Nerd Herd Identification

I think you’ve all heard the standard warning signs of nerd presence: pocket protector, fashion sense of Helen Keller (???), BCGs*, belts laden with electronics galore…

Okay, let me be honest here. Shhhh… I have closet nerd tendencies myself. But through drugs therapy, I’ve been able to suppress those tendencies.

I’ve always suspected there are “functional nerds” who live among us. Those capable enough to hide their inner nerd-ness in a public environ. I’ve actually run across a few in my daily activities

But I recently had an experience that opened my eyes some to the ability of some of these “chameleonerds”.

At a recent waste of time mandatory presentation, a chart was shown with an obviously defective calendar across the top. Dates were interposed or flat out wrong. While the presenter was scrambling to explain, a fully registered and openly public nerd herd representative hollered out, “It’s not wrong, it’s in the Romulan** calendar format!”

There were clear differences in who responded and the way they responded—

(a) The ‘normal’ people*** either ignored the hollering nerd altogether or rolled their eyes and looked at other ‘normal’ people with that secret ‘normal’ people look they give each other.

(b) The ambiguous…like me…smiled inwardly at the reference, but kept a sharp eye out for the reactions of others.

(c) There still is no damn “(c)”

(d) The nerds, whether open or ‘chameleonerds’ could not hold back a loud, snorting guffaw. For some, this was followed by instant discussions of the merits of dilithium phasers against a cloaked Romulan warship (again, see **).

What surprised me was that some people I had clearly assigned into Category (a) were the most vocally snorting Category (d) kind of people. How do these people assume the demeanor and look of a ‘normal’ person while within beats the nerdly heart of a PeeWee Herman or Ugly Betty? How did I not now they were nerds? They dressed well, communicated without reference to electronics… Does that mean there is no (b) as well, but only more ‘chameleonerds’? Wow…

This opened the eyes for yours truly. The Wilds of Ohio still must have untapped and undiscovered adventures to seek. I must find my pith**** helmet and binoculars and go explore!


* BCGs: Birth Control Glasses. At one time in the military, I was afforded ‘free’ health care. But it was still at a price…BCGs being a high one paid. The only glasses they made available to you would turn 99% of women away in either horror or milk-out-the-nose laughter.

** For those folks with a life who don’t know the ‘Romulan’ reference from Star Trek, check out this site. And, yes, I do realize the fact I could readily find such a site confirms my prior reveal as a closet nerd.

*** I’m sure there’s a blog or seven in discussing what the hell qualifies as ‘normal’…I’m forced to used the term qualitatively for this blog, but fully believe there is no such thing as ‘normal’ (Thank God!)

**** Thorry for the lithp.


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8 Responses to “Nerd Herd Identification”

  1. daisyfae Says:

    ok. i’ll ‘out’ myself. i’m a chameleonerd. there. i said it. BUT, i wouldn’t know a Romulan calendar if it bit me on my light sabre… so does that mean i’m a “Lesser Chameleonerd”?

  2. Dolce Says:

    Noo Dais. That means you’re like me. A “wars” chameleonerd as opposed to a “trek”. I’ve been told there is a difference.

    Pass me the bagels, I’ve got a Leia moment coming on!

  3. Rob Says:

    Um, aren’t dilithium crystals used in controlling the warp core and power output to the starboard and port na-cells?

    Any weapon is relatively useless against a cloaked Warbird since if you don’t know it’s there (because it’s cloaked), how do you know what and where to target?

    Oh wait! Did I just say that out loud?

    BCG’s: Um, yeah, partly because of my partial Scots heritage I can tend to be…frugal. So, over the years my employers have always offered prescription safety glasses free to the employee. They were perfectly functional and so why would I need a second (stylish) pair? When I look at old pictures now I wonder what the hell was I thinking and that it was a good thing I was already married.

  4. silverstar98121 Says:

    I don’t think they used to make anything but BCGs. At least that is my conclusion from seeing old pictures of myself.
    And then there are those of us who are slightly conversant with both Trek and Wars nerdery, but not fluent in either. The most interesting thing about that website is that it was last updated 10 years ago. Talk about cob Webs. It should be preserved as an antique at this point.

  5. Parenthesis Says:

    Ha ha!

  6. thegnukid Says:

    daisyfae – no, that makes you the most insidious kind… the ‘greater chameleonerd’… the kind that can quote multiple nerdly universes (see Dolce’s comment)

    Dolce – [laughin’] how do you get the bagels to stay? extra cream cheese? super glue? the latter would be more nerdly, but the former more tasty.

    Rob – yes… yes, Rob… you DID say that out loud and have forever damned yourself as an outed nerd. i can be bribed to take down your comment, but it’ll take lots of Pocket Protectors and Galactic Credits Standard to Make It So (ooo, did i just cross three nerd lines?)

    silverstar – see? there’s hope for me! i didn’t recognize that the site was 10 years old! “Cob Webs”… [laughin’]. Most excellent.

    Parenthesis – was that the subtle laughter of a chameleonerd i just heard?

  7. ctyri Says:

    Great post. FWIW, I’d fall in group e.

    (e) The self-imposed outcast who rolled his eyes because he didn’t watch Star Trek and publicly pretended that Trekkies were ubernerds, while inwardly longing to run with them but dejectedly realizing even they wouldn’t have me.

  8. thegnukid Says:

    ctyri – welcome to the Wilds… ahhh, hadn’t thought of the (e) option. And i do understand the “they wouldn’t have me”–many nerds are actually quite exclusive and protective of their herds. just as the jocks deny nerds entry into their circle, nerds can deny entry to ‘not quite nerd enough’… [sigh]… so where do we fit in?

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