Revenge of the Nerds

by Wayne M. Krakau - Chicago Computer Guide, December, 2000
Call it juvenile. Call it downright stupid. Definitely call it politically incorrect. Or, do as I do and call it a guilty pleasure. I'm talking about the movie Revenge of the Nerds. I saw this movie when it was originally released in 1984 and have seen in a piecemeal fashion on various cable and broadcast stations many times since.

For what may be obvious reasons, I have always identified with some of the characters in this movie, especially in feeling "different" from the people in the various social cliques. I specifically remembered being stared at as I walked down the halls during a high school fire drill. The supposed affront to public decency? I was playing "blindfold" chess with another chess team member whom I happened to run into during the drill, though I suppose that you could call it "double blindfold," since neither one of us had access to a board. (I won by checkmate on the seventeenth move.)

Another example of my "outcast" status is my almost complete disinterest in competitive sports. I suspect, though that may come more from being brought up during the leanest sports years in Chicago history. The Bears and Bulls victories didn't come until I was well past my formative years. My sports motto was, and in the case of Chicago baseball, still is "Wait till next year."

I will admit to watching most of the Bears games in 1985 and some of the Bulls (or, more specifically, Michael Jordan's) games during their multiple winning seasons, but I haven't watched a Cubs game since I was a kid and I've never watched a Sox game. (Hey, I'm a North Sider. So shoot me.) However I did, of course, closely follow Bobby Fisher's chess championship match in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Like you couldn't have guessed that.)

Ah, but what's the point of this extended treatise on nerdism (if there is such a word)? The point is that I have now lived out my favorite part of the movie, Revenge of the Nerds. That's the part where the chief nerd ends up with the best looking cheerleader. Also, in the movie, there was a subtext that implied (at least in my opinion) that the cheerleader was smart enough that, except for the disqualifying factors of having good looks and social skills, might have qualified as a nerd herself. (All right. I'm stretching a bit on that one.) In the sequels (which, by the way, are utterly unwatchable), they even end up married.

Well, I just married an amazing woman who, though she never was an actual cheerleader, could have been (and probably should have been)! Moreover, as an added bonus she is genuinely smart enough to be a nerd, if it wasn't for her looks and social skills. Though, I suppose she does have a gap in her intelligence as far as her choice of a husband is concerned.

Her only other weakness is that as a "non-computer" person, she sees computers as potentially useful, though sometimes annoying, tools, not as they really are, holy icons to be worshipped. (The next time your system blows up, check your schedule to see if you missed your weekly burnt offering to it.) I hope to convert her as I have heard a lot about mixed marriages being difficult.

Poll Cat

In these times of multiple polls, many of which are wildly unscientific, I thought that it was my duty to provide some serious statistics on a critically important subject, the current state of Hawaiian computing. Therefore, I undertook a (completely deductible) business trip to Hawaii, taking my executive assistant (wife) with me to assist in taking the polls. It is only by coincidence that this business trip happened to start on the day after our wedding.

In a careful, scientific study, we polled both locals and visitors at many strategic locations. These included a painstakingly selected sampling of beaches, restaurants, botanical gardens, dive shops (SCUBA), dive boats and luaus. Our results are as follows: 1. Which desktop operation system do you prefer? - Windows 98 0% - Windows 2000 0% - Linux 0% - Don't care 100%. 2. Which network server operating system do you prefer? Windows NT 0% -Windows 2000 0% - NetWare 0% - Linux 0% - Really don't care 100%. 3. What should happen to Microsoft in the antitrust case against it? Slap on the wrist 0% - Split up company 0% - Government supervision 0% - Fines 0% - Wat doing? Nuff already! Like beef? Try move, lolo haole! (Translation: What are you doing? Enough, already! Would you like to fight? Please move out of the way, you stupid Caucasian person!) - 100%. I'm sure that publishing these findings will justify our deductions with the IRS.

Wait Till Next Year

We have been so busy moving from Des Plaines to Medinah that we missed our usual Halloween party. (See the new phone number listed above and check our Web site for the new address.) This will give me time to find our Revenge of the Nerds tribute costumes. I've got to locate a Darth Vader costume for me, a cheerleader costume for my wife, and several fun-house style distorting mirrors. (If you've seen the movie, you'll understand.) Please hold the pompom jokes.

�2000, Wayne M. Krakau