Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Confessions of a Dweeb

I have trampled on this planet for 53 years now. And while I have hardly been a world traveler, I have been around a little bit. Grew up in northeast Ohio, lived in Houston, Miami and Orlando. Have done some cool things in my life but have not partaken in many others – for example, I highly doubt I will ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane. People that know me consider me, generally, as a nice guy that’s kind of cool and with it.

It’s all a façade. 

I am a geek.

I was born a geek and I have been a geek ever since I was old enough to realize that I loved Lost in Space and wanted to be Will Robinson because I wanted a silver space suit. While other kids were aspiring to be football players, I was building model rockets and launching caterpillars into low earth orbit. When puberty hit me violently hard and late at age 15, I thought the girls would be impressed by my Hot Wheels collection. I played professional Putt-Putt golf. At one time I wanted to be a ventriloquist. In school my favorite subject was math and reveled in understanding L’Hopital’s Rule. Google it.

Or not. Cuz it is about the most uncool thing ever created.

When I got to college and starting rifling through calculus, I discovered drugs and alcohol, which was wonderful at the time, because it mainstreamed me into society but also landed me on academic probation – which was considered actually kind of cool. Girls paid attention to me, because after a few Budweisers I dropped the geektense and was able to ooze out smooth comments about their hair or butt. Comments like ‘You have nice hair and a nice butt.”


During this time I let my hair grow out and by virtue of having grown about 6 inches in three months, was rail-thin. I looked like a Q-Tip. But for 1978, that was tres cool. And it was also the time of Disco, and being an aspiring head-banger (which was after being a geek fan of The Monkees until my really cool brother assured me they were a fake band of actors), I was able to at least understand that girls liked to dance and they didn’t like Led Zeppelin. So I pretended to like the Bee Gees. These actions were able to sufficiently suppress my inherent geekiness so I was able to get laid.

But I was not being true to myself. I looked cool. I acted (more or less) cool. But I was never cool. It was manufactured coolness with the aid of tight fitting pants, polyester suits, platform shoes, and marijuana. The geekness went into the closet, but it never went away.

My brother, bless his ultra-cool heart, tried to school me on coolness. He tried to impart upon me that girls didn't care about the capital of South Dakota or whether Johnny Miller won the 1973 US Open with a final round 63.  He tried to impart a modicum of bullshit into my persona in order to impress. For example, rather than saying I played miniature golf professionally, say I was a professional golfer. Or just flat-out lie to them. Say I was the bassist in Supertramp. They weren't going to check it out, and even if they did, it would be after I was able to tap that ass a few times.

I tried, I really did. Problem was (and still is), I am a terrible liar. That's another habit of geeks. The truth eventually comes out, usually about five seconds after the lie - "Hi. Yeah I'm a roadie for I'm not."

So here I am, 35 years later and much too old to care about such pretenses anymore. The problem is a re-re-programming to get back to my geek roots. This story is part of that process. Getting back to my true essence – reveling in knowing the last 50 US Open champions, understanding the value of regression analysis in determining transit ridership trends, and working on limiting the movement of my left foot in the backswing in order to keep from swaying off the ball. None of those things are impressive to anyone else. None are going to get me laid or invited to where the cool kids go. But I am too old to care now.

I am letting my Geek Flag fly.


oz108us said...

Well written. It's OK. We knew you were posing all along! Hahaha
Love ya, Bro

Amy Blaida said...

I LOVE this Jerry - mostly because of your openness and honesty...just a few comments... I would not have been impressed by hot wheels EVER - however, I have always LOVED Led Zeppelin. You also sound like EVERY guy I met in college - which was why college was so awesome - guys were easy and all the same: not too hard to figure out :) Regarding L'Hôpital's rule, WOW is all I can say. Rock on with your Geekiness and let your flag fly high!! I LOVE it!! Thanks for sharing. - Amy