It may seem inconceivable, but there are a large number of folks in the world who just don’t know anything about Star Trek. I know, I know-tough to believe. But, guess what? I’m one of these people. Yep, I know damn near next to nothing about Star Trek. However, being firmly incorporated into geek culture for a number of years, I’ve picked up tidbits here and there from fans of the franchise.
So now for all my fellow Star Trek virgins, I would like to present the top ten things that outsiders just don’t understand about Star Trek, with no prior research or attempt to correct my knowledge in the case that it’s utterly wrong. Beam me up, Frankie! Wait, that’s not it…
What the hell is a tribble? Besides having an awesome name that really rolls off the tongue, all I know about tribbles is what little information I’ve gathered while throwing a furry tribble toy back and forth across a room with a SuperTrekNerd friend of mine. I’ll be honest; the guy was pretty damn cute. He also made a really adorable little laugh whenever you shook him. So, needless to say, my one experience with a tribble was pleasant…until his batteries fell out.
9. “Beam me up, Scotty”
Yeah, yeah, I was joking earlier. Obviously, I’ve heard this one. I’m assuming this has something to do with a teleporter. And I guess Scotty is the man-with-the-plan when it comes to activating said teleporter. Where does this thing teleport you to? Anywhere you want? Do you have to pop up in another teleporter somewhere else? Where is “up”? Shouldn’t he/she/it be a little more specific?
8. Vulcan Death Grip
I had a lot of asshole friends growing up. I’m not sure if it was because I, myself, was an asshole, and we all just kind of stuck together, or if I was the wiener of the bunch and these dudes just wanted to be my friend so they could pick on me and feel better about themselves. Either way, some of these guys were real dicks. One day on the playground when I was around eight or nine, I guess, one of these guys comes up behind me and pinches the hell out of the area between my neck and shoulder. I turned around and was like, “What the fuck, dude?” To which he replied, “It was the Vulcan Death Grip! You’re dead now.” How rude. I wonder if doing and saying that on a playground nowadays would end with the cops showing up? Anyway, I must admit, I was and still am fairly impressed with the Vulcans’ insistence on subtle and completely annoying ways to kill someone.
7. Spock’s Appearance
We all know about Spock, even if we are far-removed from the series as a whole. When I was growing up, I would hear my parents bitching about Dr. Spock and how he was ruining the current generation of children, and I always thought they were talking about Spock from Star Trek. How Ol’ Pointy Ears was accomplishing this, I never understood, but I figured they were making a decent case if Spock was going around Death Gripping people. Of course, I got older and realized it was two different Spocks, so now I associate Spock with his ears and completely ridiculous chili bowl haircut and not the destruction of America’s youth. Seriously, in the entire galaxy, he couldn’t find a decent barber?
6. Patrick Stewart
I have only known Patrick Stewart for a few things. Growing up, he was merely that bald dude that played some guy in some movies. But now, he’s Charles Xavier and will always stand out as Professor X in my mind. Apparently, though, Mr. Stewart was quite well known as Picard on one of the Star Trek series back in the day. Was he on the same one as Kirk? I have no clue, but I like the idea of Patrick Stewart and William Shatner having a stare down followed by coffee and arguing about who will be more relevant in the years to come.
Ahh, the Enterprise. That big ass ship that is one of the most recognizable in entertainment history, I assume second only to the Millennium Falcon. I know nothing about the ship, other than the way it looks from the outside. Doesn’t it have warp speed capabilities? That’s a good thing to have. Oh, yeah, it also has some sort of teleporter, which Scotty is in charge of.
4. “Live long and prosper”
I was totally fucked up on this statement and gesture for many years. I’ve heard the saying and seen the world-famous V-finger thing that makes my hand cramp when I try it, but I never really associated the two together. Can you have one without the other? Are you supposed to do them at the same time? Is there the possibility of a Death Grip if the rules are broken? Really, it’s a pretty sweet gesture, but I wish it was a little easier on my hands. The saying, though? That is a damn nice thing to say to someone. I personally prefer Roland Deschain’s “Long days and pleasant nights,” but Star Trek has given me a decent alternative.
These guys are in serious need of some cranial restructuring. I am, however, incredibly envious of their facial hair. When I think of Klingons, I think of some dark-skinned guy with an oddly shaped melon and Fu Man Chu moustache that always seemed to be pissed at someone. Am I getting this right? Also, my aforementioned SuperTrekNerd friend mentioned something about Klingons being enemies of the Tribbles. What the hell? How could anyone hate something as awesome as a Tribble?
2. William Shatner
Goddamn, I love William Shatner. I don’t know what it is, but he pretty much cracks me up every single time I see or hear him. If it were up to me, I would cast him in every movie made. My experience with him is limited to interviews, commercials, and the two Miss Congeniality movies, but this guy has almost unmentionable goods. Anyway, I digress. So Shatner played the Captain Kirk, who is probably the most well-known Trek character. For a lot of people, he will always be known as Captain James T. Kirk. To me, he’s the Negotiator from the Priceline.com commercials.
1. Trekkie Conventions
I mean, come on? How could this not be numero uno? These things have become the face of the Star Trek franchise, and they are pretty much the first thing I always associate with it. There is a fairly well-established hierarchy within geek culture, and for some reason, I always see Trekkies in the tier of “So Geeky It’s Almost Anti-Geek.” How did they end up down there? I’ll venture a guess and say that it’s probably because of these damn conventions. Come on, guys, I am about the biggest LotR fan alive, but I keep that shit in the closet. Sure, I have posters, tapestries, different versions of all the books, pretty much every book about Middle Earth ever written, and various other things, but I don’t flaunt it for all the world to see. That’s just for my wife and friends. But, you know, with the new movie coming out and the fact that it’s getting glowing reviews may change all that. Perhaps the reemergence of Trek has finally arrived? I guess we’ll have to see.
As for now, live long and prosper, my babies.
Artwork at the top courtesy of HeyYouGuys