By V. Paul
April 12, 2002 | Duluth
Wearing rubber Spock ears could earn you that label.
Being too smart or technically adept for your own good could
do the job, too.
Social ineptitude, over-excitability and poor fashion sense
all could qualify you for geek status.
Just ask Paul Lundgren, who said his role as an obsessive-compulsive
writer earns him a free pass into geekdom.
"There are different kinds of geek. Some geeks are very
shy and awkward and kind of don't interact that much with
others," Lundgren explained. "Other geeks are what
you would call a spaz. They would run and jump around like
Lundgren, who writes for the RipSaw News, and Scott Lunt,
organizer of the Twin Ports' biggest local music bash, Homegrown
Music Festival, have teamed up to host the Geek Prom, what
they've dubbed the best nerdfest in the Midwest.
The Geek Prom begins at 8 p.m. Saturday in the NorShor Theatre,
211 E. Superior St.
"We're taking back the word," Lunt said. "I
thought it would be a great name for anything."
Of course, Geek Prom will be a strictly regimented event -
another tell-tale sign of geekiness is over-organization.
From 7-9 p.m., three restaurants will offer pre-prom dinner
specials: Pizza Luce, 11 E. Superior St.; Fitger's Brewhouse,
600 E. Superior St.; and Lake Avenue Cafe, 394 S. Lake Ave.
Limousines will shuttle diners to the NorShor Theatre from
Each new arrival will be greeted at the door and given a grand
entrance down a red carpet, where a panel of judges will determine
geek factor. Scores will determine the Geek Prom king and
queen, who will be crowned at 11 p.m.
At 10 p.m., Duluth's own geeky, country and rockabilly band,
Super D and the Double Chucks, will take the stage. They'll
be followed by Vinnie and the Stardusters, a Twin Cities geek
"I guess mostly we're kind of creating an atmosphere
where people can geek out," Lundgren said. "The
slogan of our show is, 'We're Through With Being Cool.'"
Lundgren came up with the idea of a prom for adults three
years ago but realized it would be really boring if the event
turned out exactly like a high school prom. He eventually
settled on a geek fest, but kept hoping someone else would
lead the geek prom committee.
Lundgren said last fall's economic summit organized by Duluth
Mayor Gary Doty made the prom more urgent. The summit identified
the need for a "cool factor," a way to create a
hip local culture to attract and retain young workers.
"That was when we realized the importance of establishing
a geek factor in Duluth's downtown," Lundgren said.
About the same time, Lunt challenged Lundgren to quit talking
about his beloved Geek Prom and make it real. Lundgren hopes
to draw 300 to 700 people to cover the $4,000 in expenses.
"I think everybody has an inner geek that they're dying
to let out," Lunt said. "The very few people who
refuse to let their geek out, they'll find themselves alone
that night. Pretty soon, they'll be the geeks."