Sunday, September 26, 2004


I caught the last half hour of Revenge of the Nerds on Comedy Central. For some reason, this movie was absent from my youth.

Maybe it was rated PG-13 or R, thus preventing my parents from taking me. I missed a lot of movies that way, Dirty Dancing and Footloose among them.

I think that in most families the oldest sibling is the most socially stunted- without a big brother or sister to introduce them to things they're not supposed to see, they're adrift in a sea of Disney.

I remember when I was little my parents used the mute button to bleep out the swears in Back to the Future ("Jesus Christ, Doc, you incinerated Einstein!"), and whether or not we could watch Little Shop of Horrors was a topic of hot debate.

Yet by the time my little sister entered kindergarten, she was quoting from Batman with curses intact and helping my brother and I act out the smashing-in-the-head-with-the-baseball-bat scene in The Untouchables. I was great as Dinero ("I'm a man of many enthusiasms... enthusiasms...enthusiasms...") while my brother did a great hollow-cheeked man.

Having older siblings left Liz far more equipped for the brutal world of elementary school than I was. She started school knowing all the words to Bon Jovi's Bad Medicine whereas I had nothing more than an affinity for Casper the Friendly Ghost.

I had to learn everything important from my fifth grade best friend Amy Thruman because she had an older sister and was therefore a semi-normal human being.

From Amy, I learned all the dance moves from Great White's "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" video, that CC DeVille from Poison "hung left" (I had no idea what it meant at the time), and that if you're prudent and wise, you always smoke cigarettes "to the cotton."

I also learned to play Super Mario Brothers, got to watch Nightmare on Elm Street, and could identify by NAME several high school boys (none of whom I ever met) who were "real" skaters and several who were "posers." As I recall, Abel was in fact a skater, whereas Billy was a mere poser.

Amy was also a good source of dirty books and horrifying true crime novels like Sybil, the abused child who had some sixteen personalities. I had to ask for help with some of the books- I recall silencing the lunchroom by asking Amy what "seduce" meant, connecting it only to the happy dance tune from Flashdance, "Seduce Me Tonight."

Eventually, Amy did tell me what it meant, although on that particular day she just gritted her teeth and muttered, "I'll tell you LATER."

But no amount of education from Amy could make up the ground I'd lost. I was destined to be a nerd throughout my school years.

Which brings me to my original point. Revenge of the Nerds was quite disappointing!

I did enjoy the jocks screaming "NERDS!" in a rage, but I expected a better comeback from the nerds than that weak speech at the pep rally.

I expected the movie to be one half nerds getting wedgies, and one half Ocean's Eleven style revenge caper. I thought the nerds were going to come up with an elaborate Rube Goldberg style plan that would annihilate the jocks in one fell swoop.

A five minute stint with a megaphone isn't any kind of revenge in my book.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I never had an Amy, I was stuck in nerdville. It didn't help that we didn't even have cable so when everyone else was talking about the latest music video I didn't have a clue.