Nerp Frequently Asked Questions
version 1.0, 25 May 1995
Did you say "Nerf"?
No, I said "nerp". NERF® is a registered trademark of Nerf, a wholly owned
subsidiary of whatever company it is that makes NERF® balls.
So what's a nerp?
A nerp is one of those little fuzzy guys with antennae and googly eyeballs.
In their most common form, they also have adhesive feet. Nerps are naturally
demonstrative, and can often be found carrying little banners with company logos or short
Really? I thought those were called feeps, or critters.
Well, they are critters. Interestingly enough, they are also feeps, but the feep
family extends to all small, weird, furry creatures, such as feebos.
Is that what the manufacturers call them?
I seriously doubt it. They probably call them something demeaning like Poofies or
something generic like Fuzzies. Well, they're nerps.
So how did the name "nerp" come about?
In elementary school, we used to get nerps or other toys sometimes with our lunches.
These little guys would then be found in strange places around the classroom for the rest of
the year. One day we got a handout called "A Day in the Life of a Nerp", about which the less
said the better -- it was one of those following-pointless-instructions assignments. Some
time later, Amy Fera was remarking on a shoebox diorama containing a couple of nerps and
referred to them by that name, which stuck in my mind if no one else's. Amy moved away a year
later and is unaware of her place in linguistic history. So, in case she ever does a
web-search on her name: Amy Fera Amy Fera Amy Fera Amy Amy Fera Fera Fera.
Do they only come in that little size?
Mostly. However, I have the good fortune to own a nerp nine inches in diameter. His name is
Nerp!, with an exclamation point. He was sold to me by a man whose mother supposedly sewed
him by hand. This was at Noreascon 3, the 1989 world science fiction convention, held in
Boston. The nerps, which came in red and blue, were being sold as fund raisers for the
Boston Space Society or similar organization.
Since then, I have accumulated a great many nerps, but have never seen another of this size.
This and the fact that I found Nerp! at a huge gathering of science fiction fandom, led me
to believe that nerps are in fact endearingly-camouflaged alien data-gathering biodevices of
incredible sophistication. The smaller ones, I theorize, are the reification of a racial
memory of these aliens' previous visits.
If anyone out there has one of those large red or blue nerps, I am willing to pay you any
reasonable price for it. Nerp! is lonely. Please contact me at email@example.com.
I seem to recall seeing something about nerps before, in a Shadowrun® book. It didn't
say what exactly nerps were. Does this have something to do with that?
Being a Shadowrun® player, I wondered about that myself! It turns out that when FASA
talks about nerps, it means NERPS, Net Enhancements for Role Playing Shadowrun. I haven't
looked into this too closely, but apparently it's an effort by FASA to use the good ideas
that Shadowrun players have, by collecting them on the Net and making them available the
same way. This is a great idea, especially for a futuristic cyberpunk game that has to do
with the Matrix and cyberspace and all that, and I applaud FASA.
Oh, that explains a lot of the hits I get when I web-search for "nerp". But what's all
this government environmental agency stuff?
Your guess is as good as mine. I've never bothered to actually follow those links. I
believe it's finding "nerpackad" or "nerplot", but I don't know what those are.
What sound does a nerp make?
How do nerfs eat?
It's nerp, dammit.
How do nerps eat?
They don't have to. Their antennae receive microwave energy in a broadcast-power scheme.
If I had another nerp, I could triangulate to find the exact source of the transmissions.
Any more questions? Send them to the maintainer of this FAQ,
Steve Matuszek, at firstname.lastname@example.org.