It was 2002, and I was near a dangerous cliff. It wasn’t one made of stone and earth, but a pivotal point in my life where one step in the wrong direction would have taken me into a life too dark and terrible to bear.I wouldn’t say I’m proud to be a nerd. It is, after all, not an accomplishment, but I will freely admit it to anyone who asks.
I do believe that Lord of the Rings is the greatest movie series ever.
Bought at a local Medieval Times…
I was a fan of Nathan Fillian before he was on a detective show.
I consider Chris Hardwick to be too mainstream.
I have a distinct inability to dress with a semblance of fashion sense.
These, ladies and gentlemen, are just some of my nerd credentials. I’m not an out-of-the-closet nerd, because I was never in any closet. I enjoy being with other nerds and discussing comic book plot lines, which superhero would win in a fight, and the beautiful savagery of the Browncoats. If you’ve ever listened to my podcast, you’ll hear all of this and more, but all that merely equates to a lower rung on the nerd ladder.
I haven’t ever gone full nerd, as is evident by the fact that I am still a functioning adult with a career. I get to the gym occasionally. I can read a book that doesn’t involve a mystical sword or a ray-gun. I was able to con a desirable woman into marrying me and bearing my children. I enjoy a forest without having to wear ninja masks and tabi boots. I’d pick whitetail hunting any day of the week over LARP-ing.
There are those who take it father than I am willing to go. They saw the precipice, and dove headfirst.
When I was in Bible college (which is, in and of itself settled by bookish and pale creatures),I worked in the cafeteria to help pay for tuition. The cafeteria was an underground lair and sanctuary for nerds and geeks, so I felt right at home. Much like cockroaches, we gathered in places of food preparation, despised sunlight, were shunned by much of humanity, and many had that strangely disproportionately large thorax under very, very skinny necks.
It was in a gathering of mutants such as these where I was introduced to gateway nerdiness like MST3K, and the joy of anime. They beckoned me to stand by the ledge and gaze at a life of animated wonders and grown-up children’s fantasies.
Two of these portly vertebrates invited my brother and me to their dorm room to watch a movie called “Ninja Scroll.” While this sounds like a set up to a (probably awesome) snuff film, we accepted the invite.
“Ninja Scroll” was a 1995 animated movie about ninjas, and…scrolls or something. It is widely regarded as a pillar of Japanese animated art, and rightly so.
As the movie started, I gazed about the darkened dorm room and realized that it resembled the room of a rich child. There were toys everywhere, and not the kind one could play with. These were replicas from movies and 80’s cartoons that probably cost a small fortune. This room was closer to the dungeons of Mordhaus in Metalocalypse than a dorm room in a seminary.
We were 15 minutes into what was honestly a joyful experience, filled with slashing swords, and impossibly bloody anime deaths, when it happened. Some sort of goblin or orc shuffled onto the screen. I was, at this moment, leaning over the edge of the cliff, prepared to tumble into an eternity of fantastical wonderment, when one of the guys scoffed loudly and said these exact words, in this exact order;
“Psh…so THAT’S what they think an orc sounds like?! LAME!”
I came back to the sharp reality of our world with an almost audible snap. The other guys were laughing and joking along, and I realized that these guys all thought that they knew what an orc actually sounded like.
My brother and I looked at them, looked at each other, and got up and left. We had been saved from a fate worse than death itself;
A sunless eternal virginity.