When did nerds get the idea that it's okay to be nerdy? I don't recall seeing any Nerd Pride parades on the streets of Silicon Valley. But I guess if they tried that, they'd get wedgied and slammed into a locker by the Rose Bowl parade. Maybe geeks started getting all cocky after that movie about the nerds who get revenge, but nobody remembers what that one was called.

Regardless, the proliferation of nerdiness has reached epidemic proportions. It must be stopped; these people are addicts. And you know you're in trouble when it's me calling you an addict. I've got enough Scotch in me at all times to be legally considered a glass bottle.

Anyhow. Nerdiness is a downward spiral, just like any other, cooler addiction. Like with drinking: one second you're sipping your first wine cooler, and the next thing you know you're blowing a guy in an alley for just one more drink. Actually, that's a pretty regular night of drinking wine coolers. But trust me, nerdiness comes in four stages. If you see yourself or a friend on this list, please, seek the help of a licensed professional rockstar or base jumper.

Stage 1 – The Harry Potter Nerd: Life's good, you've got friends, and maybe even a special little lady you get to bang like a screen door. Then you get slipped a book at a party by a guy named "Trolus" or "Fast Eddie, the Plus Two Warlock." "Go ahead, just read a page," he says. Next thing you know, BAM, you've finished Goblet of Fire and you're strung out for Order of the Phoenix. Eventually you're reading Tolkien with a belt around your neck just to get that same high.

Stage 2 – The Anime Nerd: Listen, we all knew Japanese people were messed up. But we had no idea as to the extent of it until we saw their animated movies about penis-tentacled demons that take busty schoolgirls and" fail to teach them long division, to say the least. Anime Nerds are even more pale, gaunt and sexless than their Harry Potter counterparts. You know what's never happened before? A guy getting a hummer while watching animated lesbians in saddleshoes fight a dragon. I know, that sounds like it has all the ingredients to be cool, but it's not. It's like mixing "tequila" and "not being arrested": each on their own is good, but they just can't go together.

Stage 3 – The Sci-Fi Nerd: If there's one thing that's cooler than reading, it's probably science. And reading science? Well that's cool like the popular table in middle school, or smoking weed in college with popular middle schoolers.

At least that's how it is to the Science Fiction crowd, who's as grounded in reality as a peyote weekend in the desert. How so, you ask? (A) There's no science in Sci-Fi. Why is the future always being run by robots and aliens? Hell no. Just for that, I'm going to go beat the shit out of a Roomba and an undocumented Guatemalan. Ha ha, just kidding, I don't own a Roomba. What? (B) There's no good fiction in Sci-Fi. You can't splay your ass down at a trendy bistro/coffee bar and impress English majors with this stuff. No one's putting down their Bellow or House of Leaves for TekWar 2: The Tekkening.

Stage 4 – The World of Warcraft Nerd: Oh man, do you need help. For those not in the know, World of Warcraft is basically a five-million-strong game of Dungeons and Dragons that happens online. As if this weren't shameful enough, these addicts pay real money every month just to keep playing the game. I know that last sentence sounded a Neil Young song, but stay with me.

Lots of other "users" in this game join "guilds," which is something like an electronic crackhouse for people who refer to vagina as "ladyparts. Tee-hee!" Seriously, groups of these people get together and battle demons (the virtual, not inner, variety) for hours. True story: a few friends of mine joined a guild where they have to show up for at least 6 hours a day, 4 days a week. When I did something like that, it was called college.

CONCLUSION – This brings me to my final point: rehabilitation. When someone kicks their World of Warcraft habit, they're so socially maladjusted it's like they just got out of prison. Except without the candy bar, ten dollars, and chest full of Aryan Brotherhood tattoos. So a little rehab is in order.

The problem here is that nerds don't actually want to change. Like alcoholics or women in short skirts, nerds never know how badly they need what you've got until you force it into them. The only way to change a nerd is an intervention. While he's at work, secretly invite everyone he knows over to his house and pour all his books and electronics down the sink. Now he's almost cured. When he gets home, just make sure you a carton of cigarettes handy; it's nice to have something to bite down on when you're squeezing off a few handgun rounds into the night sky.