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talk nerdy to me
appreciating today's nerdy man
by alex b (@Lexistential)
7.16.08
humor


Ladies and gays, listen up.

That preppy-looking GQ cutie? Bo-ring. The brooding guy mentally undressing you in the biker jacket? Pass. That gym baby you kind of suspect has bigger hots for Milo Ventimiglia than he does for you? Ignore. You can do way, way better than those guys — who, incidentally, all look alike when you're beer-goggled and in the dark.

Instead, think Revenge of the Nerds' Lewis or Gilbert, "Buffy"'s Xander, or even "Heroes"'s Masi Oka. Think NERD.

Now, before you associate nerds with record needles abruptly pulled off vinyl, stop and think a second. Sure, nerds aren't Ken doll-perfect, might look a little too pale from the burning rays of the computer screen, and are more inclined to play Worlds of Warcraft than recite poetry under your window. But, that's exactly why you should date one. Like a restaurant with good buzz but hasn't become a trendy place du jour, nerds aren't flashy mainstream catches; by comparison, you wouldn't be dating anything with the IQ of plastic, a steroid junkie, or an emotional hooker snaking John Cusack's sloppy second dialogue.

And, since nerds love finding out exactly how things work, you can also bet perfectly good paychecks that they'll make sure to find out how you work, too.

Reasons to date a nerd aside, the subsequent issue is locating one. Chances are, you'll always be able to find one at a comic book shop or Barnes and Noble. Nerds read; if you don't have any literary inclinations, then you're probably not really that eligible to date one, but there's always a good God-given probability of catching one at said locales.

Luckily, nerds don't just glue themselves to bookstores or anywhere with Superman cardboard cutouts. Nor are they stay-at-home dorks doomed to hanging out on a channel on IRC. Nerds actually like go out to bars and other fun joints. But in turn, spotting one gets a little trickier, because these days, it's gotten trendy to look nerdy.

Yeah, who'd've thought.

Thus, when socializing, keep a few things in mind when searching for an authentic nerd. A groovy pair of eyeglasses doth not make a man a nerd, especially if they're designer; a tightly fitted vintage shirt doesn't either. However, there are some dead giveaways to nerdy men:

* Can talk extensively about his comic book collection (owning a few doesn't cut it).

* Has an enduring love for Japanese robot cartoons and/or action figures.

* Can quote anything Joss Whedon wrote.

* Is dangerous in Scrabble, chess, or Cranium. Can haul serious ass on Xbox or Playstation.

* Loves sci-fi. Owns both the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogies; has a high probability of being a Trekkie and drooling over any feminine presence on a sci-fi series.

* Is fluent in a programming language. Or two.

* Doesn't dress beautifully; don't expect him to be wearing clothes that please a silhouette. (However, he may be smart enough to dress playfully with comic book T-shirts).

* Is responsive at the mention of Blu-Ray.

Thus, when out and about, test your possible nerdy boyfriend contenders by dropping any of the aforementioned in casual conversation. Should he fulfill most of the prerequisites, then you are in the actual presence of a nerd; if he looks like he's spent more metro time in a tanning salon instead of a library, then you've probably got someone who's okay.

But, at the end of the day, he's gotta be a nerd.


ABOUT ALEX B

An expert in coloring outside the lines while reading between them, Alex B has a head for business, bod for sin, and weakness for ice cream during all seasons. Apart from watching Bravo marathons and enjoying haute bites here and there, she writes about TV, pop culture, and coloring outside even more lines. She sneaks Tweets via @lexistential.

more about alex b

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COMMENTS

dan gonzalez
7.16.08 @ 3:14a

Shit, I'm pretty sure I invented 'Nerdy', although there is apparently a fine line between 'geeky' and 'nerdy' that I've never quite properly ascertained. Here's some examples, though, as to why I am the coolest nerd ever, and why all the other Alex B fanboys should get in line behind me.

1. I figured out two things in the course of my workday today: One, how to properly implement web-cache redirection while maintaining state and routing symmetry in a collocated data-center environment. Two, how best to tweak a Boss BD1 to properly play 'Sweet Emotion' on a real (fuck Guitar Hero) Les Paul Standard on a real (fuck solid-state on-board dsp) spring-reverb tube amp.

