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Post Column: With 'Game of Thrones', it's cool to be a nerd

“I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, I WASN’T DOING ANYTHING!” I screamed, switching off the TV immediately. “I was nowhere! I’m nobody!  Who are you? Who am I!?”

“Do you have to do this every time I walk into the apartment?” asked my roommate Chad as he set down his groceries. “I seriously, honestly could not care less about whatever you were watching before I walked in. OK? Turn it back on if you want, or don’t. Just put down the crowbar, please.”

Dammit. He’d called my bluff, the crafty devil. I looked from side to side nervously. “No, it’s — it’s fine, Chad. I’ll just wait until you leave before I turn back on my ... cooking show? Yes. Cooking show.”

“Oh, you were watching Food Network, that’s nice,” Chad replied, not bothering to look back at me as he put his groceries away. “Out of curiosity: which show?”

Good ... Eatings,” I answered slowly. “Starring Shia LaBeouf. That is definitely the show I was watching and will continue to watch after you leave the room.”

Chad looked at me evenly. “Look, if you were watching porn, just say so. In fact, you watching porn in the living room would actually be much less creepy than this entire conversation.”

“Sure, let’s go with porn!” I cried hastily. “But seriously, could you take off for a bit? I’m missing what’s going on with Tyrion in King’s Landing and-”

I clamped my hands over my mouth quickly, but it was too late — a spark of recognition had entered Chad’s eyes. A familiar fear pervaded my entire being.“Look, before you give me a purple-nurple,” I stammered, “you should know that I have a very serious nipple condition…”

“Wait, you were watching Game of Thrones?” Chad asked. “What’s wrong with Game of Thrones? It’s a good show. I like that show.”

I had to pause a moment to let his words sink in. “Wait, what!? You’re not gonna make fun of me or anything!?”

“Uh, first off, I don’t care about you nearly enough to expend the effort it would take to mock you,” Chad said, sighing as he withdrew the tranquilizer rifle he kept around for my freak-outs. “Second off, why would I make fun of you for watching Game of Thrones? Lots of people watch it. It’s like HBO’s highest-rated show, I think.”

“WHAT!?” I screamed and flipped over the coffee table. “I’ve been going to extreme lengths to keep my love for dark fantasy and medieval intrigue a closely-guarded secret! Are you telling me this geeky show about dragons and zombies is something regular people watch!?”

“Uh ... Yes?” I saw Chad loading the tranquilizer gun, but I was too enraged to care. “This isn’t like an ’80s coming-of-age movie, dude. You can get away with being pretty nerdy now, you know? I think you would be aware of these cultural shifts if you ever left the apartment, and also weren’t a complete freaking lunatic.”

“I don’t understand,” I hissed, swatting darts away as I leapt across the furniture. “I spent all of junior high being tormented for liking this stuff! How could things have changed so much!?”

“Wait a minute, we went to the same junior high,” Chad said, fumbling for more darts. “You were never bullied for being nerdy! You just sat in the corner and played Pokémon by yourself and snarled at us whenever we got too close. It’s your ego acting up again, moron — you’ve invented a persecution for yourself where none exists! I told you to stay off Reddit!”

I plucked the dart out of my neck and swayed as I hit the ground. “Can it... really be?” I whispered gently. “Have we finally gotten to the point where my dorky interests are... normal? Am I... normal?”

“Uh, no,” said Chad firmly. “It’s not because you’re a nerd, though — it’s because you’re a psychopathic moron who eats paint chips and doesn’t believe in soap.”

“Good enough for me, Chad,” I whispered, as sweet unconsciousness overtook me. “Good enough for me.”

Ryan McAndrews is a senior studying journalism and watching television at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. Do you watch Game of Thrones? Email Ryan at rm287608@ohiou.edu.

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