Columns, Opinion

KIRLAND: The inner nerd

Maybe it’s because I’ve been hopped up on meds to combat my newly acquired strep throat, but lately I’ve been feeling pretty nerdy. I’m not talking about bookworm nerdy. I mean I’m feeling over-the-top, just watched all six ‘Star Wars’ on YouTube nerdy. Then, when I was done, I watched Mel Brooks’ ‘Spaceballs’ because my heart longed for more nerdish delicacies.

Why admit this loser nerd phase to hundreds of readers ‘-‘- if I had 100 readers ‘-‘- one may ask? Well, it might be the penicillin, Benadryl, Sudafed and Aleve talking, but my recent geek streak got me thinking: There is an inner nerd in all of us.

No one can escape his or her inner nerd. The inner nerd is as much a part of one’s self as the ego, the id or the superego (I don’t know what those terms mean; I just remember hearing them in high school in a lecture about ‘The Self’). The inner nerd rears its dorky head at the most random times, whether you want it to or not.

Everyone’s inner nerd falls pretty neatly into four major categories. First, there is the ‘Star Wars’ inner nerd. These inner nerds are found in people whose genitals tingle with ‘the force’ every time a movie screen displays the blue words ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . ‘ Other symptoms of this type of inner ‘nerdism’ include a tendency to mistake long, skinny objects for light-sabers (that you then use to combat imaginary Stormtroopers) and also frequent attempts to move objects with your mind.’ ‘

The second category of inner nerdism is a more recent phenomenon. These inner nerds are known simply as ‘Potterheads.’ If you fancy Quidditch, your lighting-shaped scar hurts every time some creepy guy with a weird name is near and you are still waiting for an acceptance letter from Hogwarts, your inner nerd is a ‘Potterhead.’ You might even wave around small sticks (or ‘wands’) yelling ‘Expelliarmus!’ when no one is looking.

J.R.R. Tolkien is to blame for the next major faction of inner nerdism. ‘Lord of the Rings’ inner nerds, who I like to call ‘Ringworms,’ are some of the feistiest geeks on the planet. They are rough around the edges, as evidenced by the worst case of this type of inner nerdism: Peter Jackson. I find that the people who are possessed by this type of inner nerd are often hostile toward other factions of nerds and feel that their fantastical dream world takes precedence over all others because it is the oldest. Don’t be fooled by the mild-mannered Hobbits in these books and films ‘-‘- these aren’t your momma’s passive nerds.

The last major category of inner nerdism strays greatly from the other three, but it is just as real. It is the least hostile, most common, most universal and probably corniest inner nerd of all. It is the animated Disney musical movie inner nerd. Bet a lot of you thought you could escape without falling into one of my major inner nerd categories until now. Yes, singing along with Aladdin and Jasmine and pretending you are a third wheel on the magic carpet qualifies you as a nerd. If you ‘Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ sometimes, your inner nerd is just as alive and kicking as those weirdos swinging pretend light-sabers and wands around. If you wish you could be one of Andy’s toys just to hang out with Woody and Buzz for a day, you’ve got a bad case of the Disney inner nerd.

Okay, so I realize many people may be pretty happy with themselves at this point. You think you are cool because you don’t know what the Death Star is, could care less if Voldemort and the Death Eaters triumph over the Order of the Phoenix, have no clue why a bunch of midgets and dwarfs are obsessed with a little ring and think Aladdin must be a member of al-Qaeda.

Unfortunately, Mr. or Mrs. Cool Pants, you can’t escape your inner nerd. You might not fall into one of the four major categories, but you are just as big a nerd as the rest of us. You are probably obsessed with that vampire ‘Twilight’ thing or dress up in spandex like your favorite superhero, wish you had a British accent and were a sexed-up secret agent, go to ‘Star Trek’ conventions, love ‘Jurassic Park’ or have watched all 400-something episodes about that yellow-colored family that lives in Springfield.

Like some of our genes, our inner nerd may or may not always be an expressed trait. The reality is that we are all carriers of this geeky strand of DNA. Instead of denying it, we should all embrace our collective desire to escape to galaxies far, far away. So, if you will politely excuse me, I am going to take some more of my meds, grab the light-saber under my bed and go save the galaxy.

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One Comment

  1. Hey Billy! Its your favorite little (13 year old) sister! Hahahahaha. Very good article. Just like the last one, of course. Now, the Disney Musical Nerd, you didnt happen to be talking about your sisters, did you?! Haha, well anyways, keep “your head in the game” -high school musical! (