How To Defend Yourself (If You Are A Nerd)

You just got out of play practice. It’s late at night. You see your car at the far end of the school parking lot, the same place it’s been since you left it at six AM in a rush to get to Quiz Bowl team practice. Only now, the black tar top seems so much vaster, more foreboding than it did in that early morning sun. “Should you really be walking alone at night?” you wonder. “Don’t they have security guards who can escort you?”

 

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But then that other voice in your head kicks in, the same voice that told you it was a bad idea to join Model U.N. It taunts you to not be a baby, take a risk, and walk across the school parking lot like a capable human being, even if it is dark out. C’mon, you have pepper spray.

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BAM. Attacker. You reach for the pepper spray, but the can feels alien to you; you have no idea how to use it. Besides, your thumb is not that strong.

You think about kicking the assailant, or perhaps even bitch-slapping him (how hard can that be?), but your anti-anxiety medication is working too well – you no longer have a functional fight-or-flight response. You ARE a baby.

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The attacker grabs the pepper spray and sprays it IN YOUR FACE. You fall to your knees in horror, hunching over like a non-ninja turtle and pleading with him to please let you pass. You’re stripped of your money and your Tamagotchi. You survive, with only a shred of self-worth in tact.

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This could have been prevented. With these few self-defense tips, you will never need to worry about your safety because you'll be a regular nerd ninja!

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When in doubt, sing

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What’s the one thing that can scare a crazy person? Thinking they’ve encountered someone even crazier! The moment you see a semi-sketchy person, start singing. Loudly. Preferably show tunes, but not “Whistle A Happy Tune” from The King And I. “Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect, and whistle a happy tune, so no one will suspect I’m afraid.” If the perp knows anything about Rodgers and Hammerstein, he’ll know that means you’re scared; your cover is blown. Cole Porter actually works better in these situations, as the lyrics are often nuanced double-entendres, which might cause the perp to stop and ponder, enabling your escape.

 

Rattle off disease symptoms

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Don’t pretend like you haven’t memorized the pregnancy symptoms page on Web MD. Now do that for an STD. If approached by an attacker, start whining loudly about all the very specific STD symptoms you have. He’ll be more likely to believe you if you know about the potential seizures.

 

Use anthropology to your advantage

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It’s nothing you haven’t read about in your Primate Evolution class. Resource acquisition. He probably wants your iPhone. So give it to him, and you can both go back to your tribes.

 

Cast a Cruciatus curse

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Okay, I know you can’t really do that. But he doesn’t, and he’s probably nuts. So grab a stick, endow it with wand-ness, and adopt the creepy voice of Voldemort for a minute. If you do it really convincingly, you might get some psychosomatic self-torturing effects out of him. For the non-Harry Potter fans, it’s okay... any made up word accompanied with an arm flourish will work, if this tip was going to work at all.

 

Run

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Remember gym class, when you had to do that running thing? And remember how at the end of the period, you were always still finishing up as the other class was coming in, so out of embarrassment, you would run faster? Pretend there’s another class right behind you. And if you don’t get the mile run done in less than 14 minutes, you’re going to get a B in gym, and that’s going to screw up your grade-point average. RUN! SOMEWHERE! To the forest! Find Hagrid, he’ll take it from there.

What do you guys think? Perhaps we should invent a new kind of karate, just for people who are really good at flailing. Feel free to list other nerd self-defense tips in the comments section.

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