Years ago, I wrote an article in a Bay Area magazine about nerd hobbies that I called Dorkstorm: The Annihilation. This was before market research told us that having a number in your title increases your Internet traffic by 8000 percent. If I wrote it today, my editor would almost certainly rename it Humor: The Top 10 Hobbies That Don't Involve Thong Bikinis. And like all things that include both Star Wars and people who f**k in cow suits, the article had a controversial aftermath.
To begin this saga, please enjoy the original piece: Part 1: Dorkstorm: The Annihilation below.
Note: Pay close attention to the part about Scrapbookers. They're the villain in Part 2.
Hobbies bring families together to live and love through, for example, the adventurous wonder of coin collecting. You can tell a lot about a person from the hobbies they choose, especially if it requires them to have a partner with a hot dog gun and a proctologist with a tape measure. But enough about coin collecting. I've put together a list of the dorkiest things you can do with your time. Each activity will be ranked on both how badly it humiliates the participant and how negatively it affects his or her sex life. These are not rough estimates. These are scientific facts based on the research done by captive supergeniuses working in controlled conditions with test mice and test mice dressed like tiny wizards.
10. Comic Books
Public Humiliation: 49.5 percent
Our studies show that comic book geeks are normally solitary, but engage in very noisy arguments when gathered in numbers. These are usually based on the most recent superhero movie, and in which direction it sucked. This sucking is always measured in direct relation to the number of continuity problems between it and old issues of The Incredible Hulk, which was probably about The Hulk fighting circus performers with Hostess fruit pies and then dying six times. Safety Tip: If a nearby comic book geek isn't loudly complaining about something, check carefully-- you might have blacked out and rage-killed it. And I think you're infected, because that's exactly what The Incredible Hulk would do.
Damage to Sex Life: 68.7 percent
When you're finished showing someone your chart of all the ways Magneto's hat in X-Men 2 was incorrect, it's going to be a long, uphill battle to then have sex with them. And to make matters worse, the faulty shape of the dong port in the movie's version of Magneto's hat will make having sex with it even harder. Plus, you call that telepathic shielding? That Hollywood s**t couldn't keep a song out of your head.
9. Role Playing Games
Public Humiliation: 63.4 percent
Dungeons and Dragons combines the nerdiness of a fantasy setting with the fruitiness of improvisational theater. And to make matters worse, the rest of us think all these people are going to go crazy and kill us. It's really hard for society to do more to tell you that if you play this game, you're on your own.
Damage to Sex Life: 78.0 percent
We were skeptical on this figure of 78 percent since means that there's still a 22 percent chance of a woman walking by role players and one of them saying, "A minotaur? Here in the Dungeon of Kajmar!? Very well, I swing my axe of axeing at th- why hello there, pretty lady. My name's Twinkleberry, The Spritish Pegasus. What's that? Why, as a matter of fact I AM single."
Public Humiliation: 86.2 percent
Most people tend to avoid scrapbookers in an effort to prevent their photo from being pasted between a floral border and a word bubble shouting, "Are we having fun yet!" Scrapbookers have an insatiable hunger to date and catalog precious moments, and many fear that these keepsakes are being collected to one day be used in an evil plan to flood the world with vomit.
Damage to Sex Life: n/a
People who make scrapbooks do not have sex organs like you and me. As required by the Code of the Scrapbookers, after the completion of their first book of cherished memories, dark surgeons replace their genitalia with paste dispensers.
7. Star Wars
Public Humiliation: 82.1 percent
Before the lame ass new Star Wars movies, we might have let it go if we saw a Lando Calrissian or an Ewok waiting in line for a movie. Not anymore. Anyone disguised as a Jedi in this day and age had better have been helped into that costume by a caregiver assigned to assist their special needs. If Darth Vader was a real person, he would arrest everyone involved in Star Wars Episode II for rape.
Damage to Sex Life: 54.6 percent
Dressing like Darth Vader creates a number of sexual obstacles. First, you have to find a woman who doesn't mind dating the dark lord of geeks, and from this point on we're in fantasy land since you won't. Then she has to safely be able to dig her way through your codpiece of cybernetic space enhancements. Impossible. Half of those are designed to kill hands. Then the two of you have to convince your sex-drives to work after a lifetime of neglect. It'd be like trying to start the Millennium Falcon with your dick, only in reverse.
Public Humiliation: 90.0 percent
When enjoying Tim Burton movies and the Cure aren't enough to express your artistic depression, you need to turn to vampirism. This type of geek gathers with its kind to simulate vampiric society by dressing like restless magician corpses and giving each other spooky threats in unplaceable accents. Beginner's Tip: The costumes and makeup required for this hobby are elaborate, so if you don't have time every morning for a Dracula makeover, you can send the same message by just wearing a sign that says, "Parents and classmates: I'm undead. Alienate me."
