Friday, January 21, 2011

The Inner Nerd

We all remember them in High School. Some of us were them.  The Nerds.  The Geeks.  The Dweebs.  The kids who talked about things that were so off our radar that we couldn't help but laugh a little that they cared about something so foreign to us.  These are the kids who programmed their calculators to have games on them, or learned Japanese so that they could read their Manga from the source.  But as much as we liked to make fun of them, I think we all have a little nerd inside of us.

I think that I've written before about how I played hockey in High School, but deep inside my jock self, there was a nerd just dying to get out.  When I was younger, the nerd made his first appearance.  In first grade, I got REALLY into The X-Men.  I collected cards, I begged my parents for comic books, we played X-Men at recess, all two of us.  I was usually Gambit (falling in love with Rogue) or Wolverine who was always pissed.  And I eventually "grew out" of loving the X-Men.  Sure, when they were brought up in conversation I could run with the best of them, but I didn't buy anymore of the merchandise.  I even remember scoffing at people who said Wolverine's power was his claws, because as all X-Men nerds know, his powers are super strength, super fast rejuvenation, and, if you follow some comics, bone claws.  The adamantium skeleton was an experiment.  Granted, The Origins movie that just came out helped with that knowledge, but people still get it wrong... and I still scoff.

So, like many people I suppressed my nerdy self  and hid him away so no one could see him.  I kept him at bay with Warcraft II, Final Fantasy, and Diablo.  Video games that can be played in your own home where the only people who can know about them are people you want to tell.  And for four and a half years, the nerd passed out of all knowledge, until, when chance came, it ensnared a new bearer (Lord of the Rings reference, anyone).

After High School, I was asked to play Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) by some of my nerdy friends from High School.  When I was ten, I had some twelve year old friends who tried to play, but as 'anyone who know the game' knows, twelve year olds have a hard time figuring out the rules, let alone setting up campaigns.  So, we pressured him to play, he wasn't ready, got mad, and killed all of our characters, never to break the books out again.  When this new chance came, my inner nerd could be held back no longer, and it jumped.  I tried playing with them, but the Dungeon Master (DM)  was, we'll say, less experienced, and I ended up getting all that I wanted in the game and eventually got bored, got a girlfriend (in real life), and quit playing.

When my wife and I had been married for about a year, I got a crazy thought, "Why don't I buy the DnD books, and start my own campaign.  Then I'll be the DM, I'll make it up, and I'll do my best to make it not suck."  So, I got a couple of my friends together to play (ones who also hid their nerd away), and a friend I made on my mission who I knew had played the game a lot and knew the rules.  We played for a couple of months and things went well.  I had a good story going, things were moving along swimmingly and my friend from the mission had to move.  So, we stopped playing for a several months.  But my inner nerd had already been out in full force and I have not chained him since.  So, when I met someone who also played DnD, I asked if he would be interested in a monthly game, and he said yes.  My other two friends were also on board and we're playing again tomorrow night.  And I'm really excited.

This whole post was to get to those last two sentences, but could anyone really have understood them without the explanation, I submit that they could not.  I just wanted to share my excitement with you all.  Hope your weekend rocks too.


  1. haha I was just sitting here grinning while reading this! You are such a nerd... I love it. Brielle is such a good sport!

  2. This is what I remember in high school... all the popular kids were standing in a corner, trying to look all moody and cool and never smiling, and all the nerdy kids were laughing their faces off on whatever was making them happy at that moment... hmmmm who do you think was having more fun?

    So Let that inner nerd shine Paul!

  3. You know I'm not gonna judge. I've made my nerdiness common knowledge already. Have fun, dude.

  4. I got your LOTR reference. I am married to a confessed geek. An I.T geek. I NEVER have computer problems, and I always have the best tech-head stuff. I love my geek!
    BTW I gave you a shout-out on my latest post :)

  5. I was a nerd, and with all the outward physical characteristics to prove it, so I went PROUDLY nerd. 'You're so childish' said my classmates one day when I was 12 and playing on the swings. 'At least I'm not precocious' I answered. They thought it must be something dirty and ran away to tell their mummies :)

    Haven't played D&D, but my man has promised me a campaign!

  6. My best friend wears a combination watch & calculator. Nerds unite!
    P.S. We were both so-called popular in school but our hearts really weren't in it.

  7. @Amanda
    She really is. I don't think anyone else could have put up with me.

    SO TRUE! And this installment of DnD was no different. My buddy totally botched an easy quest and we all had a good laugh about it. Good times.

    @Vinny C
    I did count on you not making fun. Thanks for the non-judgemental support. :)

    And I finally saw the love you sent today. They were my first awards ever. Thank you so much for them.

    Oh, what fun you'll have in the great world of DnD. I can see you as a Druid (they're magic users who are closely linked to nature), but be whatever you want.

    That's freakin awesome. The calcuwatch and uniting reminds me of Captian Planet. Did you guys have that in Canada?