At Benjamin Nugent's 13th birthday party, he invited all the friends with whom he had bonded over sci-fi, Dungeons & Dragons, and computers. They sang the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme as the cake appeared, and told each other nerdy jokes.
What must his parents have thought? Perhaps they were simply glad that he had friends. But still . . .
"Do you tell him to ditch his friends because as long as he's one of them, he may not kiss a girl for a very long time? Or do you tell him to stick with them? Do you let him figure it out on his own even though you feel pretty certain he understands neither the nature of the dilemma nor what is at stake?"
Nugent, now a recovering nerd (if such a thing is possible), combs through literature and looks up a few of his old buddies to form a once-and-for-all definition of what a nerd is. In American Nerd: A Story of My People, he finds them in books as disparate as Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice. He hangs out at their weekend events, where they gather to discuss frames-per-second in their favorite sci-fi flick, or where they dress up in tights and chain mail and play out the heroic fantasies in their heads.
Even the Mormons show up when one of his skinny grade-school friend's mother finds the missionaries. Thank you, former-hippie mom, for making us all look like nutters.
After reading Nugent, you will definitely be able to spot a nerd. But then, you probably already can.
Frequent cow patties.
As for your recipe, maybe we should pay tribute to what nerds eat. But here at Bye-Bye Nesquik, it is beneath our standards to instruct you to order pizza, or to stuff yourself with Coke and Doritos. If you're going to eat the junky stuff, at least put some effort into it. The recipe below shouldn't overtax you:
Cocoa Munch Mix