2. The single best anime title of all time is Ninja Scroll.

3. I also learned 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' on guitar because it has that intriguing Flaming Lips/Anime hook, but not today, that was earlier this summer.

4. 01000101 is the binary enumeration of the decimal better known as 69.

Game over. Hail to the King, baby!

alex b
7.16.08 @ 4:10a

Oh Dan. Your numbers and techieness make up a potent aphrodisiac.

erik myers
7.16.08 @ 9:48a

I don't know. Reeks of desperation to me. ;)

As a 'nerd' by technical definition of this article, I think I should point out that you paint a rather narrow definition, here, to the point of playing to stereotypes that a lot of us nerds spend a lot of time trying to avoid. I might suggest that many of the points on your list here are sort of gateways to being a nerd, but that any nerd worth his salt is much more complex than this list might necessarily suggest.

You should be commended, however, for your realization and public elucidation of the fact that the best genes in the pool are definitely owned by the ones that use their brains more than their brawn.

After all, blessed are the geeks, for they shall inherit the earth.

brian anderson
7.16.08 @ 10:07a

It probably proves my personality type that I want to follow up the "blessed are the geeks" comment with a quote on "He said, 'blessed are the cheese graters.'"

sarah ficke
7.16.08 @ 10:24a

I might suggest that many of the points on your list here are sort of gateways to being a nerd, but that any nerd worth his salt is much more complex than this list might necessarily suggest.

Well, sure, but if you're trying to pick someone up at a bar or a bookstore, you have to have a short list to start with.

adam kraemer
7.16.08 @ 10:37a

Huh. May beautiful women everywhere read this.

I do agree with Dan about Ninja Scroll, by the way. So apparently the Devil needs a sweater today.

erik myers
7.16.08 @ 12:53p

Well, sure, but if you're trying to pick someone up at a bar or a bookstore, you have to have a short list to start with.

So back to the whole 'stereotypes exist because they're true' bit, eh?

alex b
7.16.08 @ 1:36p

Erik, you're right in that the short list is somewhat stereotypical- but c'mon, they're kinda true. Hell, I'm a nerd, and I can't hide it when anybody brings up Batman in a social situation. But I think you understand that by pointing said brainiac traits out, I am simply letting the rest of the world know which bandwagon to jump on.

And basically, the short list is meant as a quickie guide while out and about (thanks, Sarah!). But I'm pretty sure that every single nerdy man could add further points and make up A Nerd's Guide to Nerds book that's the size of several encyclopedias.

I forgot to add my two cents about Ninja Scroll, which was pretty badass. (And Brian... look what you inspired.)

spence martinez
7.16.08 @ 1:49p

Do I count?

erik myers
7.16.08 @ 1:57p

I wouldn't be a good nerd if I didn't try to pick your points apart in some sort of systematic detail-oriented way.

I could lose nerd credentials.

Don't let the word out that I'm a technophobe.

brian anderson
7.16.08 @ 2:08p

Alex, I am pleased to have been of inspiration. And Myers, what's up with you? Why are you trying to prove your attractiveness to nerdy women?

alex b
7.16.08 @ 2:12p

Yes Spence, you count. You're a nerd who grew up and learned to be stylin'. Your exterior does not permanently mask who you really are.

Erik, the fact that you tried picking my points apart just shows you're a feisty, thorough nerd aside from a good one.

And yes Brian, this is the idea you gave me from the boards!

erik myers
7.16.08 @ 3:18p

Brian, I'm just trying to position myself as Alpha Nerd. It's pack instinct. I will lead.

lucy lediaev
7.16.08 @ 3:26p

The best choice my daughter made was to marry a nerd. He's smart and funny and a terrific father to his daughter--a baby nerd who looks like an angel. She's been telling us for 4 years, since age 3, that she plans to be a marine biologist. With her dad, she built an operational robot. She's his assistant when fixing electronics--she's gotten good at cleaning tiny parts for which her small hands are more suited than his big mitts.

