I know some of you are going to have a hard time believing this, but I am a nerd. No, really. It’s true. The guy who pads out his blogs with pictures of random sitcom stars of the ’70s and ’80s is not now, nor ever has been cool.
In grade school, I didn’t even get any respect from the kids younger than me. While in the 8th grade, 2nd grader Pete Guntli was able to goad me into a race by claiming that he could run faster than I could ride my bike. After leaving him in my dust, I felt that it would be a good idea to stop and taunt the 8-year-old unmercifully, so I slammed on my front brakes. After being launched over my handlebars onto the pavement, I realized that accepting challenges from kids with Garfield lunch boxes probably meant that I wasn’t making much of an impression on the ladies.
The first time that I really tried to impress a girl was in the sixth grade. One of the popular girls in class told me that she liked a drawing that I was working on for art class and I took that as an opportunity to get cocky. I told her that art came easy to me and that I could help her out sometime if she was interested. She politely informed me that I had a booger hanging out of my nose. With that, my dreams of becoming a pre-teen Fonzie were crushed, and not even the purchase of a jean jacket at Colonel Days in the 8th grade could put me back on track.
As I have mentioned before, I have been cleaning out my basement recently , and all of the G.I. Joe’s, comic books and decorative, crocheted Darth Vader art doesn’t paint the picture of a kid who had a lot going on. I feel like an archaeologist uncovering an ancient civilization of pale white kids who wore tube socks pulled up to the tops of their calves. Unfortunately, my priceless collection of “Star Wars” iron-on decal t-shirts have been lost to the ages.
I did, however, find the script to a grade school skit that I wrote in which I appeared as a sportscaster named Spud Wack. That sort of edgy comedy was groundbreaking and way ahead of its time for 1984. (You’re welcome Dave Chappelle.) I don’t know what is more sad? That I, at one time, thought this was comedy gold, or that at some point over the last 25 years I thought that the script would be worth saving for later.
One small thing I can be proud of, is that I was aware of the fact that I was a nerd. So at the very least, I knew what I couldn’t pull off. Consequently, I don’t have suffer through any pictures of me in parachute pants or Z Cavaricci’s. A white Miami Vice sweatshirt? Maybe.
I would like to think that I am a little better today but, deep down, I know better. My wife Jen is going to love that Darth Vader wall art in our new house.