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The Nerd King

by Pietar

I was glancing through the on-line version of my local news when a headline caught my attention immediately. "Secret group found at Jefferson Junior High that selects and humiliates new students." I read the first line and found the humiliation started with being named "The Nerd King 2020". I didn't need to read any further.

I hadn't thought of that in years. In fact, I was surprised that it still went on almost 30 years after I picked the 1992 Nerd King. It wasn't a secret group, everyone knew about it, at least back then. Hell, even Mr. Shoemaker, who'd been one of my teachers years ago, had been selected a Nerd King when he was a boy attending JJH. Only in his day it was Geek King. Same duty, different name. Nobody interfered. But perhaps the change I made the year that I named a boy to the title changed everything.

I was twelve then, a few months shy of turning thirteen, and in 7 days I was set to enter the seventh grade at Jefferson Junior High. It was a day that turned my life around.

"Karris," I heard from behind me. I knew the voice and thought about running, but I was sure it would be pointless. Ryan Nelson knew where I lived. And he'd be even more pissed at me if he had to chase me down. He was a year older than me.

I turned and was glad I hadn't run. With him was Noah Bently, who would be entering 8th grade along with Ryan next week. He'd been held back a year, so he was two years older than me. At fourteen, he already had sideburns. Lean and strong, he was a swimmer. A damn good one from all I heard. There wouldn't have been any chance of outrunning him.

"You are number five on the list," Ryan said as he and Noah approached me. I had no idea what list he was talking about. "That means you get to pick the Nerd King for this year."

That I did know a little about. Not much, except that being picked was anything but a good thing. Ryan handed me a paper. It had five names on it and each name had a number, starting at number 1, who was Blake Safford. Then Joe Fairfax, Cliff Caley, Troy Nicolson, and finally me, Jason Karris.

"Do you know anything about being selected to determine who gets named Nerd King?" Noah asked. I shook my head. "It means you have until the day before school starts to select one boy from the list. You have to get him tied to the backstop. If you do, you get a wonderful gift. If you fail, we will pick you as Nerd King."

"The higher number you choose, the better your reward," Ryan said. "Picking Safford would be the best you could do. Do you know where the backstop is?"

"Yeah," I said. Years before there used to be a baseball field behind Cleaver's Moving and Storage. But Mr. Cleaver's business grew and took over the land. All that was left of the old field was the chain link backstop. "What happens then? And how am I supposed to get him to let me tie him up?"

"Everyone at or entering JJH will see him," Ryan explained. "As Nerd King, he will be picked on all through seventh grade. Most Nerd Kings get pantsed fairly often. His life will suck for a year, and then a new king will be picked."

"Last year it was Todd Blake, and he was tied wearing only whitey-tightys," added Noah. "But he was number 4 on the list, so it's beatable. Your reward gets better the more humiliating you make it. If you can do better than last year, Ryan will see to it that you get a date and a kiss from any girl in school who doesn't already have a boyfriend. And, you won't have to worry about being picked on. We and our friends will protect you from any and all bullies. But only if you succeed. Fail us and it will be you in your underpants with everyone walking by laughing at you."

"As for how you do it, we don't care," Ryan continued. "Get a couple of other boys to help. Anyone helping you will also get protection for the year, so that's where you can get the other nerds on the list to help you. They'll be pleased you didn't pick them and thus willing to help."

"Ten in the morning on Wednesday of next week he'd better be there," Noah said. "Don't you dare let us down." He and Ryan turned and walked away.

I was dumbfounded, that was for sure. No way would I want to do this to any boy. And the bigger problem was that Blake Safford and Joe Fairfax were my best friends, and Cliff Caley hung out with the three of us many times. Worse yet, Cliff had confided in me once that he was gay. I was positive I was the only one to know this, at least in Junior High. I couldn't choose him, he had absolute trust in me. If I did this to any of them, I'd be left with no friends at all. And then I'd need the protection. I was stuck. Number four on the list was Troy Nicolson. I knew very little about him. He had his own nerd friends. Probably boys further down the list. The copy I had ended with me, but there had to be other boys who got votes.

