that other girl, whatshername.”
“Me neither. She just couldn’t make up her mind.”

[They can’t be talking about Lost, can they? Nah… must be Grey’s Anatomy or some show I don’t watch.]

“But I was really sad when they killed Julia in the last episode… wait, is that the right name? What was her name? It’s something LIKE Julia.”

[Oh no…]

“No, you’re right. I think it’s Julia. And remember when the guy… god, um… SAWYER, yeah, that’s his name, when he was holding onto her arm right before she fell? Oh man…”

[Oh god. They ARE talking about Lost. Keep it together, Nik. Do NOT turn around and give them your analysis for the next 20 minutes.]

“I forget about what we know about that guy… his parents died or something? WAIT! It’s Juliet! That’s her name!”
“Yes, Juliet! You’re right.”
“Anyway, his parents died? They killed themselves? Oh, there was a con man, and that’s why he changed his name to Sawyer because that was the con man’s name, and he conned his dad or something?”
“Yes, but then he killed the guy…”
“Who turned out to be Jack’s father. You’re right!”

[Here’s where if I had been holding onto a pencil I would have broken it in half. Don’t turn around, Nik… do not… OK, turning around, it’s those two women in the back corner who appear to hang out here in the afternoons or something…]

“YES! No WONDER he doesn’t like Jack, because it was Jack’s father that caused his parents to die! Ooh… that poor guy. And now Julia has died.”
“Right, right, Juliet. Hm. I just hope he doesn’t end up with that other woman… what was her name?”

[KATE! KATE! KATE! It’s KATE for god’s sakes, how can you not KNOW that?!]

“Christine or something. Anyway, I agree. Ooh, but hey, do you watch CSI?”

[Sigh. Crisis averted. Heart pounding, hands slightly shaking, I return to my book.]


Benny said...

ARGH! I'm breaking mental pencils just reading about it! Lucky you didn't take it on your kindle ;)

I feel your pain, I really do. I was arguing with someone at work about the season premiere and he was so adamant it was this week on Jan 4th, A MONDAY!, eventually adding he didn't really follow it!

The nerves thes people have talking like that about our show!

Benny said...

By the way, just getting back to the my big internetz sites. Great to see the pictures, neat idea! I utterly support it...

Virgina Katz said...

This is the funniest thing I have ever heard! (well, not really, but good non the less) I didn't know this kind of LOST fan even existed. I though it was all crazy people like me who have seen each episode 20 times and can talk along with the dialogue and have to obsessively scour the internet for LOST news. You should have handed them a Nik at Nite business card on your way out, do you have Nik at Nite business cards?

Paithan1 said...

It's so funny that you bring that up. I'm teaching Lord of the Flies right now and we keep talking about Lost. Some of my students talk about how they don't like it because they can't follow it and the one kid said, "I hate that show. I haven't watched it since the first season but it's so stupid." It got the evil eye...really, season 1 where you could miss an episode and still keep up?! DVDs or my friend! Wait until I bring in an ep to watch so we can compare/contrast with LOTF!

ninja raiden said...

That's pretty funny! I think it's always funny when you see people who watch Lost this far into the series run and they STILL can't get the main characters' names straight. I mean you can't remember Jack, Kate, and Sawyer...REALLY?

Joshua said...

You crack me up, Nik.

When you wrote, "Here’s where if I had been holding onto a pencil I would have broken it in half," I had this mental image of you with your face all red and bulgy like when Sawyer was hanging over the edge of the drill shaft in the finale, and I sort of... barked laughter. Like a medium-sized dog.

Really enjoyed the Post chat, by the way. I had to read it after the fact, since I was embroiled in a mind-numbing production meeting from 2 to 3:30, but you guys were great. My favorite line:

Only if he served it up ominously... "Two ice creams, two sides. One light, one dark. Now swirled together for your pleasure."

Did I mention you crack me up? 'Cause you totally do.

humanebean said...


You have more self-control than I, Nik. I can't resist the temptation to get involved in these conversations, no matter where I find them. Of course, at some point I become aware that I am facing half-glazed eyes that are furtively glancing behind me, seeking escape.

"But, wait! THEN in Season 4 Locke visited the cabin where Ben said that their leader Jacob was living and Ben started talking to an empty chair but Locke heard Jacob and then Ben was surprised and then .... wait, where are you going?"

JS said...

OMG I think my head would have exploded. I have a bro-in-law who has excellent taste in shows, usually, and he gave LOST a B-!! I am sure it is because of season 3 repeats. But STILL. How could he? I have jumped into those discussions and regretted it every time. AAARGH!! There is no such thing as a casual LOST fan. HOW? How can you just tune in for the finale? I have to stop, I'm getting upset.

