The first little nerd decided to build his house out of drinking straws. They were light and easy to bend and it took him the best part of one period to build his über modern geodesic dome. He went back to playing Minecraft, smug in his efficiency and nerdy expertise.
The second nerd built his house out of popsicle sticks. It took longer than he’d hoped because the glue took ages to dry but, two periods in, he’d finished his weatherboard villa and had permission to hang out at the back of the library reading factual accounts of the attack on Pearl Harbour, content with his model-building skill and with the added bonus of dried glue to peel off his fingers while he read.
The third little nerd built his house out of Lego. Brick by brick, his medieval castle came together with turrets, a functional drawbridge and portcullis. The dining hall had a fireplace illuminated by a LED and a small motion sensor that triggered an mp3 fanfare when anyone entered the model. It took him four whole periods to complete the task and he had no free time by the end.
At then end of the exercise, their teacher, Mr Wolfenstein gathered the class to assess each of the nerd’s houses.
Of the geodesic house of straws, he said; ‘Nice colour coordination, Gordon, but I reckon I could blow it down.’ With the barest huff, Mr Wolfenstein levelled Gordon’s dome of drinking straws.
‘Actually, sir,’ Gordon said. ‘I was working with Peabody.’
‘Is this true, Peabody?’
‘Um, yes, sir.’
‘Substantial timber structure, Peabody, but you haven’t used any cross-bracing. I reckon a half-hearted sneeze will level it.’
Mr Wolfenstein pulled a hair from his right nostril and looked briefly at the sun in order to make himself sneeze. The resulting mini-tornado of spit and snot splintered the popsicle stick shack.
‘To be honest, sir,’ Peabody said. ‘We were both helping Higgenbottom.’
‘Is this true, Higgenbottom?’
‘I guess so, sir.’
‘Impressive, Higenbottom. I like the ramparts and the cellophane moat, but I think I can see a weak point just …’
With that, Wolfenstein pressed his finger on the exposed wire that powered the fireplace LED and doubled as an electrical snail barrier. The shock booted the teacher across the room and into the bookshelves. A volume of The Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the World tumbled from the shelf and cracked Wolfenstein in the head.
Higgenbottom eventually got an A.