I spent two days thinking about it and was no closer to a solution but now I had less time until the deadline. There was only one solution I could see. One choice I'd have to live with. But since I didn't totally trust Ryan or Noah, I had to get assurances.

"I'm not going to pick any of the first three on the list," I began when I met with Ryan. "But it will be better than last year, I promise. However, I want to make sure that I'll be protected from all bullies like you promised. Even from you. And because I promise to humiliate him more than last year, I want the boys who help me to get the same."

"I told you, that's how it works. You don't have anything to worry about as long as Troy Nicolson is tied to the backstop. How much protection you really get depends on how much you embarrass him. He's number four on the list, so it will be hard to beat last year."

"Oh, its going to be spectacular," I promised. "But I had to know I could count on your protection."

He seemed confused, which I fully understood, but I got the assurances I needed. Next it was time to get Blake and Joe on board with the plan.

It took some real discussion, as they thought my plan was a horrible one. But they could not do the one thing that would sway me from what I wanted them to help me with – come up with a better plan.

"Just make sure you, Cliff, and Troy Nicolson are there before 10 A.M. on Wednesday," I told Joe. "He won't trust you, so you'll have to be very convincing. Once he sees me and Blake he'll cool down. Trust me guys, this is the only way I can preserve my friendship and protect myself."

Everything was set. It was going to be horrible, and I hoped my plan worked or it would all be for nothing.

Wednesday morning, I met with Blake at nine and we made our way to the backstop. He asked me twice if I was sure, and twice I told him it was the only way.

We got there and had a quick look around. The weeds and brush were kept clear by workers from Cleaver's Moving and Storage.

"You ready?" Blake asked.

Instead of answering him, I removed my shirt. Something I would normally avoid doing when outside. My well-tanned forearms were in stark contrast to my chest. Then I did something I don't think I'd ever done outside. I removed my shoes, socks, and shorts. I felt horribly embarrassed, and it was just me and Safford there. Not sure how long I'd be in the sun, I covered my chest, upper arms, and upper legs with sun block, and had Blake do my back.

Then I stood in front of the backstop, facing the direction that people would arrive from. I spread my arms to the sides. "Do it," I commanded, trying to keep the fear from my voice.

Blake shook his head as he pulled free the four lengths of cotton rope he had wrapped around his waist. He started with my left wrist, making three loops around wrist before tying the ends securely to the backstop. Then he did the same with my right, pulling it slightly so that I had no slack. Just as I'd told him to do. They were tied at a height that exposed my armpits.

Joe and Cliff Caley showed up right then. Troy Nicolson was at their heels.

"See?" my friend said to the number four nerd. "He isn't after you. He's offering you protection. But you have to help in order to get it."

Troy wasn't buying it, but he did come forward. He checked how the rope was looped around both of my wrists and knots where they were tied to the backstop. He seemed satisfied that I could not escape without help. But three of my friends were there, so he was still believing that this was a trick.

I spread my legs as wide as I could. "Cliff, you and Troy tie them the same as my wrists," I said to him. "If you don't know the knots …"

"I'm a boy scout," he said. Of course he was. "I know how to tie knots." Cliff started with my left leg while Troy worked on the other one. Nicolson was just pulling the rope tight when I stopped him.

"Wait a second, untie that."

"Finally," Blake sighed. "I knew you weren't stupid enough to go through with this."

Troy didn't loosen the rope that he had been about to tie. He looked to me like he was about to run. I needed to stop him, to convince him to stay.

"This needs to be better than last year," I said. "Take my boxers off."

"What?" Joe choked. "Naked? No way. You can't do that."

"You're right. You guys have to do it. I stripped down this far, you guys need to finish it. Release that rope Troy and pull down my boxers. Then I'll pull that leg out of them and you can tie it before releasing the other leg so I can do the same. This isn't a trick."

Nicolson stood there. "Why are you doing this?"

"These guys are my best friends; I couldn't do it to them. That left you. Only I'm not enough of an asshole to put you through this. Trust me, I have a plan. This will be embarrassing as hell, but I'll survive it."

"But then, shit man, you'll have to get through an entire year as the Nerd King."

"My choice. Just do it. I won't kick you, and these guys won't do anything to stop you." I swallowed, hoping he'd do it before it was too late.