Damage to Sex Life: 14.9 percent
One danger of vampiric sex is that many singles within in these communities are probably undercover vampire hunters waiting to jam a stake into you while you're struggling to untie your corset. Aside from that hazard, though, it's all good news. The ladies taste like stage blood and cigarettes, but they wear sexy, tight, leathery outfits. Plus, when a girl already has human remains dripping from her mouth, her morals have long since turned into a bat and flown away. Note to parents: If you're human and she's undead, she doesn't just use sex for attention, she uses sex for everything: floor wax, approval, GPS navigation, ceviche, everything.
5. Collectible Card Games
Public Humiliation: 96.8 percent
At all times, this type of geek is carrying two things: a concealed bag of emergency miniature dice and statues, and a thick layer of atrophied blubber to drip feed them nutrients. Now, experts tell us that living a moment of pure humiliation is impossible since that would require some kind of lethal masturbation accident. But those experts have never seen the shame on a grown man's face who's just been caught by someone he knows playing Pokemon cards with a 10-year-old stranger in a hobby store. I have. And it would have been less weird if he was molesting him.
Damage to Sex Life: 89.3 percent
All the carefully constructed card decks and assault strategies become useless once these geeks discover that a woman's vagina contains no defending dragon harpies. Ha ha, that's one of those double ironic jokes, because anyone who took high school biology knows that they actually DO.
(Note: This would be replaced with World of Warcraft if the study was done today, but miraculously, the rest of the data here holds up.)
Public Humiliation: 70.1 percent
If someone looks like they and their gut have spent the last three days together in the same clothes and they're secreting Mountain Dew out of their pores, that's a good sign of Everquest. Since this game is played over the computer, most people would never know you played it until you told them. However, if you've ever known anyone that played Everquest, you know that the part of their brain that allows them to keep the details of their quest for level 8 vorpal chaps to themselves has long since been destroyed.
Damage to Sex Life: 99.8 percent
While other geek hobbies act as female repellent, this game is so addicting to its users that it will actually destroy any sex life they might have, through some kind of groin miracle, already had. And with all the male players pretending to be girls, no one's intergender social skills are going to be finely tuned when or if they ever pull themselves away from imaginary adventuring. A bag of dry Ken dolls has a better chance of making a baby than an Everquest convention.
3. Star Trek
Public Humiliation: 86.2 percent
These geeks used to be called Trekkies, but now insist on the less derogatory term Trekkers, which is the image control equivalent of adding sunglasses to the Nazi flag. They tend to be unobtrusive, but for every hundred Trekkers polite enough to obsess in their own homes, there's some bastard singing at the karaoke bar in Klingon and a computer repairman demanding that his coworkers address him by his Star Fleet rank. But before you mock them, there's almost assuredly a third one sharpening a 27-bladed Klingon weapon just looking for a reason.
Damage to Sex Life: 93.4 percent
Ladies, I know you crave fat men with pointy ears and a swampy armpit odor, but forget it. When they saw Kirk bone that green lady, it created a standard of beauty that no Earth woman can live up to.
Damage to Sex Life: -9.2 percent
For a plushie out on the prowl, the good news is that barnyard puppets just can't say no. Oh, they'll cry, but not for you to stop. And as for the furries, they don't give a f**k. They'd stick it in a horse if you dressed it up like a fake horse. Maybe because they're ecstatic to find other people with the same debilitating mental handicap as themselves, but if you ask me, it's because everyone looks hot as a six-foot chicken. I mean, who's with me, how do you not CENSORED fucklicking CENSORED then probe CENSORED herbs and spices CENSORED c**t CENSORED all the way up its chicken hole!?
1. Live Action Role Playing
Public Humiliation: 100 percent
Live action role playing, or LARP, is a nerd's parent's worst fears come true: Dungeons and Dragons has finally made their child go crazy. These people dress up like fantasy characters and go on adventures where other dorks play the parts of enemy monsters, which would be fine if the participants were in the second grade. When adults do it, it's like a renaissance faire and backyard wrestling met, had retarded babies and gave them weapons. The key to maintaining a healthy life with geeky hobbies is shame, and LARPers feel none. If you told one of them that you needed it and handed him a condom, he'd fill it with glitter and blast a heal spell against your chest. None of that was innuendo.
Damage to Sex Life: 100 percent
If you and your team of paladins are thinking about leaving your mom's backyard to move your fantasy quests into society, you might as well leave your genitals there to feed the birds.
