20-Minute Mental Exercise: Nerd Evolution a.k.a. Revenge of the Nerds

Ever since the boom in computing, the traditional definition of nerd/ geek underwent a serious revamp.  80s movies like “Revenge of the Nerds” always maintained that image of a nerd as someone smart and wears thick glasses, a bad dresser, most of the time, with a set of pens in the shirt pocket.  Back in the 80s, I can say that whenever you mentioned computers, an image of a geek operating it immediately comes into mind.

With the success stories of Gates and Jobs, getting into technology, computers and software suddenly became a surefire way to start a career and, with a lot of luck, make a lot of money.  Now that computers have become friendlier, the geeks and nerds gradually got absorbed into mainstream society.  Eventually, with societal acceptance in the bag, the nerds got a sense of “coolness” in them.  I think the population of shy smart people is steadily going down.


One Monday night, last night, I decided to take the train going to a social function I had to attend.  Since I had a chance to go home before going to the event, I showered and freshened up – ready to meet and talk to people.  I was fresh as a baby as I rode that crowded train.  Then something funny floated in the air.

I started smelling something like old shoes or old canvas sneakers.  I know my three-striped pair of shoes was old but I knew it was not smelly.  I check my shoes daily for dirt and odors – I smell my shoes.  The funny thing was, I noticed only smelled that strange odor whenever the train rocked me backwards and forwards – the smell had to be from one of the passengers.

There he stood in front of me…thick glasses…80s movie flashback.  As I leaned forward, I found the source of my “smelly old shoes.”  And if the smell was not bad enough, I saw his fingernails when he scratched his neck – long and with some dirt underneath. I wanted to tell him, “Boy, if you desperately do not want to get laid until the next decade, then stay on your chosen path.  Your future looks bright.”

I have always thought that today’s nerds have evolved.  I never knew that I’d be dead wrong.


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