The Rest of a Letter

A few people have said to me this week “Hey, I saw your letter in the Mercury!”  My response has usually been “Um… thanks.  Yeah.  Thanks.”  Or something akin to that.  I’m quite happy to be in the comments section of a local newspaper defending the ranks of nerd-dom, but I didn’t think they’d actually publish it.  The original letter was comically long and verbose, and I wrote it on a whim as something of a silly fan letter.


For those of you who said “Hey, I saw your letter!”, though, here is the overly long original:

I normally enjoy One Day At a Time, Ann Romano’s highly neat column.  While reading it, I usually experience a feeling that approximates joy.  It is with great regret, then, that I write this missive regarding her column of August 19th, 2010.

“Avoid nerds?”  Really, Ms. Romano?  That hurts.  That hurts deeply.  When your slings and arrows are directed at the effete elites of “Hollyweird” (as you so call it) I can do nothing but root for your trenchant and bitchy commentary.  I imagine you bringing the mighty to heel with nothing but a sneer and an insult, devastating and deflating the puffed-up and the arrogant whilst you sip a martini poolside like the magnificent she-bastard that you undoubtedly are.

But… Nerds?  Us?  You’ve used your powers bitch-smack to us?  We who have suffered so much already?  Really, Ms. Romano, that is just cruel.  While it is unfortunate that Adrianne Curry dressed as Slave Leia was groped, I can assure you that it is not generally representative of nerd behavior.  You insinuate that we are so sex-starved and perma-horny, that of course we are going to grope, fondle, caress, and otherwise boorishly handle any and all examples of the unclad female form that we happen upon.

I can assure you that, the vast majority of the time, just the opposite is true.

You see, Ms. Romano, we are a timid folk.  We generally live in awe and fear of the opposite sex (or the same sex, if that’s what we’re in to) and I can guarantee you that most nerds who like ladies are far more likely to comport themselves as gentlemen (or gentlewomen) than other segments of the population.  Jocks and douchebags will gleefully slap an ass at the slightest provocation.  Hip-hop enthusiasts will proclaim their approval of a lady’s gyrations with boisterous enthusiasm.  Your average male will exhibit all manner of sexism and gropiness after a few beers.

Not so with nerds, though.  As a nerd who has dated other nerds, I can assure that the behavior you wrote about was not at all representative.

Oftentimes, our social awkwardness acts as a sort of anti-harassment shield.  Faced with the possibility of any intimate contact, we stammer and freeze, overthinking the entire situation.  We wonder what we should do, and fret about whether we are coming on too strong.  We try to read our opposite number, and wonder if they feel the same.  We start sentences, and then don’t finish them.  For nerds, foreplay often begins with awkward hugging.  Then, if the hug goes well, we’ll wonder if we should try and kiss the other person.  This usually leads to a lot of dodging around of the faces and perhaps a chaste peck.  While other social groups would interpret this as license to, for example, kiss harder and deeper, nerds will still be fretting at this point.  We will wonder whether or not tongue would be an acceptable addition, and whether or not it would be uncouth to affectionately run our hands over our partner’s back.

At this point, male nerds will become anxious about whether they have an erection, or even half of one.  We are well aware poking a lady with an unwanted boner is quite rude, and will oftentimes strategically shift out of the way.

All of this needs to be sorted out well before any groping happens.  Even after sexy activity is achieved and a good time is had by all, nerds will often go home, wonder what it all meant, and the cycle of fretting and awkwardness will begin anew.

So, Ms. Romano, I can assure you that the incident you described was a horrendous anomaly.  On behalf of the vast majority of nerds, most of whom are entirely un-grabby when it comes to ladyparts, I apologize for what occurred.  I also promise that neither I, nor any other well-meaning nerd, will grope any of your various feminine bits.

As for the existence of juggalo nerds…  Such cross-pollination is necessarily impossible.  Nerds are defined by their intelligence and juggalos by their lack thereof.  Such a hybridization would be as absurdly freakish as, for example, a gay Republican.  That hypothetical hybrid would soon implode under the weight of their own fundamental contradictions.

Here’s hoping that in the future the awesome power of your bitch-ray will be more tightly focused on more deserving targets.

Live Long and Prosper,


-Joe Streckert

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