Archive for December 1st, 2011

The Captain Is A Reluctant Nerd

While I’m the first to admit that I have nerdy characteristics, I’ve gradually grown to keep them in check as I’ve aged.  As such, most of my nerd references are from the 80’s and 90’s.  I was much nerdier when I was a teenager and I had the time, energy and disposable income.  Back then I was all about being a nerd.  I subscribed to multiple comic books every month, watched my fair share of Star Trek The Next Generation and Dr. Who, read most of the Dragonlance series of books, and still obsessed over the original Star Wars triology.  Then I went away to college and discovered beer and girls.

Fast forward fifteen years and I’m out of the nerd loop for the most part.  Sure I read books about zombies and play fantasy baseball, but that’s a much different kind of nerdy.  But since I started my current job 3 years ago, I’ve had to revert back to my teenage years on a regular basis though not on purpose.  My offhand knowledge of nerd culture has made everyone in my office think I still subscribe to the nerd lifestyle.  It’s awful.  Let me explain.

My boss has a six year old son that is obsessed with Star Wars like most kids his age.  For the six year old’s birthday he requested an AT-AT toy, which if you’re not familiar is a robot vehicle from Star Wars that looks like this:

My boss didn’t have a clue what it was; he thought it was a robot dog.  I explained that it was a vehicle, and that the initials stood for All Terrain – Armored Transport.  Growing up watching Star Wars, this seemed like common knowledge to me.  However, relaying this information to him was apparently a big mistake.  In his mind this made me a one stop shop for all nerd related questions.  Even worse, this idea somehow filtered up to his boss.  Soon after, my boss’ boss asked me to explain a cartoon from her daily calendar. I won’t bore you with the details, but the punch line was of the “guys in red-shirts on Star Trek die first” variety.  After I explained the punch line, I forever became a Star Trek fan in her mind.  So now everyone in my office thinks I’m a Star Wars/Star Trek fan.  I know there are worse things, but it’s resulted in crap like this.


That is the Star Wars character daily calendar I received for X-mas last year from my boss.  Every work day this year I’ve start my day off marveling at how my cherished childhood memories of Star Wars were incorrect.  It’s cool every so often when I pull someone cool like Han Solo, but mostly it’s crap characters from the second trilogy like the fellas pictured here, Ishi Tibs.  And worse, my boss’ boss still thinks I’m a Trekkie, so she recently picked me up two free tickets to the Star Trek Exhibition at the St. Louis Science Center.  Now I get to spend an afternoon seeing firsthand the lameness of Star Trek that I’ve ignored since I was 15.

When I first started my job three years ago I was largely indifferent to modern science fiction nerdiness.  I’ve slowly growing to despise it, and now I’m dreading our X-mas gift exchange in a few weeks.  Damn you nerdy teenage years!  Quit coming back to haunt me!


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