Tag Archives: nerds

Oh No, My Kids Are Nerds!

All of my D&D dice are loaded

Guess which of those die rolls was mine. Think “unlucky” if you need a hint.

The other morning, out of nowhere, the kiddos burst into our bedroom, jumping up and down and screaming about playing D&D.

Now when I say morning, I mean “morning” in the sense of “weekend morning when I can sleep in until 10:30am or so without consequence” and when I say “burst into the room” I mean in the sense of “very, very much before 10:30am”.

I’m an ugly man. I need my beauty sleep. But it seems like, ever since I had kids, I keep getting uglier.

(Unlike the Missus. With these early bird spawn, I have no idea how she avoids it.)

But I digress, and will distract you from my unsightly visage by returning to the tale at hand.

My kiddos somehow learned about Dungeons & Dragons and now are extremely anxious to play it.

Like right now. Not five minutes or an hour or a day from now, but five minutes ago now.

I did not play D&D when I was a kid. Not that I didn’t want to. I found the concept intriguing.



But my friends were too cool to play D&D. Or any other role playing game.

No, they wanted to log into BBSes, use a z-modem client to allow for interrupted downloads, play chess, and use numbering schemes involving mega-Hertz and / or baud rates and nothing else.

You know, cool, non-nerdy things.

Or at least the coolest, non-nerdiest things you can do without atheletic prowess and above average hand-eye coordination.

As you can easily imagine, the trauma of being denied D&D games as a child resulted in my psyche forming a protective layer of scar tissue when it comes to all things RPG-related.

It was a purely defensive response that came about shortly after I realized playing D&D by myself just wasn’t cutting it.

Six weeks into that disastrous, sanity loss inducing solo campaign…

The long and the short of it is that I had a miserable childhood full of self-loathing, bitter disappointment, and a lot of shiny, mint-condition dice with a varying number of sides.

I was filled with as much ennui as an overworked and illiterate Parisian barista with dreams of writing the Great French Novel.

Years later, when I became a father, holding two red-faced, howling baby kiddos in my arms (they never liked it when I held them), I had two epiphanies:

One: Holy crap babies can be loud!

And two: I will never let them suffer the way I suffered when it comes to RPGs.

I vowed to raise them in a world without the siren lure of D&D.

The nurses were unimpressed with this vow.

Initially, I planned to go back in time and prevent Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson from ever meeting, let alone creating the game. But I could only figure out how to quantum leap into my own body during that time period, which was, in 1979…well, let’s just leave it at too young to dissuade anyone from becoming friends with or inventing anything.

So time travel was out. I had no choice but to go with Plan B:

Hide it from them.

While the kiddos were very young and not very mobile, it was easy to protect them from the existence of such games. But no growing kiddo is an island, so I knew I could only delay the discovery.

Inevitably, they would learn about role playing games.

Some hooligan on the school playground, furtively beckoning them over and asking if they wanted to try some GURPS. For free.

At first.

Most likely it was the seven year old next door who talks non-stop about Pokemon and My Little Pony and that the Missus and I decided was a bad influence. We banned the kiddos from hanging out with her, but they must have anyway, just to spite us. Her mom probably drove them to the local gaming store in the mall, where they have weekly gaming sessions.

WHY DID I NOT KNOW OF SUCH THINGS WHEN I WAS A KID?! So much pain could have been avoided!

But, availability of weekly mall sessions aside, I’d made up my mind about my kiddos and RPGs, and I wasn’t going to waffle or flip-flop now.

I had a plan. A beautiful plan, which I thought I’d executed flawlessly.

When the kiddos were old enough to understand and start experimenting with nerdy things, I locked them in a closet with a tablet and didn’t let them out until they’d watched all three seasons of Star Trek.

(The original series, since there is no other legitimate Star Trek and you all know it!)

I thought it worked. Not only did they avoid Star Trek, but after that just looking out the window at the night sky gave them fits.

No way they’d want to experiment with anything even remotely nerdly, no matter how “cool” or “da bomb” their friends said it was.

My plan seemed to be working. I put a basketball hoop up in our backyard, and they took to it like tuna to a can. Running, shooting, taunting each other every time they missed.

It was perfect.

Until this recent morning, when, out of nowhere, they dragged us out of bed at the crack of dawn and made us buy the Player’s Handbook 5th Edition.

(Well, wait outside the local bookstore until it opened, then buy it.)

And now I’m crying.

Crying tears of joy.

I’m having the second childhood I always wanted but never had.

For the first time since my age hit double digits, I’m happy.

Inexplicably happy.

Almost happier, even, than the day the kiddos were born, except I just rolled a three on my check initiative, and that kinda takes the edge off the whole thing.

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Posted by on 21 July 2019 in Angst, Life


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The Geeks Won’t Inherit The Earth – We Need To Effin’ Take It!

In addition to author, engineer, and mercury-poisoned madman, I also identify as a nerd.

In my role as a science-oriented geek, I worry. We’re not churning out enough trekkies (or, as we refer to them in our household, ‘trekkers’) to reach the critical mass required to takeover the world by 2039.

I’m not just alarmed about this because of my mild OCD. Falling behind schedule on the takeover has a domino effect on everything that follows. And let’s be honest: who among us can wait more than seventeen years for reality television programs that humiliate jocks?

That’s right, jocks, come 2039, the toilet will be on the other head. I’m gonna nominate you for the first episode, Buford Donatello. Star quarterback or not, nobody who snatches Ian M. Dudley from his Science Exploration Club meeting in order to administer a swirly in the library commode can expect to go more than fifty years without payback.

I had just been elected club president, damn you! I was in the middle of my inauguration speech! And it would have been quite the stirring speech if I hadn’t been carried off, screaming like a toddler with his junk caught in a vise.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the toilet water on this show will be very cold indeed.

But I digress.

We need more nerds. The sooner, the better.

But how, you ask, can we ensure a plentiful supply of this essential resource?

Smart parents.

Yes, we need to encourage smart men and smart women to reproduce.

With each other, preferably. Statistically speaking, mating with dumb people will dilute the nerd pool.

But like computer code, geekdom isn’t just inherited. Well, OK, like non-object-oriented computer code, it isn’t just inherited.

It’s also a learned behavior.

Not Nature versus Nurture, but Nature and Nurture.

We have to ramp up the little Einstein production and then we need to –gulp- raise them.

How can we do this?

It’s simple. I give you Nerd’s Law:

Raise thy nerdly offspring as you would raise thyself.

Homey is gonna go all 'roll a crit' on your jock ass!

This geek powerhouse-in-the-making rolled 16 for cuteness.

Or in other words, the sooner you introduce them to D&D, the better.

More specifically, keep your children out of the sun, encourage them to study hard in school, discourage them from participating in sports (head injuries!), and most importantly, teach them to use science to defeat bullies.

Nay! Not just defeat the bullies! Teach them to use dark, diabolical science to inspire absolute, bowel-voiding terror of all Nerdkind.

For, to paraphrase Machiavelli, it is better to be feared than to get your head dunked in a toilet.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!
My books are available!

Marlowe and the Spacewoman:

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So bad it won a Voidy for the next THREE consecutive years (would have been FOUR, but 2012 was a leap year)

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Posted by on 26 June 2012 in Life


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