The Time I Met a "Fake Nerd Boy"

Categories: Geek

Photo by Joshua Polman
As guests become finalized and folks gear up for the upcoming Comicpalooza this May (Four days long this year...pity your intrepid geek reporter's feet and back!), I would like to relay to you a story from last year's convention and what it tells us about the concept of the "fake nerd girl."

In case you're unfamiliar with this concept, here's the gist. A certain meatheaded segment of the geek population makes several erroneous assumptions.

1. That females are not inherently interested in comic books, video games, tabletop, etc.

2. That since geek culture is insanely popular right now, the interest that females do seem to share is nothing more than a shallow, faddish desire to be "cool."

3. And that the final goal of this feminine interest is an attempt to "steal" geek culture from its rightful male owners through enticing them then withholding sex.

Every one of these assumptions, from the idiotic idea that anyone "owns" comics to this bizarre theory that a man's desire to have his boner touched is a worthwhile currency, is wrong. They lead to a fairly uncomfortable convention experience for many women who find that they often are called upon to prove their credentials in whatever their chosen hobby is.

Now, let me tell you about the man I met who built a Dalek.

His name was Joshua Polman, and like a lot of people he'd grown up in the '70s and '80s watching Tom Baker drag his ridiculously long scarf all over time and space on Doctor Who. When the series revived and became popular again, Polman decided to hand-build himself a Dalek to lug around to places like Comicpalooza so he could let people take pictures with it. He also has a K-9.

Each Dalek costs Polman around $1,000 in material and hundreds of hours in construction. Still, he loves it. He loves the reactions that everyone from little kids to 80-year-old grown people gets from it.

I briefly interviewed Polman while my wife posed as Rose Tyler taking pictures with the Dalek, and in doing so I noticed he had some rather strange remarks on the show. He thought, for instance, that Matt Smith was the Twelfth Doctor instead of the Eleventh, and he referred to the Ninth Doctor as David Eccleston instead of Christopher Eccleston. There were other minor inconsistencies, but those two were the ones that stood out most.

For a moment I thought it was odd that someone dedicated enough to create a Dalek would be fuzzy on the current numbering of the Doctors. How big a fan could he be? Oh, that's right, big enough TO BUILD A BLOODY DALEK!

Story continues on next page.

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"Don't try to tell me that that wouldn't have resulted in a typical mansplaining verbal beatdown about how she was just another fake nerd girl out to rip off true fans who actually care about Doctor Who or sci-fi in general or whatever. I've been covering this convention since it was founded, and it totally would have."'re witnessed these verbal beatdowns take place?  I've been going for the past four years, and have yet to see such a thing.

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