Yesterday while driving to lunch, I braked at a crosswalk while about 50 of the biggest nerds I have ever seen crossed the road. I do not say this lightly -- they were right up there with the nerdiest of the nerds, nerdier even than the high tech geeks who work in my building.
I noticed more nerds swamping some of my local lunch haunts and even recall thinking to myself, "Damn, some of these nerd chicks make me look smokin' hot."
I figured there was some kind of giant nerd convention at the nearby DoubleTree, and as it happens, I was not far off the mark.
Somehow, though, my observant reporter skills failed me and I did not notice there were a number of nerds who were dressed as animals, which my Starbucks barista mentioned in passing this morning, and a coworker also commented on today. I decided to investigate immediately.
As it happens, there was a Furry convention in town.
What, you may be asking, is a furry? Well, allow me to explain!
Originally, my limited understanding of what furries are came from that asanine HBO program, "Entourage," which once featured an episode in which one of the characters, Drama, pleasures a woman from behind whilst they are both dressed as giant pink bunny rabbits. Hence my belief that furries are sick human beings who like to have sex while dressed as animals. I am still unsure if this is part of the furry lifestyle, but there is apparently a little more to it.
According to Further Confusion, an international & annual convention of furries, furries are anthropomorphic creatures that have both human and animal characteristics, whether mental or physical. The true definition of anthropomorphism has more to do with assigning human characteristics to animals (like Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny), but it never hurts to change definitions when it suits your needs.
A definition on Wikipedia states that while some furries are furry fans as a route to socializing with others, others view themselves as "other than human," or desiring to be more like certain furry characters they identify with. About 6% do not consider themselves human at all.
Aaaaand then there's the sexual aspect, this particular Wikipedia article notes. While some furries feel "furverts" give the rest of them a bad name, there is certainly a high tolerance for a range of sexual proclivities. As many as 25% of furries report being homosexual, up to 48% are bisexual, between 3 and 8% report having "alternative" sexual lifestyles, 2% have an interest in zoophilia and just under 1% are plushophiles.
So there you have it. Furries descended on San Jose and all I noticed was that they were the hugest nerds I'd ever seen.