February 6, 2009 – (Inside a computer-related workplace in the Pacific Northwest)
10:04 am –
Recent speculation into the development of the Nerd in its natural habitat have led to many misconceptions. The only way to truly understand this unusual and uniquely American species is to sit among them…breathe their stale air, eat their food from the vending machine and listen to their inane and sometimes frightening conversations.
The first mistake made when trying to understand the Nerd is to assume that their social behavior is more inbred than reactionary. Specifically, they are socially awkward because others misunderstand them, are repulsed by them, or are just dickish to them for so long. In response, they aren’t lovable losers as the movies would have us believe. No. They can be unfriendly, curt, heartless and rude. They indeed become the assholes they never understood in society.
They are not helpful unless asked. A nerd rarely offers help or comfort. Often times, the harsher nerd even mocks those who have been hurt or wronged, like tripping over an exposed printer cable or spilling coffee on your brand new shirt your wife got you for Christmas.
One tip: If you must communicate, first, listen to them speak. If you can find an entrance into their longwinded diatribe, make them assume they’ve taught you something. They really only want to feel special. Like a four year old.
Nerds are political and have many opinions about social ills. They are surprisingly spread across the ideological map. I’ve found they lean right in most cases. In fact, more nerds I’ve met are closer to Dwight Shrute (The Office) than they are to Professor John Frink (The Simpsons) A lot more misplaced anger and feelings of superiority than inventing teleporters and the cure for seventeen stab wounds to the back.
Theory: A lot of these men need women in their lives. (Although, there is a major difference between Nerd males and Nerd females. While the male has usually one of the following physical attributes: distended gut full of Yoohoo, unkempt facial hair, clothes that smell like hampers or dish soap, suspenders, glasses that do not compliment a comically shaped skull or wild ear hair; the women are shockingly dissimilar. The rare Female Nerd can run the gamut between sideshow freak and potential runway model. Thin, fat, mousy, black, white, clean, skanky and all points in between, I have yet to find a common theme, other than a social radar that enjoys spending time with men who probably have more ideas about Cheetos and Isaac Asimov than they do with family building and financial security.)
Final entry. I just listened to a one-hour conversation about Family Guy from three cubicles over. After resisting the urge to correct the trio of idiots on several misspoken lines of dialogue and a complete misunderstanding of Quagmire’s true motivations, I looked down to my keyboard and saw droplets of blood. I may have bitten a hole through my lip or I have a nosebleed. It has happened. I have been infected. There is no use in fighting it. Just too strong…
Tell my family I love them.