was a freshman in college. I really liked this guy in the dorm next
door. I decided to make him a compilation tape of
some not-so-subtle romantic songs. I evidently had a really old
tape player because rather than record tape-to-tape, it recorded
what was played through the speakers (even though it was a dual
tape player). I gave him the tape the next day (a Friday). On Monday
I asked if he'd had a chance to listen to the tape. He said he had
-- he had gone home for the weekend and he and his dad got a good
laugh from listening to me sing each song along with the tape. Ugh.
He said he thought it was cute. I felt like a complete and utter
to say, we didn't ever go out.
I was in school, my family went through a "poor" period
when my dad was out of work. My younger brother and I were on discount
hot lunch and had to wear hand-me-downs from our cousins. My mom
got the brilliant idea to start sewing clothes for me and my brother.
She made me a long sweatshirt to wear over my one pair of stirrup
pants. The sweatshirt had Disney character heads printed all over
it. I felt like a fashion queen. Then she made a similar sweatshirt
for my brother. One of the rich girls in my class noticed. She asked
why I was wearing a boy's sweatshirt. I told her, eloquently, to
shut up. Then she picked on my brother, asking why he was wearing
girls' clothes. That did it. During lunch, I took a big gulp of
chocolate milk from my carton. My goal was to spit on her when she
walked past. Unfortunately, my projections weren't accurate, and
I spit down the front of my pants. My pink stirrup pants were ruined,
and everyone called my "pants pisser" the rest of the
6th grade I was friends with one of the more popular "cool"
kids in school. He had easy success with girls (whatever that means
at that age), whereas I was decidedly less suave. I developed a
crush on a girl in my class, whom I saw as out of my league (a condition
that seemingly continues to this day). I devised a terrific scheme
to ask her out; or at least to talk to her on the phone in some
misguided attempt to insinuate myself into her life. I called her
up one day (from my cool friend's house), pretending to be some
other cool boy from school. I then asked her if she "liked"
either me or the boy I was pretending to be. I don't remember what
she said, but the next day at school my cool friend, from whose
house I had made the call, told the object of my affection about
my ruse. Just before class began he pointed at me and whispered
inaudibly; then she turned to me and, though I couldn't hear her
voice, I saw her mouth the words, "What a nerd."
Despite having attended different high schools, I continued to encounter
this girl occasionally throughout my teen years (mainly at local
heavy metal shows). The
upshot is (though I suppose you won't want to print any upshots
for your Pathetic Geek Stories) that she was a trampy metalhead
chick by that point. The downshot is that I had (and still have)
a real weakness for trampy metalhead chicks by that point.
I was 13, my family moved from Florida to Moscow, Russia. Naturally,
I lost contact with my best friend, until one summer when I came
back for a visit. We were sitting watching TV when I said: 'Ben,
where's your dad?' ... there was a pause and he came back with 'He's
dead.' We were always into our black humour, so I just laughed it
off. Then at dinner time (this was a big Cuban-family style meal
with about 13 relatives around the table), the conversation died,
so I decided to let the family in our little joke. 'Ben, where's
your dad?' ... his mother broke in: "Mike, Ben's dad passed
away over the summer. He had a heart attack." I was still giggling
from what I assumed was a shared joke, that this didn't sink in
for a few moments. The rest of the meal was eaten in silence.
fifth grade I stayed in during one recess to build an AM radio with
a kit that the teacher had. The girl I had a crush on also stayed
to help. When we finally got it working I was listening with the
little ear piece and she wanted to listen. Seeing an opportunity
to actually touch her, I tried to put the ear piece in for her,
but I couldn't find her ear under her hair. I finally just handed
it to her.
I was in the 6th grade, riding home on the bus, three big older
girls,one of whom I had a crush on teased me mercilessly because
I had curly hair(clearly unfashionable during the "dry look"
was mute to defend myself. my mother grilled me about why I was
upset, and she packed us into the car, and she chased down the bus.
made me point out who the girls were, and she chewed them out for
being mean to me, in front of the bus driver and dozens of other
people. She droveus away, feeling like she had defended me, but
I was even more mortified.
I was in high school I had a picture of Janet Jackson in my "Trapper
Keeper". This kid grabbed my Trapper Keeper and ripped up the
picture and threw it back at me. I got so mad, I hit him with the
Trapper Keeper in rage. He then said he would get me back after
school. All day long people were excited about our "fight"
and eager with anticipation. When the final school-bell rang, I
ran as fast as I could to get away from having to fight. The next
day I was the laughing stock because he showed up to fight me and
most of the school came to watch and I was a no-show.
