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'Geek's Guide To Dating' Author Eric Smith Talks to Drink Philly About Dating, Drinking and the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

'Geek's Guide To Dating' Author Eric Smith Talks to Drink Philly About Dating, Drinking and the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

What’s a single geek to do when trying to find his Player Two? Drink Philly friend, Eric Smith, answers that question in his custom designed walkthrough, The Geek’s Guide To Dating. In his book, Smith uses examples from video games, graphic novels, and other canonical analogs to explain how to beat the challenge of finding a mate, including what to do and what not to do at a bar.

While Smith is getting ready for The Geek’s Guide To Dating Release Party, to be held at National Mechanics on Dec 5; 8p-11p, we caught-up with him for some quick book and booze talk:

The Geek's Guide to Dating, to be released December 3rd, is already one of amazon.com's Best Books of 2013. Tell us about it.

Gladly! It's a guide that uses numerous references to geek culture to talk about dating. Think comic books, video games, movies, board games... things like that. What lessons are there to be learned in the stuff we obsessed over? Surprisingly, there are a lot.

What does it mean to be a geek? In other words, what qualifies someone as a geek?

You know, my pal Tim Quirino (over at Geekadelphia) and I talk about this a lot, and we've settled on a definition I think all geeks can agree with. Basically, a geek is someone that's so immersed in their interests, in their passions, that those once-hobbies become a part of their lifestyle. Their day to day.

Which kind of geek are you?

Definitely a book geek. Absolutely. I went to school for literature and writing, I try to write books and essays, and then I work in publishing, where I talk about books all day. Books books books. I'm also a tad obsessed with comics. I blame the gentlemen at Brave New Worlds for that, as well as some of the folks at Indy Hall. GO B-TEAM!

And I'm absolutely a gamer. Flipping through the book, I'm sure you noticed all the 8-bit art and video game references. I love me some pixels.

Will your advice help nerds, dorks, and dweebs too?

Hahah, I'd like to think so!

What inspired you to write this book?

A nudge from Quirk's publisher, Jason Rekulak! I'd been writing about my love of geek culture for a while now, on Geekadelphia and other sites, like Philly.com, BookRiot, etc. After seeing my essays over on the Bygone Bureau, he asked me if I could channel all that geek knowledge into a dating book.

I rushed home after work, grabbed my laptop, and made for my favorite coffee shop (The Coffee Bar, a place Drink Philly no doubt knows and loves), started writing, and now, there's a book!

What advice do you have related to drinking and geek dating?

Getting nervous? Maybe a little too excited about a first date? Avoid drinking too much to calm your nerves while you're out. It's a mistake I've done in the past, and let me tell you, it ends with no second date, and leaves you feeling absolutely embarrassed.

I mean, whenever I'm really psyched about a new video game, I'll usually wrangle up a ton of whatever Video Game Branded Mountain Dew is out there, take the day off, and survive on that. All the excitement, all the soda — it all feels great! And the crash you get from the sugar, eh, it's not so bad. The crash you experience after a bad date hurts way more. So chill on the drinks. It's fun when playing Halo all night. Not so much when you're dating.

What is the quintessential geek drink?

Well, obviously it's the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It's the alcoholic equivalent to a mugging. Expensive and bad for the head.

Okay, but if I had to pick a real drink you can actually order, especially here in Philly — maybe the Phoenix Down at National Mechanics? They were serving it for a while, and if they aren't anymore, here's the recipe.

What do you like to drink and where?

As for where, well, National Mechanics for one! I'm also a big fan of Tattooed Mom. Rob over there supports Geekadelphia like crazy, and I love the wacky drinks his crew tend to come up with. I also love The Khyber Pass and Cambridge. Great beer selection. Yum!

As for what I drink, it varies. If I'm in the mood for a beer, I like something sweet. Give me a Shocktop with extra oranges, please. I'm also a sucker for a nice glass of whiskey.

Geek test! WWJD (What would Jabba drink)?

Wine, I think? He has that goblet when Leia is all chained up, remember? It might be wine! 

Photos: Juan Carlos Solon; Kyle Cassidy


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