The Nerd’s Guide to Doing Non-Nerdy Stuff

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Nerds, take a knee.

Yes, even you, Guy in The Galactus Costume. You should have thought about movement before building a head that big.

It’s time we expanded our horizons– and the horizons I’m talking about are the ones in the Outside World. Beyond the Imagination. Meat Space.

It might sound unnecessary, even frightening, but it needs to happen for the good of Nerddom. Expansive knowledge of actual human activity on this plane of reality can only serve to strengthen Nerd Culture and, at the very least, keep us from sounding like smug dickheads.

We’re approaching a Cultural Singularity. People with no interest in comics now know who Hawkeye and The Black Widow are. If they’re going to make the effort to enjoy our stuff, the least we can do is use the energy it would take to roll our eyes to learn about the rest of what other people like.

Hell, you might even– GASP– enjoy some of it.

Reality TV

This is a fucking wasteland, often spat upon by people who read because it’s utterly devoid of anything worthwhile. If reality TV were food, it wouldn’t even be candy. It would be rocks. But it’s not going anywhere, so look at it as a pay-off on the cultural prophecy of people like William Gibson and Philip K. Dick. Is not every reality star, in a way, a vicarious avatar of experience, much the way Gibson’s Tally Isham is?

Isn’t watching anything with “Real Housewives” in the title a kind of peek into the consensual hallucination Dick spoke of? Start looking at it like that, and it becomes a scientific/sociological experiment!

Or, pretend you’re an alien studying human behavior. Drop a Spock-like “Fascinating!” during Duck Dynasty, and people will think you’re a fucking college professor. Of important stuff.

Exercise

This seems like a cop-out because it’s such a played-out stereotype: “DUUUH NERDS DON’T WORKOUT HURF DURF.” Bullshit. I know a guy who had a Steampunk wedding that can lift a gorilla. This is more just a gentle reminder. If your only exercise lately has been LARPing and writing on a message board, get up and get outside. Ride a bike. Run. You’ll be amazed at how much harder you can swing your foam-core warhammer afterwards. Huzzah.

Shopping

This is a tough one for people like, say, me, because I’m typing this while wearing sweatpants and an Aquaman t-shirt (I got this shirt as a gift and also because HE IS THE KING OF ATLANTIS, BOW DOWN).

Read up on current fashion and ask stylish friends where they get clothes without nerd-symbols on them for cheap. More often than not, they will be more than willing to help. These clothes will come in handy in case you have to attend a formal event, like a job interview or a George RR Martin book signing.

Going To Bars/Clubs

Nerd-folk can be a solitary, introverted bunch. Even in groups, we hang out with the same people and play Dungeons & Dragons at the same houses. An easy fix to this is bars. They sell the greatest of all social lubricants, booze. Most even have a trivia night where you can meet and compete with scholars in all manner of useless knowledge. Finally, a place where knowing the original line-up of the New Mutants pays off!

Plus, did I mention booze? Party like a Baratheon! Robert had a ton of fun before he met that boar.

A harder fix is nightclubs, because the douche-factor is waaay higher and there is…

Dancing

This is terrifying to most, even the non-nerdy. Solution? Booze. Enough ale and you’ll be too busy shaking it and yelling, “THIS ROBYN SONG IS MAH JAM!” to care about anything else.

Sports

Quite simply, the “BOO GEE LOOKS SPORTZBALL” sarcasm of Geeks and Nerds, especially on social media, has to die a violent public death right the fuck now.

Any time anyone wins anything in sports, it can’t go 12 parsecs (Lucas-ian definition as measure of time) without a 28-year-old in a Walking Dead t-shirt drinking Fanta out of a TARDIS mug running to their computer to puke, “DID A HOCKEY JUS HAPPEN HAR HAR BLEEP BLORP” on to their status update.

I hate this more than the Atreides hate the Harkonnen. It doesn’t make you look cool to other geeks. It makes you look stupid and exclusionary. Seriously, stop enjoying what you enjoy by making other people feel like shit about what they like.

Sports are men and women in peak physical condition performing tremendous feats of strength, but for real. Isn’t that what you paid $4.99 to see Secret Avengers do?

If it helps, think of the teams as rival groups of superheroes or as houses in Game of Thrones. “Ah, it seems today House Cowboys shall meet House Jaguars on the field of battle,” you can say before sitting down to watch the game.

Maybe not out loud.

Advanced mathematics and scientific obsession are being applied to training athletes and quantifying their statistics. Calvin Johnson on the Detroit Lions is nicknamed Megatron. Singularity.

There will always be those who ravenously self-identify as nerds, people much more concerned with the spiral of a galaxy than that of a 30-yard pass, who are positively tripping over themselves to scoff and sneer at the “mainstream.”

Don’t be that human.

Blocking yourself from different streams of data and experiences will, eventually, degrade your level of enjoyment for the things you love. Focus too hard on Warcraft or Buffy or the myriad of Spider-Man comics, and eventually you will have only that to compare itself to, and that’s a snake that is eating itself. Get out there and learn about everything.

Except golf. We can all make fun of golf. Golf is stupid.

 

Kevin Sciretta is a writer and improviser living in Chicago. In addition to working for The Second City, he is also a contributing writer for The Onion News Network and a regular performer at iO Chicago. He can currently be seen in The Good, The Bad and the I-5 playing now through September 1st at the La Jolla Playhouse.

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