Pathetic Geek Stories

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The Undoing: Fashion in PGS

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I was a freshman in college. I really liked this guy in the dorm next door. I decided to make him a compilation tape Mix Tapeof 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 dork.


Needless to say, we didn't ever go out.


When 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 day.

In 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."



ps- 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.

When 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.
-Mike S.

In 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.

When 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" late '70s.)


I 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.


she 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.


When 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.


In 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 Francisco.


When 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 a mistake.

-Please withhold my name or initials.

In 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 other nerds.


When 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.


I 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.


The 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 for days.

-Jim T.

After 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.


When 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.


I 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!


The lunch lady saw him punch me and sent both of us to the principal's office.

Everyone was laughing at us, and we both started to cry.


When we got to the principal's office and told our story of what happened,the principal started laughing uncontrollably at us.


He made us shake hands.


I 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."

It 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.
-Kevin B.

I 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.

-J.F. (girl)

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