Part 2: The Aftermath
For the most part, a good time was had by all with Dorkstorm: The Annihilation. It brought joy to the geeks and their Internets and I got asked to read it on some Tech TV show to bring joy to their TVs too. But not everyone was happy. The problem with joking about people's lifestyle choices is that they have a kneejerk reaction to defend themselves. The magazine and I got angry letters and angry emails from angry dorks for months. The basic theme was, "You don't know what you're talking about! We're totally awesome! In addition, here is my entire sexual history! Next time, research my balls before telling me I don't have sex!"
Yes, what most people took offense at in the article was Damage to Sex Life. Maybe that was a cruel thing to bring up, but those statistics were painstakingly calculated with all kinds of science. I hate to bore you with an example, so here's one: I compared the behavior of seven chimpanzees in one Chewbacca costume to a control group of me throwing seven bananas in different directions. My findings: hilarious! And if I'm being honest, measurably hot.
We didn't respond to most of these people. I wouldn't even know how to begin explaining comedy to someone who sticks their dick in a teddy bear with sincerity. A few years went on, and everyone moved on with his or her life and/or sex life. And then, without warning, it was discovered by a community that missed it the first time around: Scrapbookers.
Scrapbookers can squeeze an entire three-hour karate recital into one page of photos and clip art. With that level of organizational skill, putting together a letter-writing campaign is nothing. They came at us. It was an onslaught. The wave of email hate... I'd never seen anything like it before, and I've been a dick on the Internet since 1997.
Now here's the problem: How do you fight back? No one likes to take s**t, but this was a free publication, and advertisers don't want to be involved with people who put an article called "No, f**k YOU, Scrapbookers!" in the hands of children. Plus, the editors were kind of mad at me. A few months earlier I'd made a joke about crazy people and an actual crazy person anti-defamation league brought legal action against us. And we couldn't reason with them because they were f*****g mentally crazy. That was their whole thing!
Anyone with 100 free hours and an Internet connection can ruin your life, and when you're running a magazine, you have to let them. But something strange happened during the one-sided scrapbooking war--the president of the company grew a pair of nuts. We may have settled out of court with fat people, nutbars, the National Council Against Chewbacca Jokes... but scrapbookers? f**k. That. With God as our witness, we were not going to take s**t from scrapbookers. So I was given something I never thought I'd get: the green light to write an article where all I do is respond to their incessant whining and cunting. So here we go, ladies. Or should I say, UNSEXED SLUTS.
Our first reactionary letter comes to us from Christi Hubbart, who writes:
Dear Unsatisfied Christi,
Yes, if my article was called The Official Complete List of Things People Put in Scrapbooks, the exclusion of "pets" and "friends" would be a notable oversight. But I was making jokes about your lame hobby, not compiling a manual for future generations to decoratively treasure our memories. Normally people spot these "jokes" through the author's use of absurdity, or the plucky spirit in which he or she expresses a fun observation. I saw none of this in the line about my mother, you undereducated b***h. And for that, things are about to get ugly.
While your ovaries dry to the sound of scissors cutting out cat photos, know this: I've seen cuter cats folded up in moo shu pancakes. If your pets could talk, they'd beg to have cosmetics tested on them, if only for someone in the home to look like they tried. It's been so long since your underwear has seen the light that it's starting to grow its own bioluminescent moss. Draw a puffy paint border around that in your little book, you grumpy, barren fishwife!
Melinda Ortega from Austin also shared her thoughts on the article:
Dear Melinda the Mad Scrapbooker,
Normally I make it my policy to cry whenever a clumsy insult is followed by 14 exclamation points but when it's a scrapbooker telling a writer to get a life... my tears get a little tied up in the dislogic. So Melinda, if you wouldn't waste a match on our magazine, maybe you could waste a six man tent to make your fat ass a dress that fits. Be warned, though; if there are campers inside, the smell of their fear combined with your own natural pig scent is sure to attract dangerous predators. Hopefully the bears will mistake you for a toilet like your husband did.
This might not make much sense if you're not a giant fatty, but I'm playing the odds. Plus, if you are of normal size, then you have bigger things to worry about than me after the fatties find out you stole their fat, fatty writing style. Seriously, you write like a pizza fell across a keyboard and tried to order jam online.
This next letter from Libby E was CC'ed to several other names I didn't recognize. I assume they are top members of the Scrapbooker's Liberation Force.
Dear Libby E,
Thanks for calling me "Sir or Madame." I know that name is normally reserved for the header on a page full of photos of your mutated kid. You scrapbookers are all the same: You give birth to one creature that can live on both land and water and then you think you can tell everyone how to live their lives.
