How to Be a Trekkie
To be a Trekkie, you must first be “well adjusted,” have no issues. You should be respectable; you probably have a degree in dentistry, psychiatry, education, medicine, or pet acupuncture. You must be what others might call “too normal.” As such you must be a steady person who pays their bills, is scrupulous about regulations, never drives faster than five miles above the limit, is civil without loquacity, brings the low fat reduced sodium pretzels to pee wee soccer, and probably takes the trash out on time most Monday mornings.
Wake up at 3 am on a Wednesday to the horror of existential isolation and the powerful need to urinate. Stumble to the bathroom and relieve yourself, ponder the metaphor of a flushing toilet to your own life so grimy with the ordinary. Turn on the T.V. for some semblance of human contact. The station is channel 59, Sci-Fi, and you see James T. Kirk, he’s bare-chested, the red-shirts are down, and the dramatic music is swelling like the toe you stubbed crossing the room.
You’re in love. The crew of the Enterprise has saved you from your loneliness with their prime directive, their speechifying, their five-year mission to seek out new worlds and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. And they will take you with them every week to the stars and into the inner workings of the human psyche wearing go-go boots, mini-skirts, and pants so tight you think Kirk’s butt would pop if you brushed it with your pinkie-finger. You should be so lucky. You must be like them.
Upon the breaking dawn you run to the Internet (already you’re on your way) and order the supplies for your metamorphosis. You join Netflix and queue up every single episode of every series they have. On to Amazon! The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future, the Star Trek the Next Generation Companion, the Deep Space Nine Compendium, the Quotable Star Trek, you click every box next to anything Star Trek into your cart. At least you’ll qualify for free Super-Saver Shipping.
But there’s no time! You must equip yourself and Google offers you 41,800,000 possible sources of accessories. There are uniforms, insignia, Vulcan ears, action figures, trading cards, Klingon d’k tagh, tribbles and hand-towels to buy by the thousands.
Join a fan club like STARFLEET. You meet others like yourself, comrades trekking through the strange worlds of the federation in all of its incarnations; graphic novels, animation, novels, movies, novelizations of movies, fan films, and of course the series themselves. You meet Ensigns of geology, health, engineering, stellar cartography, counseling, and diplomacy. Advancement is easy. You lead the Breen Bowlers to a championship title in the local lanes little ones league raising money for big brothers big sisters with your games. It isn’t easy getting a strike in your homemade environmental suits but that is just part of what separates the leaders from the followers. You make Commander in a year as well as a glorious spot on the alley wall right next to the condiments bar.
Book your flight for the convention in San Diego to meet Tony Todd, who played Worf’s brother Kurn for one episode of Deep Space Nine. Oh the honor.
You must buy posters, lithographs, and card-board cut-outs, it is time to transform your consulting office/classroom/practice/apartment/parent’s basement into a shrine to all things Trek so that everyone may bask in its greatness and you may rest happy when people back slowly away out the door.
Have the persona of a Gorn/Jem’Hadar love-child for conventions. You spend weeks researching the exact facial proportions and writing your back story; genetically engineered asexuality be damned! You know these warrior races belong together. You ring up terrific charges from Michael’s, JoAnn’s, and your local costume store. You spend weeks building an armature of chicken wire and coat hangers to support the layers of foam and fabric integument for your new face. It takes four yards of green textured vinyl to cover the lizard snout, three weeks to shape the crown of Jem’Hadar spikes, and part of your old window screen to make those bewitching compound eyes. Just adding some gold lame and fake leather body armor completes the ensemble; your arms and legs might be army fatigue green for a few days after a convention but it’s worth it when you take first prize in the most imaginative costume competition.
Denise Crosby called; you’re needed for Trekkies 3. Q’pla! You are a Trekkie now worthy of the definition.
Photo courtesy of Simon Zurkunow, a Creative Commons licensed photo.
Breen bowler image courtesy of Brian Jewell
Edited by Tracy McClusker