Our Readers Are Nerds! (We Have Proof)

Ransom Riggs

I've long harbored a suspicion that most of our floss readers (and certainly our staffers) are closet nerds, and as far as I'm concerned, this photo challenge proved it. Somehow, we tricked legions of you into opening those closets, finding the nerdiest slash most embarrassing photos you could find of yourselves, then emailing them to us so we could post them on the internet. (And on a modestly popular website, at that.) What were you thinking??

Naturally, we got tons of submissions. We can't post them all here, but we'll post the most acutely embarrassing shots and put the rest on our Flickr page. Let the humiliation begin!

Above: reader Matt writes "I don't know what to be more embarrassed about: the chubby belly, the pulled-up socks, the weird face I'm making or the Tron shirt." Taken at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida, circa 1985."

Reader Kay and her father tickle the ivories. "I still love music," she writes, "though I've since managed to cure my childhood exhibitionism."

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Reader Jenny went as french fries for Halloween. Judging from the hair: 1986ish?

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Shaya Lewin, age six, Cleveland, Ohio. "This may be the first time my mom let me dress myself."

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Reader Tina was a long way from puberty in this photo, but already excited about bras:

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Joe from Iowa sent in this picture of he and his brother ("deep in the 70s"), pretending to smoke and drink. Well,



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Kathy writes: "This would be me upgrading a pre-windows era Tandy. Yes, I'm a girl. Yes, that's a Tandy." Nerd city, population: you!

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Chad about to be mauled by a deer at the petting zoo.

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Reader Kate doing a seductive dance with a mop on her head:

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Carrie's husband Steve doing an impersonation of his mother, years ago, while wearing her glasses. Definitely embarrassing, and vaguely Norman Bates-y to boot. Thanks, Carrie!

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Mental_Floss staffers
OK, we've humiliated our readers enough, now it's time to turn the lens on ourselves.

Bloggers Jason Plautz (left) and Brett Savage (right), dressed as an old lady and Batman's sidekick, respectively.

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magazine editor-in-chief Neely Harris waterskiing

with her teeth

(left) and barking orders at the photographer (right). How this makes Neely look like anything other than a badass, I'm not certain.

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The many sides of Higgins. First, the scholar:

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... and the greaser. Higgins explains: "When I was six, I had a lot of denim clothes. I remember one day deciding to become a sort of greaser badass. I figured that I could bad-ify myself by wearing all denim, with striped bandanas randomly tied around my extremities, then adopting some kind of karate pose."

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Stacy was kind enough to send me this shot, which is awesomely nerdy in more ways than I can count. Between the glasses, the grandma, and the matching hot pink pants, hat and balloon ...

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Yikes. Merry Christmas, kitty.

Below: writers David and Andréa, worshiping God (left) and the Lord of the Dance (right).

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Miss Cellania circa 1974:

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Many more on our Flickr page!