The Proliferation of the Nerd-Geek

30 07 08
I have noticed a disturbing trend of late. More and more, a certain kind of person is showing up in my general social space. I'm sure you know the kind: he usually lurks with a smirk; he is usually dressed in clothing that is either smelly or broken – usually both; he is utterly assured of his brilliance and mental superiority over everyone in the room; and he cannot possibly have a conversation without subtly or overtly insulting the person with whom he's conversing. 

This is the nerd-geek, oh readers. My friend has a family friend for whom I coined the term in particular. Let's call him Bevan.

On an average weekend, Bevan wears faded black tracksuit pants with holes in them. His accompanying t-shirt is always an equally faded and ratty black-grey thing leftover from the 90s (something his mom clearly forgot to chuck out), featuring a picture of some or other goth/metal band. To show off his unique style, he accompanies this with a full-length black leather trenchcoat.

Bevan's hair and general body aroma are another matter. Unwashed for weeks at a time, his hair and his body stink – a manky, teenage smell misplaced on a man of 28 years.

Now, before this just sounds like a rant about someone's dress and hygiene sense, it's time to really outline the true essence of the nerd-geek. Bevan has absolutely no doubt that he is the smartest person he knows. In fact, he told me once – without a shred of irony or insight – that he and his girlfriend (yes, it seems he's managed to forge a lasting romantic relationship with a human being) enjoy being "intellectual snobs."

Bevan will not engage anyone in ordinary conversation: he will respond only with allegedly witty retorts designed to show – yes, you guessed it! – how incredibly, awe-inspiringly smart he is. Bevan is utterly incapable of deciphering when he is simply being tolerated, instead believing that people are lapping up his every word. Bevan believes he has a phenomenal sense of humour simply because he is able to laugh at people, and make rude comments aggressively masked as jokes.

Bevan, the First nerd-geek, is compensating for being teased as a child/teenager, and is falling back on the only strength he believes he has – his intelligence.

The nerd-geek will not show generosity to anyone. He (and, I'm sure, she) will never show general interest in another human being, and his version of 'interest' extends only to how he can show off his (superior, naturally) understanding of a specific situation. The nerd-geek will always make conversation and interaction difficult. Bevan is the personification of the nerd-geek. He is someone to be avoided at all costs.

DIY Dentistry

28 07 08


On Friday night, I chewed something that clearly was the last straw for my bottom left premolar. It cracked up, matching the general state of affairs of the being in which the tooth resides. At first I thought that a piece of enamel had simply chipped off. I carried this hope with me to lunch with CF and GB at Hyde Park on Saturday. There we sat, chatting about dermatology and breasts, whether or not an itchy bite on my arm was just that or, rather, leprosy, and the proliferation of Nerd-geeks (to be discussed in an upcoming post, as well as a reportback on the 702 Walk the Talk).

Naturally, because I moan to my girls about everything and anything, I mentioned the misery of my tooth, and my decision to attempt fixing it myself by filing it…with an emery board. This provoked two reactions: CF looked horrified and thought it would be a terrible idea. GB looked gleeful and promptly produced an emery board from her bag. Now, although I had no intention of filing my tooth while sitting at the restaurant in full view of poncy people, the tooth was distractin' me somethin' fierce!

Steadily, I filed away while CF tried to pretend she wasn’t with us, and GB whipped out her cellphone and took a perfect blackmail picture of the act.

The bad news is that my tooth is no better, despite a second attempt later that day. GB offered to file it with sandpaper, which I might take her up on. I fear I might have to visit a qualified dentist for this little problem. I know what that leads to, however – hours spent in the chair, thousands spent on the credit card, and many, many injections administered to the mouth.

As an aside, a colleague has brought cake and what I thought were scones, to work to celebrate his birthday. The scone-type things looked appetising, so I took one. I noticed some tasty-looking chocolate sauce dribbled on the scones  -mmmm, yummy!

It wasn’t chocolate.

It was marmite.

I can still smell the marmite on my fingers.

I’ll bet the “chocolate” cake is a marmite cake too. This is hell.


8 More Things

17 07 08


Ok, I’ve done this '8 things' chain email before, but since I feel decidedly creatively constipated this week, it will suffice as a blog post for today. So thanks Mark.
In an attempt not to repeat myself, I will include a few blatant falsehoods, which I shall leave up to you to establish: 

1)     I often sing the instrumental parts of songs which I find have too few lyrics for my liking. I do this in public. Often in cat language.

2)     I played the role of a candle in a nursery school play. I was Candle Number 4.

3)     I once dreamt I had sex with my horribly repulsive former colleague, and it’s something that still haunts me more than a year later. He had a moustache like Peter De Villiers's.

4)     I am music superstar Kurt Darren

5)     I fantasise about smothering the owners of Continental Linen and their advertising agency to death with one of their plush goosedown duvets, as a result of their retarded, sexist radio advertising

6)     I stole a piece from my friend’s mother’s Backgammon set when I was about five years old. I never knew what it was at the time, but I loved that piece for years like it was a toy.

