A good friend recently called me up and asked if I wanted to go to a football game. I told him I couldn’t because I was going that particular weekend to a Star Trek con. He retorted with a mocking laugh: “Oh, I see you’re one of those crazy Star Trek fanatics, huh?”
That comment got me riled up. You see, I’m not an NFL fan, but I had recently attended a football game (the first one in my life, actually) just prior to my friend’s call. As I entered the stadium parking lot, I encountered NFL fan behavior so shocking it would make any battle-hardened Klingon run for his mama. There was face painting, unbridled screaming, unsafe barbecuing, out-of-control boozing, and rampant stupidity worthy of a Jackass movie.
I tried in vain to explain to my friend that football fans were crazier than Star Trek fans and that his derogatory comment was uncalled for.
He didn’t believe me.
I therefore came up with a way to prove my point. I decided to explain what the life of a Star Trek fan would be like in a world where Trek was as popular as the NFL. In this hypothetical world, a fan’s daily routine would go something like this:
6 AM – Our fan is awakened by an Andorian alarm clock. You know, the one that has two blue antennas smacking against the big alarm bell in the center.
6:15 AM – Shower and a shave. Naturally, he uses Brut aftershave. After seeing commercials with Bill Shatner smothered by Orion slave girls, he’s a believer.
6:30 AM – Gets dressed. Nice slacks, Andorian blue button-down shirt, and of course a Star Trek necktie.
6:45 AM – Grabs breakfast, where the fan eats Wheaties cereal with the face of Captain Kirk on the box. General Mills rotates the face of each captain from time to time, but the fan stocks up on Kirk because he’s everyone’s favorite. Duh!
6:50 AM – While stuffing his face with Wheaties, he turns on his ginormous flat-screen TV and switches to CNN. Of the 30-minute news update, 20 minutes is devoted to Trek news. He catches up on highlights from the previous night’s show. Headline news: the Klingons were intercepted in the neutral zone! What an episode!
7:00 AM – The fan jumps into his car and sits lethargically in traffic for an hour. He doesn’t mind, though, because the hour is spent happily listening to commentary on XM Radio’s Trek channel. Today’s discussion is about salary caps for leading Trek actors versus those of supporting cast members. Very interesting.
8:00 AM – Arrives at work and goes straight to the coffee machine. All his work buddies are there, talking about last night’s show. “Wasn’t that amazing? The Klingons were intercepted in the neutral zone during the last half, with 30 seconds remaining before the final credits! Great episode!” Oops! It’s almost 9:00 AM. They overdid the Star Trek talk, but nobody cares because their boss was chatting at the coffee machine too! No problemo!
9:00 AM – With Star Trek news on his computer desktop, the fan works apathetically. A steady stream of Trek trivia via YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest helps multitask the time away.
10:00 AM – Zing! Back to the coffee machine. The conversation now centers on the average number of photon torpedoes fired during the first half of last night’s episode. Statistically speaking, most captains fire off 2.548439 more torpedoes against Klingon adversaries compared to Cardassians. Fascinating!
10:20 AM – Wasn’t that supposed to be a ten-minute break? Whoops! Back to work … sort of. Advertising on the Facebook Star Trek page keeps grabbing the fan’s attention. This week’s Trekker convention is already sold out! Good thing he has season tickets. Who’d wanna buy overpriced tickets from scalpers dressed like Ferengi? Those losers!
12:00 PM – Lunchtime! Everyone decides to go to Star-Trekhooters down the street. Andorian Ale and greasy Paraka wings go down easily while watching reruns of Trek on large panoramic screens. The large breasts on the Orion slave girl waitresses are always a nice distraction.
1:59 PM – Returns to work for three hours of mind-numbing labor. Even with a steady stream of calls, emails and meetings, the fan still manages to write three blog posts and 227 Twitter comments about Trek. And that’s on an off day.
5:00 PM – Makes a mad dash for his car, then it’s back into miles of traffic while listening to XM Radio’s Star Trek channel. Wheeee!
5:50 PM – Stops by the local 7-Eleven to pick up some snacks. One bag of potato chips and a case of beer. The chips are hasperat flavored. Awesome! The fan just loves Bajoran seasonings. Oh, and look at that: Budweiser has Star Trek collector’s cans this month! If he buys two cases, he’ll probably get cans with all of the supporting cast members as well as the stars. Way cool!
6:05 PM – While parking his car, the fan notices that he forgot to pick up the morning paper lying in his driveway. The front page has tire tracks on it. But who cares? The center Trek section makes up most of the paper anyway.
6:06 PM – Throws paper in the trash. Who reads papers these days?
6:15 PM – With only Wheaties to eat, the fan gives up on dinner and opens the bag of chips. With a six pack on his lap, he sits in front of his giant flat screen TV and tunes into the Star Trek channel. Like every other American-born couch potato, he watches hours of commentary and upcoming highlights for this week’s Sunday Trek convention. Ahhhhh!
Now what would you say about this hypothetical person? Most people would say he should be locked in a padded room. He’s a nut job. If he didn’t spend that much time preoccupied with Star Trek, he could really do something with his life. Why, without Trek he could get an MBA, become the Dalai Lama, write a novel, or do something else productive. Right?
So if it’s Star Trek, you’re a nut. But if it’s the NFL, baseball or the NBA, it’s perfectly okay. Hmm, I’d spend more time pondering all this, but there’s a Deep Space Nine marathon on Syfy this weekend. Pass the Klingon bloodwine, folks. It’s time to partaaaay!