Geek. Spaz. Poindexter. Einstein. Braniac. Pencilneck. Dweeb.
you know ‘em, hair parted on the side, WAY over
on the side, glasses taped together at the nose piece, pocket protector,
collared shirt buttoned all the way up, chattering away endlessly about
Star Trek, or Star Wars, or how Spock
could easily handle Darth Vader, and always way, way,
way out of fashion. You know the type, right? Or DO
you? Lately I’ve been wonderin’ if maybe, just maybe, those
stereotypical traits aren’t the only clues to Nerdism and here’s
what got me ponderin’ the possibility that I may have joined the
ranks of the dangerously un-hip.
I was building a Batman model down in my room.
(This act alone should be considered a major clue). Now this room
is literally stuffed wall to wall with “nerd” stuff.
Most of it is Batman collectibles that I have
been accumulating since Adam and Burt
were wisecrackin’ across the family Zenith.
Up until a year or so ago, this treasure trove of Batmania
was consigned to card board boxes in a storage room and lugged
around each time we moved. That is until my son decided that I
should prominently display this load of Bat-stuff
and miraculously my wife went along with the idea. So, now it
is meticulously arranged, crammed, and shoved all over this tiny
lil’ room. Thrown in for good measure, (almost like I was
afraid there might be a square inch of shelf surface showing!)
are my Universal Monster Collectibles,
mostly Frankenstein, some of which I’ve
had for decades and a lot of which I’ve actually acquired
recently, (damn you, Ebay!).
back to the story; I get on up to go over to the wash room to clean
out some brushes and I happen to glance up into the mirror and …….
AAAAAAAGH! It hits me like a ton of pocket protectors!
There in the mirror, starin’ back at me, is a fella’
wearin’ not one but TWO pairs of eye magnifyin’
devices. One, a pair of readers (damn age!) and the other
a set of those goofy lookin’ visor magnifiers that jewelers
use to see really, really small stuff. This guy, the one starin’
back at me that CAN’T be me, is also wearin’
a Famous Monsters of Filmland T-shirt ………and
likin’ it!! Returning to my lil’ room, the one with
the aforementioned “stuff” all over it, I pause to take
it all in. There is confirmation of my nerd “tendencies”
all over the place. Action figures, toys, games, models, collectibles,
comic books, graphic novels, posters, banners, it’s all here.
Batman, Joker, Catwoman,
Frankenstein, Dracula, Freddy
& Jason, all present and accounted for. At this point,
I have to ask myself; Are these the normal trappings of a middle
aged family man?
example, the other day I was browsing around the mall, killin’
time waitin’ for my wife, or daughter, or both to do their
shopping thing, and I strolled on into Sun Coast Video.
You know, one of the few stores in the mall that I actually
LIKE to go in. The others are KB Toys,
Spencer Gifts, and EB Games. Hmmmmmmm,
are we noticing any kind of nerdy trend here? So anyway, I’m
over in the horror/sci-fi section checkin’ out the titles,
seeing if I can take advantage of their 2 for $20 deal and I
overhear the two employees getting’ pretty worked up about
the show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.
startin’ to crack up as these two go at
it, both presenting their various arguments for why the show
attracts a certain type of viewer, and how Buffy
is really a metaphor for life, and Angel is
the perfect antithesis of the good-evil lexis. Crap like that,
I’m chokin’ back the laughs. Of course I’m
thinkin’ to myself, what a pair of dweebs! Straight out
of a cartoon, man.
I make my pick and wander on over to the counter to pay. The fella,
one of the one’s involved in the “Buffy”
debate comes over and comments on my pick; “Oh, The Abominable
Dr. Phibes, I’ve never seen it. Is it any good?”
And before I even notice, I’m prattlin’ on about the movie,
how it was a real trendsetter for the 70’s and reflected the social
scene of that time and how Vincent Price was a master,
and blah, blah, blah …BASICALLY HAVING THE SAME DISCUSSION
THAT I WAS, ONLY MOMENTS AGO, CRITICIZING FOR BEING THE PINACLE OF PINHEADEDNESS!!!
As I walked out of the store, it hit me. I liked having that discussion.
I actually knew what I was talkin’ about, believed in what I was
saying, and, this is the important part, was excited and passionate
about it! Waddya know about that?
guess there must be levels, you know? So maybe I’m not a “full-on
nerd”, but judging by some criteria, let’s say it’s
possible I have tendencies. The great part is, I don’t care!
These days, with most of the mundane, mandatory, Monday through
Friday crap I have to wade through, those moments with my “stuff”
are some of the best. I get enthused and excited building models,
or grabbin’ up a cool movie, or stumblin’ on a rare
Batman collectible, or meetin’ other like
minded folk on some bulletin board. It’s all good and it makes
everything else just that much more tolerable. And I think that’s
a feeling that all nerds, even the terminal ones, share. How ‘bout