BRIDE DISH | HOROSCOPE | ADVICE FROM THE GODMOTHER |POSTCARDS FROM PARIS | SCIENCE | TRAVEL JENNA'S DIARY
FEATURES |CELEBRITIES| RELATIONSHIPS | BEAUTY &STYLE | TIPS AND TRICKS | DIY | SPECIAL REPORTS |HEALTH & FITNESS
We are tickled a particulary becoming shade of pink to welcome ace reporter Kate Heidel to the HW Staff! Her column will appear monthly in this spot so keep your peepers peeled!
By Kate Heidel
In recent years, some nerds have come into their own -- starting rock bands, holding down lucrative tech jobs, and convincing a few gullible people that wearing white socks with black shoes is not an appalling fashion blunder worthy of harsh punishment.
But greater social acceptance doesn't mean a woman wants to find her once-normal man suddenly honking like a giant goose when he laughs, or poking her chest with his pocket protector, or consulting his plastic digital wristwatch so as not to miss "Revenge of the Nerds" on cable. Yet, according to the experts, that's exactly what some unfortunate women can expect to discover one day.
In light of the danger, we asked renowned psychologist Elaine M. Fogler -- President and Founder of the EMF College of Elaines at Ithaca -- to weigh in on the matter.
"What is most disturbing about the Dormant Nerd," began Dr. Fogler, "is his initially normal behavior. He has friends, he can play a sport or two, he even does fairly well in the company of women."
"Then seemingly out of the blue," she continued, "his deeply nerdic tendencies open full flower, and overnight a woman has got quite a dork on her hands."
We asked Dr. Fogler if a blood test was available to identify the devastating dormancy.
"I'm afraid not," she replied, adding, "nor have we yet discovered a genetic marker. But there's no need to despair!" Dr. Fogler insisted. "Over many years of clinical observation, we've compiled a very reliable set of indicators that predict with high accuracy whether a man will 'Go Nerd,' as we say."
The following warning signs are excerpted from Dr. Fogler's acclaimed Dormant Nerd Identification Inventory. The good doctor has kindly allowed us to reprint a portion of her Inventory, and has even provided commentary following each warning sign.
Laughing out loud during "Happy Days" reruns
Dr. Fogler: Whereas normal people recognize this 70s sitcom as just one more means of documenting the migration of Ron Howard's hairline, Dormant Nerds sit glued before their television sets, chuckling like ninnies. They are also known to mutter phrases such as, "That's the Fonz -- hey Fonzie!" and to hum along with the "Happy Days" theme.
Sprinkling salt on pizza
Dr. Fogler: Don't try ignoring this very big elephant in the room. And don't think you can curb your potential nerd's need to sprinkle by ordering pepperoni or anchovy to salt things up. That might work for awhile, but eventually the sprinkling will resume.
Besides, it is my firm belief that a woman should hold out for the pizza toppings she REALLY wants. Compromise on pizza, and you'll compromise on anything. Can you say, "white socks with black shoes"?
The insistent telling of knock-knock jokes
Nerds, put simply, are really children with body hair. Their infantile
behaviors quickly grow irritating to most women. Did you sign on
for babysitting duty? No, you certainly did not. If you are goaded
into saying "Who's there?" more than once a day, I'd first
try gently changing the subject. If that doesn't work, engage your
potential nerd in your own knock-knock joke, which ends with "Dead
The use of soap on a rope
The consensus is clear -- there is simply no other way for a normal
man to lather up in the shower except by rubbing an unfettered bar
of soap briskly across his body. Once a man has attached a rope
to that soap and dangled it around his neck, he is really hung.
That is, I mean to say he has really hung himself. He is hanged.
You might as well take a bat to him, for he is the pinata
of men. A probable nerd swinging in the wind. I guess I've made
Ownership of one or more kazoos
I've saved the worst for last. The discovery of even one kazoo in
your mate's possession pretty much cinches that he has "Gone
Nerd." You do not need to confirm any of the remaining items
listed in our Inventory. Indeed, the Kazoo Warning Sign has just
been nominated for the American Psychological Association's
of All Warning Signs" award. If you harbor any remaining doubts,
I leave you with one simple question: have you ever heard the theme
from "Happy Days" played on a kazoo?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Heidel is a freelance writer living in Minneapolis. Her work includes humor essays and poetry, genres so incompatible that Kate's resulting inner turmoil can only be soothed by frequent shopping trips to Designer Shoe Warehouse.
© 2006 Kate Heidel
OTHER HW ARTICLES BY KATE HEIDEL