Julie Keen said...

Oy. I would have had a hard time keeping my mouth shut, so kudos to you for doing it!!
Less than 4 weeks ... I can barely stand it. :D

scotminusT said...

Nikki that's hilarious.

Brings to mind a client who came into the office this afternoon. A big blowhard who never speaks to me most of the year, but about a month before Lost premieres I suddenly become real to him (rather like Brigadoon). The man is living proof that a little bit of Lost knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing.

"Do you think they'll bring back the two Spanish girls?" he grunts.

I look at him blankly.

"The ones who were shot by buddy, what's his name, Charlie?"

I scrunch my eyes.

"Down in the thing. Where they pushed the button. She was a cop."

I'm spared from responding as his rapid fire brain switches to the subject of why "the blond one" has to be dead "cause she's on the other show..."


Erin {pughs' news} said...

Who are these people? They're a disgrace!!!

You showed incredible restraint. I may have had to poke someone with a pencil!

Gillian Whitfield said...

Wow. I don't think I would have been able to keep it together, if I were in that situation. I wouldn't have broken a pencil in half. I would have made it sawdust.

. . .

Verification word: cluelie. When a clue in a mystery is actually a lie.

Austin Gorton said...

Oy, that was painful to read. I can only imagine how painful it was to experience live. I admire your restraint.

Seriously, it boggles my mind that people like that are out there. It's one thing to just not watch a show, or not like a show I think is awesome. But to watch a show and not know the names of the main characters? Huh?!? How is that possible?

Does Not Compute.

Robert said...

LMAO, whenver casual viewers discuss Lost it's always a hoot. To be honest, it's not really their fault, it's just that Lost requires commitment and a good memory, something a lot of television viewers lack.

asiancolossus said...

Nikki you must have felt like one of those smartie students in class where she's the only one who knows the answer and is waving her hands in the air yelling at the teacher "Pick me, pick me!!!"

Sounds like you wanted to bitch slap those ladies, so I'm proud that you held back!

Nikki Stafford said...

LOL! It was pretty classic. And when I came home and was animatedly relating it to my husband, he snickered and said, "You DO understand that you just overheard what MOST of the viewing audience sounds like? The people like you who are scouring that show for every clue are very rare, and account for a very tiny percentage of the show's viewers." And he's right (DAMN I hate admitting that). What shocked me is, if they can't even remember that Sawyer killed Anthony, not Christian, and the guy was Locke's dad, not Jack's, then how are they even understanding ANY of the show. There are weeks where we are so baffled we're on here discussing it for hours just to get the tiniest idea of what it's about. What the heck are THEY doing?

If watching the show was that complicated, and I didn't care about it enough to even learn the characters' names, I wouldn't bother watching it. I'm just shocked people can watch it. Back in the earlier seasons I would say in interviews that the beauty of Lost was that you could watch it on a casual level, not worrying about the clues or the books Sawyer is reading or the references, and instead just focusing on the Kate/Jack thing or the Kate/Sawyer thing and the romance between Jin and Sun and Charlie dropping his drug habit... but honestly, I have NO IDEA how anyone could watch it casually in season 5. How did they deal with the time-jumping? Or FLocke? Or Jacob? Or Miles vs. Hurley? Or ANY of it?

Maybe I should have been awed by these women rather than sitting there feeling like I was going to scream. Instead I just listened closely and thought, "OK, I am SO blogging on this." ;)

Rebecca T. said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I found that out last year when I knew one person that kind of watched Lost and we saw each other once a week. This is how the exchange usually went.

Him: Wow! What an episode. I couldn't believe that Locke was dead.

Me: Well, I'm wondering if he's really dead, or if he's just asleep, like with those spiders. and who is Jill? And why do they have to get everyone to go back to the Island? Don't you think Ray is important somehow?

Him: (blank look) Ray?

Me: (AAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!) Never mind.

And I was totally picturing you sitting there listening intently, mentally jotting everything down for us.

Welcome back Benny!

Verification: scove - scone love

Fred said...

@Nikki:my husband, he snickered and said, "You DO understand that you just overheard what MOST of the viewing audience sounds like?

Your husband is right. Let it go, and just get a bit of critical distance between what you yourself know and what the general viewer is like.

Then think, "If I am this upset, imagine if Carlton Cuse or Damon Lindelof had been sitting where I was and overheard these two women talking about the show."

Well, they probably know and have experienced similar instances--so imagine how hard it is for them, to have spent so long crafting such a wonderful show, only to realize most of the audience really isn't that tuned into it.

Just let it go. Or, you could have taken a page from Ben Linus, turned to them and said, "Oh, I'm sorry to have over heard you, but I think the name of the guy who loved that girl, what's her name, was Sayid." If they agree with you, then you just turn away and smile, like Ben would do. Need I say anymore. Have fun with it.