I think nerds are wonderful, but that's probably because I'm a female nerd in a grandma disguise.


alex b
7.16.08 @ 3:45p

Hi Lucy! That's terrific to know you've got a nerdy son-in-law, and I hope your granddaughter does grow up to be a marine biologist! Nerds as parents is a point I hadn't thought to mention, but since you did, I can only imagine we'd be pretty good at helping kids pursue studies.

And hey, once a nerd, always a nerd. I'm just a nerd lurking under the hip/dominatrix exterior (and still remember people trying to cheat off my test papers in AP History.)

jonel burge
7.16.08 @ 6:28p

As a female nerd, I might also say that a fancy cellphone does not mean he's a nerd, but having linux/special plug-ins/stuff he programmed himself into it DOES mean he's a nerd.
Reading Penny Arcade also does not mean he's a nerd, but if he quotes it constantly and/or knows most of the references it leads to, he's a nerd.
Also being obsessed with legos(still) and he's over 20.
I also enjoy saying that I hate Starwars/Startrek just to piss nerdy guys off and make them launch into a very long speech on why they love it.
Also playing video games does not make a guy a nerd. Most guys play video games.
Reading Penny Arcade and/or 8-bit theatre may help you decide what is or isn't nerdy. Also there is lego jewelry which works as great(and cute) lures for some nerds out there.
Also there's an article somewhere about finding a geek girl that was quite amusing....

alex b
7.16.08 @ 7:37p

Hi Jonel! It's nice to see another female nerd discussing. I agree with your call about the phones, but you'd be surprised over how quite a few men don't play video games on purpose- some of the eejits I've met are a little snobby and say "they don't have time for it,"- with the logic that it's better to go out than be a stay-at-home type, and since they're out and about, that automatically makes 'em cool. It doesn't.

And if you could find the geek girl article, I'd love to read it!

daniel castro
7.22.08 @ 12:03p

Oh snap, how did I miss this?

While I'm certainly not a nerd, I definitely fall into the geek category. Out of that list, I royally fail at three. And I'm not telling which ones.

I do love music, booze and girls as well, though, and get as much of each as I can. I once built an Optimus Prime out of legos and I'm the one friends always call when it comes to computer problems.

alex b
7.23.08 @ 2:31p

Oh snap, Daniel, better late than never.

And though you're not quite bona-fide nerd, you have some promising nerd streaks which I'm willing to bet would score you a date pretty fast.

dan gonzalez
7.24.08 @ 1:20a

I once built an Optimus Prime out of legos

There's like, TWO PEOPLE who even knew who Optimus Prime was before the recent Transformers movie, and now you and Brian Anderson have finally met. I wish you both well.

I do agree with Dan about Ninja Scroll, by the way. So apparently the Devil needs a sweater today.

It happens more than you think, Kohai, you just don't cross swords with someone on all the things you agree on. We just take that for granted, it doesn't stand out.

daniel castro
7.24.08 @ 1:23p

Heh, that's funny because girls don't usually find out I'm such a geek till after we start dating.

Gonz, don't make me bust out with Mazinger Z or Gigantor...please.

alex b
7.24.08 @ 3:37p

Dan, baby, I knew about Optimus Prime prior to the live-action flick too.

And Daniel- YOU KNOW MAZINGER Z! Hey, may you have a real-life Aphrodite A, complete with "special missiles."

[edited]

daniel castro
7.25.08 @ 2:33p

Oh my, if only.

There's a store here in LA that has a human-size Mazinger Z and Gigantor. IF they had Aphrodite A, I'd be in heaven.

sandra thompson
8.10.08 @ 8:28a

Sorry I'm so late responding to this but I've had a computer problem solved by boxing up my Sony and getting a new Dell. Anyway, here's the difference between nerds and geeks: nerds have pocket protecors and geeks don't, therefore, I have grandgeeks instead of grandnerds.

alex b
8.12.08 @ 11:44a

Hi Sandra! Better late than never. But as I understand it, it's the other way around- nerds are a little hipper with more social skills, whereas geeks are a bit more inclined to hang on IRC.

But, either way we have it, dorkiness still surpasses both in a "let's not go there" way.



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