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Jun 18, 201306:17 AM
The Lighter Side

Exploring the humor and peculiarities of the Big Easy

Finding New Orleans' Nerds

“…because nerds like us are allowed to be un-ironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.” - John Green

 

After I wrote my blog a few weeks ago about hipsters, I came to a sad conclusion. Not that everyone in the Bywater will soon be consumed by the gentrification zombies wanting to eat and profit from our brains. And holy crap, judging by the comments, hipsters sure do strike a nerve these days. (Seriously, I think they incite more anger than the NSA tapping our phones.) My conclusion was that after moving to New Orleans, I left behind a huge group of people that I miss terribly. My nerd friends.

 

I realized this after mentioning the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus Mardi Gras parade where kids dressed as jawas from Star Wars, thus learning at an early age that costuming is a big part of life here in the Big Easy. I also remembered thinking that the parade itself happened to be the one I had the most fun at during Carnival season. We even walked several blocks to be able to see it twice.

 

Yep, I'm a nerd. And as wookiees, storm troopers and Doctors 1 - 11 walked by and I got more and more excited, I realized that it just didn't have the same impact on my parade companions. Sure, they had a lot of fun, don't get me wrong, and they are nerds in their own right. (More music nerds than anything. And also a Harry Potter nut). But it's tough to get someone to go to a midnight showing with me here in New Orleans, if you know what I mean. Most of my fellow midnight-showing-levels-obsessed nerd friends are in other cities these days. So I've really been missing the excitement and all-around giddiness that comes with having friends and fandoms in common.

 

Sure, there are a few friends at work who watch "Game of Thrones" and we had fun dishing about the last couple episodes (OMG RED WEDDING, ROBB STARK OMG), but now that's it's over and "True Blood" has come back on, I'm back to being all alone in Sunday night television nerdom.

 

Sad face. :-(

 

So what did I do? I just went ahead and joined the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus even though Mardi Gras is months and months away.

 

I'm not kidding that it was my absolute favorite parade of Carnival season and I'll tell you why: Han Solo.

 

There were many Han Solos that night, but one in particular was strutting down the street in all of Han's classic arrogance so I took a chance and shouted, "Han! I love you!"

 

And he turned to me and yelled, "I know!"

 

He didn't miss a beat. I totally melted. I have a weakness for scruffy-looking nerf-herders. I even married one.

 

Also, a lovely jedi padawan handed me the best throw I've received from a Mardi Gras parade yet, a 3D Han Solo sticker. So much better than any cheap plastic beads made in China. And my second favorite throw? A coin that a Bilbo Baggins himself handed me for The Green Dragon Inn, good for one half-pint of ale.

 

 

Seriously, the clever hand-made Mardi Gras throws from parades like Chewbacchus and Krewe du Vieux, are the absolute best. They are far more awesome and bring far more excitement than all the bags full of beads from the "super krewes" that are only kept by tourists and people collecting them for next year.

 

So hopefully I can get back to my nerd roots by being involved in the krewe. I've also always wanted to join a krewe since I moved down here, but most are pretty impossible (and expensive) to get into. Not so with Chewbacchus. They seem to accept just about anyone (except unicorns and elves, naturally), in an all-inclusive nerd utopia and is very affordable to join. Sounds good to me.

 

I also spent a week painting Yoda for a Chewbacchus art show... Because Yoda spent quite a bit of time on a swamp planet known as Dagobah. It's not unlike our swamps here in Louisiana. Here he is in the "Dagobayou." Heh.

 

 

I am officially in nerd heaven, you guys. A New Orleans nerd heaven, at last.

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The Lighter Side

Exploring the humor and peculiarities of the Big Easy

about

Annie Drummond is a graphic designer and artist from Columbus, Ohio. She has a degree from the Columbus College of Art & Design. Two years ago she made the move from the Midwest to New Orleans' Bywater neighborhood and fell deeply in love as she discovered the rhythms and traditions of her new city. In addition to The Lighter Side, she writes about food, art and design (and other stuff) at www.AnniedelaDolce.com.

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