Troy let go of the rope and I straightened out my leg. With a giggle, Cliff was the one who pantsed me. He enjoyed seeing me exposed, and I didn't mind that he did. I pulled my leg out of the opening, getting some help with the rope that was still wrapped around it from Troy. I then stretched it out to the side again and allowed him to tie it.

It was repeated with my left leg, leaving me tied in the shape of an X to the backstop.

"I didn't believe a word of what Joe told me," Cliff began as he reached a hand into one of his pockets. "So just in case, I brought along something special."

Now I had even more doubts about this plan than ever. This wasn't part of the script.

He pulled out a long, thin piece of fabric.

"What's that for?" I protested. I tried to move, but the most I could do was move my waist an inch away from the backstop.

"To make you face your public and not look down," he said. He came over to my side and passed the fabric over my forehead. With help from Troy they passed both ends through the backstop and tied them together. I could no longer move my head.

I was now pressed tight to the backstop and unable to move. I could feel my dick getting hard. And I could see the same response in two of the three boys facing me – Cliff Caley and Troy Nicolson. Their shorts were noticeably pushed out, but I think I was the only one to see it.

"What the hell?" The four boys turned around. I could already see Ryan Nelson and Noah Bently approaching.

"I picked myself," I said to them. "These guys all helped. They get protection from bullies, just like me. You two need to keep anyone from picking on me for a year. And that include the two of you. And this is way worse than what was done to last year's Nerd King."

"Shit," Ryan said.

"Yeah, he outfoxed us," Noah added. "But he is still going to be seen by every kid in school. The girls are going to love this."

"All five of the top voted nerds protected," Ryan muttered. "Plus, we have to find a girl to kiss each of them. Never been heard of. I gotta hand it to you Karris, you did it right. Enjoy your day. Your going to be out here for a few hours."

It was a long and terribly humiliating two hours. I was hard most of the time. Several girls asked if they could touch it, and since I was naked, Noah gave them permission. I think he did it to punish me for ruining the year for the winner of the Nerd King.

The only real good thing was that in 1992 not many kids had cell phones, and even for those who did, none of the phones back then had cameras. Since they didn't expect to see a naked boy, I didn't see anyone with a camera except for Sharon Wright, who was the editor of the school newspaper. She made a point of never aiming the camera lower than my head as she captured the 1992 Nerd King to publish on the front page of the first edition once school started. When I saw the picture in the school paper, I saw that Cliff had used something to write "Nerd King, 1992" on the front.

So while about a hundred or so girls (and a like number of boys) saw me completely naked, all that remains of it are memories. I certainly set history. No boy was naked again for the following six years I went to school there, and I'm guessing that I might be the only Nerd King to be shown on selection day in his birthday suit.

Ryan Nelson and Noah Bently hated it, but they honored the rules and protected me from anyone who wanted to bully me until my first day of 8th grade. And by that point, the bullies had a new king to torment.

I moved away to go to college, but found work after that in a neighboring town. Adults and most high school kids never attended a Nerd King selection ceremony, so the last time I was there was to see my replacement. I heard about it while in high school, and once overheard some mention of it in a grocery store a few years ago. That was why I was so surprised by the newspaper account today.

In a way, it was kind of sad. The tradition had existed for decades at least before I selected myself, and then for 27 years after that. It seemed a shame for it to end, but humiliation is not as acceptable now as it was back then.

Blake Safford asked the day we graduated from high school if I ever regretted my decision. I told him the truth, I didn't. I could not see putting him, or even Troy Nicolson, through such an event. I was sure that I would have regretted being responsible for someone else's misery. And I went from an almost hairless 12-year-old with a short and thin dick to someone people trusted and girls wanted to date. I later married the first girl who ever gave me a hand job. I just wish it hadn't been done in front of a couple of hundred other kids.

We have a son who just turned six. I wonder what rites of passage will exist in school when he enters adolescence? Unfortunately, I'm doubtful that today's society would allow any. Certainly not something titled Nerd King. But I think that such rituals are important somehow. A part of growing up. I think it's a shame to have them all be banned, but I'm in the minority on that I'm sure.

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