Ali Bags said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ali Bags said...

@ Nikki (quoting her husband) "You DO understand that you just overheard what MOST of the viewing audience sounds like? The people like you who are scouring that show for every clue are very rare, and account for a very tiny percentage of the show's viewers."

I for one, LOVE being a minority (that's why I live overseas)

Brian Douglas said...

Now you know how I feel when I discuss Lost with my parents.

Anonymous said...

Can you believe it? There are actually people out here in this world that do not even WATCH LOST let alone love it and absorb it like we do. Most of the people that I talk to are not even excited about the upcoming final season. I's hard to even imagine it.

Stacy said...

My husband gets so upset at me since I will stay up 3 hours after Lost so I can get on the internet and talk about what just happened. He always asks, "Can't you just watch the show and then let it go?" Uh no. What he doesn't realize is the next 2 days at work is spent doing the same thing!

flexible said...

LOL Nikki. I wish your husband would post on some of the sites I post on. When I tell them that those of us online daily to discuss Lost, account for a very tiny percentage of the viewing public, I am shouted down and my posts sometimes deleted by a disgruntled blog administrator ;) Until I joined the online fandom, I had no idea anyone disliked Kate or was tired of the triangle cos Lord knows thats mostly what was discussed in general when you meet fellow fans at parties or wherever.

Reading your post, I did not break a mental pencil, I punched a pillow and broke a nail when they did not know Kates name. I tell you, I don't know where my love for Kate starts and my girl crush on Evangeline Lilly ends and I don't care :) Neither does my boyfriend who wants to marry her. Anything disparaging about Kate and I am angry but this is not even about Kate. If you do not know the name of the female heroine, then you do not watch LOST and these kids were discussing hearsay. Maybe they picked up a magazine with Zac Efron on the cover and there was a tiny snippet about LOST in it and they thought it would be smart to discuss such a "complicated" show. Fun read though :) The question I get is, "Are they off the island yet?" and I always, always say, "Yes, you didn't know? They got off and the show is over. I am just excited about re-runs"

Nikki Stafford said...

Fred: Then think, "If I am this upset, imagine if Carlton Cuse or Damon Lindelof had been sitting where I was and overheard these two women talking about the show."

The thing is, I wasn't upset or angry. I mean, you've entered a whole new world of weird if hearing people not be as crazy about a TV show as you are makes you angry. It was the anguish of not saying anything. I wanted those women to have their conversation and not have it interrupted by a geekly know-it-all, and hearing them get everything wrong without being able to correct them was killing me. The post was meant to reflect my annoying nerdliness, and not anything wrong with those women.

Though... I still can't understand how they wouldn't know Kate's name! And, again I reiterate, it's an odd fascination to me, wondering how you would enjoy the show if you're only picking up a tiny percentage of it. I think I'd find Lost a bit of a boring show if I was watching it for the castaway drama only and nothing else.

Nikki Stafford said...

flexible: When I tell them that those of us online daily to discuss Lost, account for a very tiny percentage of the viewing public, I am shouted down

Well, I think you're absolutely right. You just have to look at the numbers, which is probably the way you're thinking about it. The Lost community online is big, and yet... in another way it's not. It's a manageable community of people where we've crossed paths with people on another site and people all get to know one another, etc. But if there are, say 14 million people watching the show, simple math tells us there aren't 14 million people sitting in the forums after. There aren't even 100,000. Probably not even 50,000.

So I think you're absolutely right on this one. ;)

Austin Gorton said...

You know, I get that the majority of Lost's audience (or any TV show's) isn't like us: they watch an episode once, maybe twice, then move on to other things and give it little more thought. I have no problem dealing with that.

Heck, that's my wife's relationship with Lost. She watches it, she enjoys it, we discuss it briefly, she moves on, I come here, she's amused at how into it I get.

What I don't get is how someone could watch a show entering it's sixth and final season and not know main characters' names. How can you watch a show and not know names? That just boggles my mind.

Sure, when a show first starts out, it takes a while to get everyone's names down, especially on some shows, but does the majority of the television viewing audience really watch shows and just never learn the characters' names? I just can't wrap my head around that. Cripes, I know the names of some characters on shows I don't even watch.

It's not like it keeps me up at night, it's just one of those inscrutable mysteries of the universe that I can't quite fathom.

Rebecca T. said...

I will say that there are some shows I watch casually that I do not know the main characters names. But most of those are crime shows like CSI or Without a Trace where they actually rarely use each other's names. On Lost they call each other by name continually.

verification: parypi - mathematician repartee about pi

JS said...