12th grade physics class, I sat in front of one of the prettiest
and most popular girls in the school, Lisa. One Monday before class,
Lisa asked me what I did that weekend. Not ashamed of being the
nerd I was, I told her that I studied the entire weekend. She laughed
and told me that she typically does not even start studying until
Sunday night. I didn't let this this bother me, believing that giving
up my weekends was a worthwhile sacrifice in order to maintain my
perfect 4.0 grade point average. 10 years later I lead a lonely,
monotonous, meager existence as a perennial doctoral student in
a social science discipline (all my hard work, meanwhile, has earned
me only neck and back problems). As for Lisa, I very recently learned
that she has an MBA and is working as a software consultant in San
I was a geeky sixth grader, I did not want anyone to find out that
I liked Cherry Coke. So when anyone saw me drinking Cherry Coke,
I told them I had ordered regular Coke but the machine had made
withhold my name or initials.
sixth grade, the popular girls in my class decided to form a club
against me. It was literally called The Against Maureen Club. As
far as I could tell, club activities consisted solely of making
fun of me at recess. I decided to retaliate by starting my own club
expressly against them, but no one wanted to join, not even the
I was in the seventh grade, at a rural junior high school, the only
decent radio station was in a city a hundred miles away. The station
had a phone-in vote every night to choose the most popular song.
One day, the popular kids decreed that everyone was to call in and
vote for "Fox on the Run" by Sweet.
knew that if my father found out that I had made a long-distance
call to vote for a song on the radio station (or for any other reason
short of saving a human life), he would hit the roof. So I chickened
out and didn't call.
next day, the popular kids demanded to know if I had called to vote
for "Fox on the Run." Because it would be wrong to lie,
I told them that I hadn't, and was ostracised and publicly mocked
lunch in elementary school, all the kids had to go outside to play.
I had nobody to play with, so i would stand by myself against the
wall of the building and other kids would ask me to watch their
stuff. I would guard everyone's backpacks until the end of recess.
I was in 8th grade, I used to have a friend named Derek. Every day
during lunch, I used to get into arguments with him on how Apple
computers were better then IBM's.
would taunt him relentlessly with the words "Apples are better
than IBM's! Apples are better than IBM's". One day during lunch,
I was taunting him and he stood up and punched me in my face!
lunch lady saw him punch me and sent both of us to the principal's
was laughing at us, and we both started to cry.
we got to the principal's office and told our story of what happened,the
principal started laughing uncontrollably at us.
made us shake hands.
used to date a girl who regularly won trophies for running marathons
and playing in tennis tournaments. I told her the only trophy I
had ever won was 4th place in a shuffleboard tournament. At the
age of nine. So she said, "so of all the nine year olds who
turned out that day to play shuffleboard, you were the fourth best."
I said, "Yes." She said, "is that the same trophy
I saw on your mantle today?" I said, "Yes". She said,
"Twenty seven years later and you still display the trophy?"
I said, "Yes."
was my first day as a freshman at an all boys high school. i didn't
know anyone there and I was early. I walked the halls just trying
to figure things out. I saw the cafeteria was open, and I went inside
and bought a hostess cherry pie. I sat at a table to eat it. Two
guys at another table waived me over. They looked like cool guys
and I was excited. They asked if it wasmy first day and they were
being very nice. Then one said that his Hostess Twinkie smelled
funny and he asked the other guy to smell it. The other guy smelled
it and agreed that it did in fact smell funny. So the first guy
asked me to smell it to see what I thought. I was happy to help.
As I leaned in to smell it, he smashed it into my nose and face.
I had the white filling and yellow cake in my nostrils. They laughed
hysterically. I felt like an idiot.
was one of the most unpopular kids in my middle school, right up
there with the boy who had the worst case of acne I've ever seen
anywhere. The other kids would fight with each other to not have
to stand by me in the lunch line, that sort of thing.
One day in, I was in the girls birthday, a girl who was usually
very mean to me offered me a package of hostess twinkies. I looked
at her a little surprised, and took them saying 'Thank you."
Maybe things would change! But then her friend who was standing
by her and looking very uncomfortable, finally blurted out, "Don't
eat those! She got them out of the trash!" The mean girl glared
at her friend, laughed at me, and they sauntered out of the bathroom,
leaving me feeling very stupid and naive.
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