7)     If I didn’t have to wash my hair because it looks like shit after a while, I never would.

8)     If an invitation says “cocktail wear” or “formal”, I won’t go to the event. I despise dressing up.

9)     Killer Sudoko – level “Deadly” has defeated me. But I still try.
10)  I can’t count.

Get That Man a Style Consultant

07 07 08

Last night, following a delightful bookclub meeting during which our host, D, managed to spill a glass of wine into the basket of books (which, thankfully, I remembered to bring this time), I turned on the news. Soon I found myself furiously flicking between etv and SABC3 as I attempted to find a newsreader who didn’t irritate the crap out of me. This was unsuccessful: I wanted to throw up every time the poncey Joanne Joseph rolled her ‘Rs’ in an eye-gouging approximation of a French accent, and as I fixated upon the giant moll squatting above the top lip of the etv news anchor, whatever her name is…Moley McMollson. Shudder

Anyway, the sports component of each of the bulletins rolled around, and naturally their was much bemoaning of the Sprinkbok’s alleged poor performance in their thugby match against the All Blacks on Saturday morning.

Cut to a sound byte with Coach de Villiers.

I stared in horror at the hairy beast that resides on his top lip, and which has managed to burrow much of the way down his cheeks. This was a moustache straight out of the 1970s. Burt Reynolds had NOTHING on Pete’s ‘stache. What the hell is up with that? Not only does he look like a relic of the disco age, but the handlebar facial hair, coupled with his pubescent voice and utter ineloquence, made me think of a wino. He looked more like someone who’d gotten trashed after watching his team lose the rugby, rather than the coach of the national side.

Yeesh. That man needs a makeover.

The Gym and Other Evil Places

03 07 08
In an ordinary week, barring sickness or extreme laziness, I go to the gym around twice (once with Golden Beagle), and I walk on Saturday mornings (with G.B and Chicsa Fashionista). The reasons I go to gym are manifold:
1) I believe that working out is good for my body and mind
2) Being at the gym means I am not eating chocolate at that precise moment in time
3) I mistakenly associate exercising at the gym with being allowed to eat three more chocolates without any unwanted effects
4) Guilt
5) Fat rolls
6) Hours spent lolling about on my couch un-gymming
Remarkably enough, I do not go to the gym to do the following:
1) Leer at men's bums for hours at a time
2) Work myself up to a frenzy of lust
3) Stare at myself in the mirror and shout "Daddy's got a new set of pipes" or "mommy's got a new set of pipes," for that matter.
4) Sexually entice unsuspecting men by pounded away on the treadmill next to them
5) Lure people away from a just and moral life path 
I have seen myself after a gym workout – an oil painting I am not. However, It would seem that members of this Christian-oriented gym would like to believe that this is exactly what I, G.B, my friend Maggot, my sister and about 50 other people I know who attend a gym, have set out to do.
Here are a couple of the quotes I found quite delightfully absurd from the NY Times article referred to above:

Jason Russell, a fitness buff, had long found it difficult to combine his Christian faith with his job as a gym manager, which required him to be around women in spandex and men concerned only with how macho they are. "Me being a single guy and trying to walk the Christian line, it was difficult," said Mr. Russell, 30. "I needed not only to protect myself, but as a leader, to help others with their spiritual journey." 

R. Marie Griffith, a professor of religion at Princeton University who has written about Christian diet and fitness programs, said such gyms appealed to people who might not have found other fitness programs effective or appealing. "These are places where fitness is important, not sex or vanity," Professor Griffith said. "It's supposed to be that we're not going to forget we're Christian here. There's a sense of comfort around people with the same moral values as you have; no one's going to rock your world."

Right, so Mr Russell needs to 'protect' himself against 'women in spandex' and macho men. Because, clearly, female gym-goers are nothing but temptresses who want to seduce him. Sorry for Jason and his 30-year old alleged virginity…I suspect a 75-year old clog dancer could turn Jason on uncontrollably by this stage of his life. Perhaps his life would be better spent being isolate from society. The worst that would happen then would be the blindness he must surely still believe strikes "those" kind of sinners.
The idea that because he and other Christians are gymming in a 'Christian' gym, they won't check out one anothers' bums while working up a sweat, is preposterous and naive.
As for R. Marie Griffith's suggestion that Christian gyms 'are places where fitness is important, not sex or vanity', I find a quote from the movie 'The Castle' is quite apt here…."She's dreamin!" My feeling is that if you want to be a good Christian, you can do so just as easily at a non-Christian gym, or at the movies (where, God forbid, you can make out with the person next to you!) or at a restaurant, or at a Marilyn Manson concert.
P.S. Sorry about any spelling or grammar mistakes. I don't feel like proofreading today.