And it's hard to tell since you're a f*****g idiot, but the clunky line about your memories lasting long after I've "gone onto wherever I am going to be going"... that's a death threat, right? I have to be honest, the only way that would scare me is if I was a pint of ice cream and sitting in your freezer after an especially depressing episode of As The World Turns. And even then, I'm more worried about the tapeworm inside you that you got from hugging your horrible baby.
You know what? I think I'm still upset that that first geek was talking about my mom, so let me start over. Dear Libby E, maybe I was too hard on your sex organs. I sure was on your mother's.
Joy Flanagan wrote the following steamy account of my inaccuracy:
I'm sure by now you've become the Team Leader of the "Joyful Red Hots!" and are having trouble finding time away from God-knows-what duties that entails. To the rest of the scrapbookers reading, this is how you get to me. Mentioning you and your husband having sex in Star Fleet uniforms... that's like a sledge hammer to every future thought I'm ever hoping to have. And f*****g after Dungeons and Dragons? I didn't even know they made dice for that. There's a serious chance of me thinking of one or both of those things next time I have sex in a normal, undressed way.
Joy actually included a picture of herself with the email. She's only a five, but that doesn't include the six extra points you get for sending someone pictures of yourself and making a clear offer of sex in exchange for construction paper. That's very arousing to a man. So while I think Joy and her people have a lot of problems, I may still +4 Paladin Hat all up in her Grand Moff Tarkin.
Sherry Moss from Nicholasville, Kentucky writes:
Thanks for your offer to write an article for us. And while I'm sure our readers are dying to go behind the curtain of gluing pictures of your kids next to UNICORN stickers, speaking as a journalist, the next time you ask a magazine for a job you should try not to HURT ITS FEELINGS with your CRUEL ACCUSATIONS OF SCRAPBOOK IGNORANCE right beforehand. You are a SPERMICIDE.
Also, SHERRY, I don't want to second guess your fiscal statistics since scrapbooking implies at least a bachelor's degree in mathematics, but are you sure your photo album thing is a MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY? A packet of stick-on googly eyes is like 89 cents, and you buy one, maybe two of those in your lifetime. With 150 million women in the country, that would require EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM to apply over 70 googly eyes to the FACE of every member of their child's Little League team. That's not only impossible, it's AWESOME. You bitches are CRAZY.
Stampznstuff2 wrote to me:
First of all, Stampznstuff2, I apologize that one person beat you to the perfect username. And I don't want to get personal, but your husband hates your new haircut. And he's been gay for the last 70-pounds you gained. The only way he can bring himself to have sex with you is by pretending you're a vending machine and he's trying to dislodge a candy bar from you. And thanks to your bladder control problems, he always does. You're so disgusting that the last time you had sex, Saddam Hussein got blamed for dropping mustard gas on civilians.
Mani Schmitz, Executive Director and Romance Specialist for, I swear this is true, Passion Parties for Women, sent the following:
Not since my article, "Why Can't I Get Laid At A League of Women Voters Meeting?!" has a group sent so many letters about their sex life. If you scrapbookers love sex so much, why did you press charges against your uncle?
And finally, BKT wrote:
Are you sure that's non-toxic glue you're using? Let me explain to you how this comedy thing works:
s**t, oops! I guess I've been skipping step 3 all this time. It's just not safe clowning around about a group knowing there are people out there inventing personal tragedies for members of it. In fact, I should focus on the kind of jokes that everyone can enjoy, like an unexpected pie hitting a face! Look out, clean-faced person! Pie!!!
Until you think about the fact that some pie chefs have rheumatoid diarrhea... and some never even got the chance to make pies since they were pounded to death by mountain gorillas when they were underprivileged babies. And speaking of those gorillas... well, I'm just going to say it: gorilla dick cancer. I'm starting to see things from your point of view now, BKT. I'm sorry, scrapbookers... I'm sorry for all your gorilla dick cancer, scrapbookers.
Part 3: The Double Aftermath
At the very last minute, the balls that the magazine's president had found vanished. He decided that he was content to take s**t from literally anyone and everyone. This response piece was never printed and his inbox continued to be decorated by the uncontested, filthy brain vomit of scrapbookers for weeks. To this day, those s**t-flinging scrapbookers have no idea they've done anything wrong. But they have.Â And I want them to know: I NEVER FORGOT. And I will NEVER FORGET.
Before the 20th century, most of the world was a toilet.
If a woman is annoyed at a seemingly innocuous string of words, there's probably a reason for it.
In fantasy there is a diversity of possibility ... and an overabundance of the same ol' sexist tropes.
It's hard to end a TV show satisfactorily.