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Volume 71, Issue 6, Monday, August 29, 2005

Life & Arts

Nerd vows to assist UH with boredom

Nerd Alert

Barrett Goldsmith

Hey there. 

You probably only have a few minutes before your professor comes in and starts class, or your boss comes in and tells you to stop reading the paper at work, or you realize you're reading a column called "Nerd Alert."

We don't have long together, so I won't waste your time with a long introduction about what to expect in this column, seeing as how it's the first of the new semester. 

This column will tell you absolutely nothing new. It will give you no advice and won't show you any hidden treasures the city of Houston has to offer. I just want to talk about what's on my mind, and with any luck it will be enjoyable to you. 

If nothing else, it will probably make you feel better about yourself by comparison. 

A lot of things have changed since I did my last "Nerd Alert" column last fall. Back then I was an overweight single guy living with my parents and trying to scrape a living off news reporting and standup comedy. 

OK, maybe nothing has changed for me, but I'm sure some stuff is different somewhere. Maybe Taco Bell has a new commercial that's not funny. 

Maybe the Astros have found more ways to not score runs when Roger Clemens is pitching. 

Or perhaps John Mayer is going in new musical directions that will lead him to more audio trash. 

Oh, you like John Mayer? You would.

I'm joking, ha ha. See, that's what's so cool about you, we can kid around like that. Oh, we can't? That's too bad, because I had some zingers. 


Here's an idea: Why don't you contribute to the conversation? No, seriously, e-mail the Life & Arts desk and give me an idea for a column. I'll do it. But you won't. 

I learned about the level of participation by our readership when I was at the Sports desk. We tried to have some Cougar sports awards once. We maybe got two votes: one for Chandi Jones and the other for Billy Mays, the OxiClean guy. 

No, seriously, I'll be talking about nerdy stuff like Harry Potter, Star Wars, MySpace, homeless people and Chinese throwing stars, though not necessarily in that order. 

Just give me two minutes of your time every week, and I'll give you something to giggle about while you pretend to listen to your professor, look busy or think of a way to sneak out of class. 

Here's a good one to try: As soon as you're ready to leave, just get up, wave your hands around as if to indicate the whole academic process, and loudly say "All of this ... this is why ... forget it." 

Then leave. 

Remember what I said about not giving an introduction? Yeah, forget that part.

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