These women do represent the majority, true. They don't profess to be geek fans like us, or I'll just say me. I guess it is possible to enjoy a show without analyzing it, or remembering important elements, or understanding it, or, …..never mind

My husband has taken to saying things like "What Would Jacob Do?" or "That's a very BEN thing to say." I suffer for my passion.

The Question Mark said...

there should be a sitcom where Lost fans just continually overhear non-Lost fans talking about the show like that!
Funny stuff, Nikki. :)

Late to the Party said...

After reading your post, Nikki, I have to wonder if those ladies really saw any of S5 or if they were just discussing what they'd overheard (or misheard) somewhere. If they actually had seen any of the episodes, it doesn't sound like they absorbed much of it. I have to agree with everyone else who's said that if you can't remember the character's names by this point in the series, what have you been watching?? :-)

Of course, I had some trouble with the characters' names on FlashForward for the first couple of episodes, so maybe I shouldn't be too critical.

Not that I'm much of an expert on Lost; I do love the show and watch it religiously, but I miss some of the obscure (and fascinating!) references. That's why I keep visiting here. This group consistently comes up with so many great insights and connections between characters and events that it really makes the show even more enjoyable.

I'm so looking forward to S6 and reading all of your comments. I may even find something original to say myself! LOL

LoyallyLOST said...

You're willpower is amazing! I could NOT have kept out of THAT conversation! I have a tendency to correct people when they pronounce words wrong! My husband hates that. He & his parents are REALLLY
bad about it! Annoying? Absolutely! On both ends! Did they not realize they were in the company of 'greatness'? Guess not. If you're gonna talk about a show~AT LEAST GET THE FREAKIN' NAMES RIGHT! Julia instead of Juliet is forgiveable, but CHRISTINE instead of KATE? AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
OH! I just read they may pre-empt the season premier on the 2nd to broadcast Obama's speech! Go on & you can read the horrible posts from nonfans! I put one on there. It's HawaiiLVR. How dare they diss our show!!! NOT a lot of positive posters for LOST. Can some of you wonderful fans 'show em'?
Just thought you'd like to know about that.
Sigh. We wait ?patiently? for our show to come back on & they do THIS
to us??? Life is just not fair!

crazyinlost said...

Nikki, you have WAY more control than I would ever have had! I would've been right up there correcting ALL of there misguidedness!

And yes, Virginia Katz, these people DO exist! I work with one. I got her interested in Lost last spring/summer, and she has been diligently watching thru since the beginning, and when I see her at work I ask her about what she watched. She'll mention an ep, like "That one where they are jumping around in time and some of them are in the present, and some are in the past, and it's so confusing, and Sawyer has hold of the rope, but I can't remember why he's holding it, but it's really funny" stuff like this all the time, mixing info from different eps up, and I'll mention a part I really enjoyed from one of the eps, like, "what'd you think of the statue?" And she'll be like "Statue? Oh I must've missed that part!" Amazing! Apparently she watches them while drinking beer with her friend, and she's in the kitchen part of the time only listening to half of what's being said. She only has the s5 finale left to watch, and she didn't know what to do with herself until s6 started. I told her to go back to the beginning and rewatch them all SOBER! geesh

crazyinlost said...

@Scott-I can't stop laughing! My co-worker keeps looking over here with 'that look' to see if I'm okay! How do these people live with themselves!

word verif-how my husband (who is dyslexic) would spell hedgehog!

Jazzygirl said...

Wow, I mean WOW. LOL
First off, I was snapping a mental pencil just reading about it! I have experienced similar situations with people I KNOW. This is why I don't discuss with many "live" people...because it's just too frustrating. And yes, I feel like a total SNOB. I can't talk to people casually about it. I used to talk to one work friend about it and when I'd mention something that was mentioned here, something crazy or something really cool that most people don't catch, she'd be like "wow...huh...didn't see that...I guess..." UGH. Yep, total Lost Snob and proud of it.
@Fred...LOVE IT!! OMG that would have been even better if Nikki turned into Ben and did something manipulative. Hee hee.
I guess I live in a bubble. Because as much as I KNOW we're in the minority, it doesn't FEEL like it since we're all here for each other. So, I guess Darlton are really writing the show for us, right? :)

Jamesy :) said...

That happens all the time and it really grinds my gears. People talk about TV shows and don't even know the characters names. Grrr. People always ask if they don't watch Lost "why are there polar bears on the island." and I think "maybe if you watched it you'd know" - people these days are too stupid to follow good TV, they're watching all the reality TV rubbish.

crazyinlost said...

Wow, do I feel silly! I put a "word verif" and didnt put in the word! I don't exactally remember the word, but it was something like 'hegeghdg' or something like that! Do I do that alot? I'll have to go back and look!