Kind of a strange thing has been happening lately. Our titular term Nerd Hurdles has been getting away from us. It was to be expected since one of the reasons we chose the phrase (coined at the 13:21 minute mark of episode #16 of my old P-Reviews Podcast) as the concept behind the show was that it had already spread like wildfire among our online friends. Like most fruits of inspiration, it’s something that simply popped out of my mouth as I improvised a bollocking of the Star Trek trailer. It’s really my only claim to fame and, if I died tomorrow, the only thing worthy of putting on my tombstone. And this is evidenced by the term beginning to take on a life of its own.
The first instance of the term becoming a meme came as a shock. I discovered The Box Room were doing “nerd hurdles” as a topic for two episodes in a row (#28 and #29). At first I assumed they were people who knew us from the Simply Syndicated forums but a little digging showed they were total strangers. How was this possible? Listening to the first of their hurdles episodes it was revealed one of their listeners suggested the topic. And, being intelligent people who a nose for a brilliant idea, they jumped on it. I still suspect this listener with the bright idea must be a Synner (I coined that term for fans of Simply Syndicated as well, BTW) but I haven’t been able to identify them. It’s even possible they heard the term from a friend of a friend of a Synner. In a way, I like to think that’s the case. I like the idea people hear the term and it resonates with them like top tens or hot or not. Anyway, when I contacted the Box Room people and they were very gracious about the mix-up and gave us some pretty nice props on their episode #30. And, to be honest, I enjoyed listening to someone else take on the concept and do it justice.
The next time I saw the term pop up unrelated to our podcast was on this response, dated 30-10-2003, to a Stax Report blog post speculating on the casting of the then upcoming Watchmen movie. A full five years before I coined the phrase. Dr. Manhattan has to be behind this time displacement since it’s impossible I merely heard the term at some point and filed it away in my subconscious until it popped out of mouth and I claimed it as my own. Definitely Dr. Manhattan’s doing as neither my ego nor my vanity can accept that my tombstone is once again a blank slate.
I still coined the term “synner” though. I’m not letting go of that.