Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nerd Therapy Session: Adventures in Cosplay


In order to flex my (somewhat scrawny) writing muscles and perhaps to deal with some pain, I've decided to start posting little essays about some of my more embarrassing moments in my life that I can completely blame on my nerdy obsessions.

I wasn't exactly Miles Davis as a kid, so the well runs deep folks. I also welcome guest submissions at any time, so open up and let the healing commence.

The Scarf

Let me open with this, I played Doctor Who on television.

It was on a crappy Canadian cable access show that nobody ever saw but I like to think of myself as the unofficial 12th Doctor. I am available for conventions.
The back story to this is kind of noble, a cable access host was holding a drama class at the local library. I was 12 and shy, so it seemed like a good thing for me to try. Myself and some friends joined but I was the only one who went to the second meeting. There were girls there and the little bubble of mutual respect was intoxicating to me. I was drunk on confidence.
The final project was to create a short film for Channel 10 that supported the local library, you could be anything you wanted but preferably a fictional character.  Some of the choices were weird, one girl was a hooker, another kid was a worm (no costume, he just did that break dance move across the floor in the scene) and I of course, chose Doctor Who.

I had been hooked on Who since I was six and saw "Day of the Daleks" on TVO. My older sister's  comments were a great warning sign that it wasn't for everyone so I never, ever let anybody know before, especially a large group of strangers.
My all too wonderful and enabling grandparents were awesome about it. My grandfather provided the coat and the hat (which still hangs in my garage) and my grandmother knitted me the Tom Baker scarf, it was amazing and  12 feet long.
On the day of the filming, we had a party at the instructors house and she made us all feel like adults at a cocktail party, it was empowering. 

I was still completely high the next day, that I decided to wear my scarf to school.

Yep, I marched right onto the play ground of my Catholic school (I know that`s not important but it kind of is in a weird way) and immediately regretted my decision. I will say this, the burns I received were not very biting, most of the kids in my class let it slide or made some smug, lame crack.
Except for this one British born kid two grades below me. He seemed especially smart mouthed, although from a very safe distance.

I put the scarf on a shelf in the hall and resolved to carry it home and not wear it.

At lunch time, my friend tapped me on the shoulder and said "you might want to see this". Outside, a bunch of fifth graders were having a tug of war with my scarf, leading the charge that mouthy looks-like-Reggie-Mantle kid from earlier in the day. I took back my property and knocked down the ring leader, which just made him louder.

I learned a valuable lesson about too much sharing that day but it took a few dozen more similar horrifying incidents to truly hammer it home. In retrospect though, I started bringing my library loaned Doctor Who hard covers to school after that and nobody batted an eye, i had lived it down.

The Kicker: Ten years or so later, I`m sitting in a townhouse I shared with three other people, when one of my room mates starting talking about grade school. I knew we came from the same town but hadn't a clue we went to the same school as well.

He pulls out a picture of himself as a kid, it was him, the mouthy kid! It was like finding out I lived with freaking Kaiser Soze! I decided to keep it to myself as he was totally oblivious as to who I was, it was a Tuesday to him, nothing more.

No copies of the film exist, I had every member of the drama club killed in 1999.


Muppet John said...

Hahahahahaha! Tom Baker would be proud.

Anonymous said...

So VERY VERY awesome!!!!!!

Richard said...

It sounds like you got the better of him that day outside school, so this is nothing to be ashamed of. But I notice you never mention what became of him after you discovered his identity ten years later.

Plaidstallions said...

@Richard We still see each other occasionally, it's all good.

Umbratikus said...

Any photos of you as Who?

John III said...

Great post Brian! Thanks for sharing! I remember when I was about the same age and took a video/movie making class at the local college. We did all kinds of neat things with the movie camera and I even dressed up as Dracula for a TV interview video we made. Loads of fun!

Anonymous said...

...don't feel so bad. knitted one for myself about 10 with similar results.

Tom G. said...

It's 10 degrees outside. I wore my Dr. Who scarf to work today. This is the difference between 44 and 12. At 44, I couldn't possibly be any less cooler in the eyes of the world, so I have nothing to lose.

Great story. Thanks for sharing. As an awkward Catholic School nerd, I can totally empathize. Although my geek flag was Lord of the Rings.

Anonymous said...

I knitted and wore my Tom Baker scarf a lot, mostly at night when walking around my cold neighborhood in winter. I loved that thing. It was like a blankie for nerds. No one else got it.
I still have it and it is still warm and snuggly.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin