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I used to be a nerd

Most people find it difficult to believe that I used to be... a nerd. I know what you're thinking, "Wow. I don't believe that. It's amazing. Really. I can barely contain my surprised expression." Well, BELIEVE IT! I actually used to be a nerd. Not just your ordinary, "hey four-eyes" nerd. No, my friends, I was the epitome of nerdiness.

Normal nerds knew how bad it was to be nerdy and had a certain respect for each other; there were no whose-the-biggest-nerd conversations. Sure, the occasional "You are dumb, Captain Kirk never said that. You nerd." But those were always by mistake, and usually a big group hug and apology took place shortly afterward.

I envied those nerds. I idolized them. I worshipped them. I wanted to BE them. But they lacked the standard "nerd respect" for me. I could never be one with them. Sure, I watched Star Trek every day, and I practiced my Spock impression. In fact, I did everything they did and more. But apparently it's not 'cool', not even to the nerds, to have a blow-up Star Trek doll for a girlfriend. Whatever.

I found out that in school, just like in Dungeons and Dragons, everybody has certain attributes which can easily be represented with a numeric value. My Nerd Quotient, for example, was 273, while the average nerd was at around 100. My Wimpiness was also phenominally high, and apparently there was a lesser known stat called 'Please-Beat-The-Crap-Out-Of-Me-When-You-Get-A-Moment-Fine-Sir', to which I held the statewide record.

While the outlook was, as the magic 8-ball would say, 'not good', I realized that by careful observation and study, I could learn how to change my attributes, and thereby become less of a nerd. I studied the popular kids. I observed what they did, where they went, how they interacted, and found many things which both frightened and exhilirated me. Here's the information I gathered:

This gets you beat up quickly: This often doesn't:
Hello my friend, how are you doing this fine autumn eve? Dude, wassup?
'Tis but a sparrow's flight from 'ere, my good man! It's not far.
Quick, what's the atomic weight of an ionized Nitrogen atom? Quick, what's the atomic... uh... I mean, bra size of that chick...?
Oh wow, did you catch Star Trek last night, I did and it was so good I didn't think they could save the Enterprise but they did and it was SOOOO cool, man I wish that I lived on their ship because I'd be so cool. ...
<Silence isn't necessarily cool, but it rarely gets you beat up the way that last speech would>
Star Trek Trivia Sports
<No, not sports trivia, just sports>
Calling your mom to tell her where you are Calling your friend's mom to ask her what she's wearing
<This may get you beat up by your friend, but not because you're a nerd>
Feeling up sexy mannequins to see if they have nipples Feeling up a REAL woman
<If you're just comparing real nipples to plastic nipples, you're still a nerd>
Speaking in the third person and using D&D lingo <"And Jeremy pulled out his mighty jock-slaying longsword..."> Speaking in the first person and pretending you don't know what D&D is
Bragging to your friends about making out with Star Trek blow-up dolls NOT bragging to your friends about making out with Star Trek blow-up dolls
You Peg your pants, shorts, and shirt sleeves You USED to peg your pants, but stopped when the fad died
Your clothing has computer-related jargon:
Your clothing has sports, swear words, and/or names of rock bands
You pin a Star Trek communicator to your T-Shirts, and use it regularly to announce important events to other nerds You have no idea what a communicator is or why nerds keep talking into them
You dress up as a Borg drone You make a point to disavow any knowledge of the Borg

So what had I learned from all this? Well, I began starting conversations with such 'cool' phrases as "I do NOT make out with a Star Trek blow-up doll" and "What the hell is a Borg drone, anyway?" I guessed that my Nerd Quotient was probably reaching an all-time low (I estimated 80 or so). But how could I know for sure if I was no longer a supreme nerd? Why, I had to poll my classmates, of course!

I created a simple poll (as shown on your left), asking people to rate my Nerd Quotient, and distributed it to everybody at my school. The most common number people put down was 69! (A close second was 1,000,000... those jokesters!) I knew then that I was no longer a nerd. And any day now, I expect a very long and apologetic call from the nerds who'd beat me up and stolen my pocket protector money...

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