Good morning, Hank. It's Tuesday, October 30th.
You know, Hank, sometimes people will accuse me of not being a "real" nerd
because, you know, I don't read that much science fiction, I like sports a lot...
So I want to thank you for sharing the book I wrote when I was eight, "It Just Isn't Fair,"
because it proves once and for all that I am definitely a nerd.
Hank, can we just look at the cover art of that book real quickly?
Okay, here we go.
On the left there, you see me— for some reason I'm kind of a quasi-abstract painting—
and then over there on the right, saying "wimpy, wimpy," you see a popular person.
Hank, here's what gets me about "wimpy, wimpy" guy.
"Wimpy, wimpy" guy is obviously my eight-year-old understanding of what a popular person is.
And that means that when I was eight,
I thought that "cool" was wearing mismatched plaid pants hiked up to your solar plexus.
Hank, I was such a nerd that I thought the nerds were cool.
Hank, the reason you couldn't find my box full of childhood treasures in North Carolina
is that a few years ago, Mom and Dad sent it to my house.
Where it is kept safely under lock and key from the prying eyes of you and your minions.
That said, I would like to show you some highlights from *my* childhood box.
First we have this family portrait from 1981, which is a totally normal family portrait in every single way...
except that I clearly need to pee.
I also have a report about Thomas Edison I wrote in third grade—
Thomas Edison, you know, who's famous for inventing the boom box.
I don't want to brag, Hank, but I did get an A+ on the report,
even though I used the word "interesting" eleven times.
That's the great thing about third grade, Hank:
If you've got one polysyllabic adjective, everyone thinks you're a genius.
Hank, it's not that I think Mom and Dad *made* me massively unpopular in elementary school,
but sometimes I'll come across something from my childhood
and I'll be like, "Mom and Dad, what were you thinking?"
Like, for instance, say I wanted a sticker album.
I think that's great. Get me a sticker album for my birthday, by all means. Sticker albums are awesome.
Don't make it pink!
Although to be fair, while Mom and Dad picked out the album itself, I picked out all the rainbow stickers.
God, I love rainbows.
Hank, my favorite thing about the pink stickers album is it's got like a page for like, googly-eyed stickers,
and a page for my favorite stickers, and a page for scratch-and-sniff stickers
—and then it's got a page for military insignia stickers.
Also in my childhood box we have this beanie.
Now Hank, I wish I could tell you that Mom and Dad bought me this beanie when I was in third grade
but the plain fact of the matter is that I bought it using my own money when I was a sophomore in high school.
Hank, the final thing I'd like to show you, unfortunately I don't have.
I don't know *where* it is. It may be in North Carolina, actually.
I'm referring, of course, to the only trophy I ever won.
Hank, it was 1984, and I was still in tee-ball,
even though everyone else in my class had moved on to the Minor Leagues of Little League.
Hank, I think you might have been spared Little League baseball, so let me give you some quick terminology.
Tee-ball is when instead of hitting a pitch that's thrown at you, you hit a ball that's just sitting on a tee.
So, because I was like four years older than all the other tee-ball players, I was relatively good.
I mean, I was terrible, but I was just better than most of the five-year-olds.
And so at the end of the season they announced the all-star team, and...
I didn't make the all-star team.
I was beat out by a nice kid named Bryce, who was, I think, four.
But out of pity they named me an alternate for the all-star team,
and the all-star game itself was occurring over Thanksgiving weekend,
and I didn't want to go see Grandpa in Indiana,
because I was worried that Bryce might get injured and my services might be needed in the all-star game.
Also I was kind of bummed out because only the actual all-stars got trophies;
the alternates only got, like, certificates or something.
So, partly to convince me to leave town for Thanksgiving and partly because they're nice people and they love me,
Mom and Dad had a trophy made for me.
And the trophy says "John Green, 1984, all-star... in our hearts."
I'm an all-star in their hearts, Hank!
And that's the only trophy I ever won as a child.
So those are my nerd credentials, Hank.
-Tchk tchk, pow!-
I think I've proven my point. I'll see you tomorrow.