The most irksome part of Hell-Nerds is that I have not yet devised a good comeback! I used to just reply no (to nervous, yes to ready), which is utterly brain-numbingly lame, and of late I have just been doing the fake non-eye smile, turning away, and letting silence take care of it (except for expletives under the breath).

What can ya say? There is really not a good retort for that query. I have dreamt of declaiming that indeed, I am all nervous, then crazily eye poppingly dementedly grabbing the Hell-Nerd in question and getting sick all over them on command, as seen on Jackass (ideally they would be dressed up). I have not managed that one yet. Still just a dream. Likely always will be.

I have also considered, after a perfectly timed long moment, just reaching out and slapping them (as Terence, or was it Philip? does to Brooke Shields in the South Park movie).

Another possibility would be a Churchillian rejoinder – as in: “I may be nervous. And you’re ugly. But as soon as the concerto’s over, I won’t be”. (This only works if the Hell-Nerd is actually not ugly – otherwise it would be mean, and I really can’t abide rudeness) (somehow that that would be ruder than projectile vomiting or accosting with palm of hand).

It has been suggested that I answer a question with a question, in the manner of David Caruso in CSI Miami, something like ” Do you think that I think that I am not ready/happy?” with all the obligatory downward talking and upward side headswings at the end of the sentence.

But those take up a lot of effort when one has one’s sights fixed on the stage. If anyone can think of the perfect comeback to my next Hell-Nerd, I’d love to hear it. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that Hell-Nerds are not malicious by nature; they’re just freaking annoying.

2 thoughts on “Hell-Nerds

  1. Tell them that of course you’re ready, after all Wagner has always been your favourite composer. (This is for a program of pure Bach, obviously you will have to alter the composer to the most inappropriate for each show but you could have a lot of fun. How may obscure and puzzlingly named composers are there out there?)

  2. For important performances, to such people I fix a stare, without hostility or curiosity, with the intensity needed to sustain myself throughout the program, and finally say “Please…” At the end when it doesn’t matter, the stock response “Thanks for your help” makes them disappear!

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