Monday, January 09, 2006

New Thing #12: I created a Dungeons and Dragons character

The New Thing I did today:

I geeked out and created a Dungeons and Dragons character.

Seriously.

His name is Thelonius Pinkwater.

Seriously.

Okay, now, let me preface this by saying that I'm not a geek. Really, I'm not. No, I'm a dork. I always have been, currently am, and always will be. Even if I geek out occasionally.

What's the difference between a "geek" and a "dork," you ask? Well, I'll tell you. And while we're at it, why don't we throw "nerd" into the mix as well? Nerds and dorks and geeks are very subtly different beasts. I'm going to list off several statements that might describe them individually, but by no means are these lists definitive, or even necessarily accurate. You might read my lists and then say to yourself: "What a dork, Erik is so wrong." But, see, I'm a dork and creating lists of qualities that differentiate geeks, dorks, and nerds and being totally wrong about it is totally, like, a dork thing to do. Still, this is how I see it--

Let's start with geeks:

A geek might play Dungeons and Dragons. A geek might know every miniscule detail there is to know about Star Wars. A geek might convince a girl like Samantha Baker to loan them her underpants and then he might charge other geeks a dollar to see said underpants. A geek might bite the head off a live chicken, but only if they work in the circus. A geek might speak Klingon. A geek might still write fan fiction for Buffy the Vampire Slayer years after it has been off the air. A geek might still play with a chemistry set when they're fourteen years old and other kids think they're too old for chemistry sets and then they might defend themselves by saying something like: "Hey, nimrod. Adults play with chemistry sets, too. They're called scientists." A geek might play WOW every night before going to bed. A geek would not need to click on the link to know what "WOW" is. A geek might play the tuba. A geek might read Marvel comic books. A geek might have a crush on Sarah Silverman. A geek might have a crush on Steve Martin. A geek might be worried right now that Brett Ratner is going to ruin the franchise, and, again, a geek would not have to click on the link to know what I'm talking about. And, of course, a geek might get creamed at dodgeball.

A nerd, on the other hand:

Well, a nerd might have worn pocket protectors back in the 50's when they were still wearing pocket protectors. A nerd might wear the same pair of blue pants every day of their entire life. A nerd might guffaw at inopportune moments. A nerd might proclaim himself a "Genuine Nerd" and "be proud of it!" A nerd might pledge for the Tri-Lam fraternity in college. A nerd might carry a calculator in his pocket. A nerd might be really good at science and mathmatics and have interests which are not shared by mainstream society. A nerd might be a square. A nerd might not doing something risky because he "can only think of the possible consequences, of everything he stands to lose." A nerd might initiate a conversation about the Hubble Space Telescope. A nerd might barely speak for the four years you go to high school with him, other than to answer the teacher's questions, and then surprise you by getting up in front of the entire school at graduation and singing "In My Life." A nerd might have a crush on Bill Gates. A nerd might have a crush on Daria. A nerd might grow up to be a paleontologist. A nerd might be able to identify and classify every animal at the zoo without consulting a textbook. A nerd might listen to Weezer, or even sing for Weezer. A nerd might hope that reincarnation exists so that they can come back as an astronaut, a paleontologist, or a meteorologist (but not a weatherman). And, of course, a nerd might get creamed at dodgeball.

And now, moving on to dorks:

A dork might promote his candidacy for 8th grade class president with posters that proclaim "Erik Patterson's mom wants you to pat her son with your vote." While running for said 8th grade class presidency, a dork might campaign to "bring back school read-a-thons." A dork might be told by his best friend who is already on the ASB that he only received two votes, and that dork might know that one of those votes was his own. A dork might read DC comics, especially Superman, but then after Superman is killed off in the comic book, he might refuse to read the comic book again when they resurrect Superman a month later because "I won't let them toy with my emotions like that" and/or "I saw Superman die; he's dead to me." A dork might keep a notebook filled with lists of random things, such as "Swear words I've heard Scott say" and "Obscure Disney Characters." A dork might create said list of "Obscure Disney Characters" at the age of fifteen, way too old for such an activity to be considered "cute" because what fifteen-year-old cares enough to make a list of "Obscure Disney Characters" anyway? (A fifteen-year-old who's a dork, that's what fifteen-year-old.) A dork might say things like, "oh my god, I am such a dork." A dork might consider "Dude, Where's My Car" a classic film, even though he realizes it's crap, but he can still appreciate the brilliance of the "Dude, what's mine say?" / "Sweet, what's mine say?" scene. A dork might trip on a crack in the sidewalk and then pretend that they meant to trip on that crack in the sidewalk. A dork might not know how to match their clothing. A dork might think that Buffalo Wings are actually made out of Buffalo. (If you've been reading the rest of the dork definitions and you've realized that they pretty much all describe me, you're right, but this one doesn't. I know that Buffalo Wings are made out of chicken. Obviously Jessica Simpson is the person who famously didn't know this, or at least the producers of her show told her not to know this, but I put it in here because, still, if you think about it, Jessica Simpson is a dork.) (Buffalo Wings are made out of chicken, right?) A dork might watch My Left Foot and then try to train his feet to do things like draw and use a fork. A dork might spend way too much time watching Arrested Development, and spend way too much time telling people they should watch Arrested Development because it's going to get cancelled, and then spend way too much time hoping that Showtime picks up Arrested Development for that fourth season that all five fans of Arrested Development have been praying for. A dork might tell his mom he doesn't want to get Bar Mitzvah'd because it doesn't mean enough to him and he doesn't want to just do it for all of the gifts and then convince her that she should get Bat Mitzvah'd. A dork might have a crush on Anderson Cooper. A dork might have a crush on Jill Soloway. A dork might not ever know the lyrics to any song ever but still sing along to the radio anyway. A dork might write a blog entry about the difference betweens geeks and nerds and dorks. And, of course, a dork might get creamed at dodgeball.

So those are the differences between geeks and nerds and dorks. That's how I see it anyway. And I'm not a geek, I'm a dork, but today I created a Dungeons and Dragons character. And his name is Thelonius Pinkwater.

Seriously.

22 comments:

marie-reine said...

that was fucking brilliant, erik. and i agree: just because one "geeks out" does not necessarily make them a geek. i consider myself a geek who geeks out way too much.

Erik said...

Oh, there are lots of gray areas within the Nerd/Geek/Dork trichotomy. It sounds like you're a geek/geek. I'm a dork with geek tendencies. My writing partner Jessica and I were just talking about this. She's totally a geek with nerd tendencies.

Erik said...

Also, Marie-Reine, there's no such thing as geeking out "way too much."

communicatrix said...

This is one for the canon.

Oh--and I am definitely a dork with a few nerdy tendencies who gets her geek on when it comes to a few things.

That's the nice thing about geeks and nerds and dorks--we have significant areas of overlap.

Joe Chandler said...

I want to know more about Thelonius. I am a geek. But seriously, is he a warrior? a magician? How many hit points does he have? What kind of armor? What's his dexterity?

Erik said...

Okay, well, my DM (that's Dungeon Master for any of you non-geeks) has the paper I filled out with all of my statistics, and we haven't actually started our first game yet (all we did last night was create the characters), so I can't remember all of the details. But I can tell you that Thelonius' race is Gnome and his class is Rogue. The game we're going to play is Forgotten Realms.

Erik said...

When I said "I can't remember all of the details," I didn't mean, like, I don't remember who my character is. I meant that I don't remember my hit points and things like what my dexterity is. Actually, wait, I DO remember that my dexterity was the highest of all of my skills, and I believe it's a 16.

joe chandler said...

that's good, a rogue needs high dexterity for picking locks and stuff. oh man, i really do miss D&D and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Erik said...

Joe, here's some stats for you:

12 strength
16 dexterity
14 constitution
12 intelligence
10 wisdom
14 charisma

And I'm a rock gnome from Lantan.

Joe Chanlder said...

14 for charisma? That's a charming gnome. Well done, Erik!

Erik said...

I think my gnome is fairly well rounded, if I do say so myself. And yes, he is a fuckin' charmer. So, Joe, when was the last time you played D&D?

Mazmanian said...

You haven't lived until a someone designs a dungeon module in your honour...

David A. Hargrave's "Lancer's Rest".

Geek enough fo'ya?

L.

Erik said...

Lance, that's amazing. Definitely geek enough for me. Almost too geek for me, but like I've said before, there is no such thing as "too geek."

joe chandler said...

early high school. before i started wearing hawaiin shirts and ties and listening to ska everyday.

Erik said...

My DM, Dave, he has a game that he's been playing with the same group of guys every Saturday since they were all thirteen. They're all 33 now. Isn't that amazing? I find it amazing. I'm jealous. It's what made me want to try it.

Angela said...

Who are the other two fans of Arrested Development, cuz me and Eric are watching and praying too!?!

And have I ever told you that I am TERRIFIED of dodgeball? (Of the peggers and the pegged, you can guess which camp my skinny, artsy-fartsy ass fell into...)

Tall Joe, I love you that much more for copping to your love of the D&D...

Erik said...

Angela, cross your fingers for Showtime picking it up. I keep telling myself, "it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen..." It helps me get through the day. How can something be so brilliant? George Michael's awkward expressions? GOB's magic? Everything that comes out of Tobias' mouth? Buster the freakazoid? Lucille's facial expressions? The fact that Buster's hand got bitten off by a "loose seal"? (say it out loud) All of it. Just. Too. Good. It makes me wanna pee my pants.

Joe Chandler said...

Showtime made a two year offer for the show. the rumor is that if it gets picked up they'll lose Jeffrey Tambor, Portia di Rossi and Gob...that's the rumor...it also might got to ABC...

that's my insider info.

Erik said...

I'm disturbed by this insider info, Joe. I love the idea of more AD, but without George/Oscar, Lindsay, and GOB???????????? Um, what the frig?

Erik said...

Here's some incredibly vague info about the future of AD:

http://www.thefutoncritic.com/cgi/newswire.cgi?id=7061

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