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Sunday, August 20, 2006

To go where no geriatric has gone before.

It's the 40th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series, which is to say that it is the 40th anniversary of Star Trek period. The official anniversary is September 8th, just a few weeks away on Stardate 8276.43-ATO-U2-REM.7912-B, give or take a quatloo.

As in keeping with Star Trek convention, the surviving cast and crew, all in their early ninties, along with hordes of undisciplined, pointy-ear-wearing hooligan geeks will be having of all things, a convention. This convention will have, in addition to the lucrative autograph sessions (which are expected to fetch approximately a billion dollars U.S. alone for Bill Shatner), a number of actual convention sessions for the more discerning fans. A sample from a draft convention agenda is below:

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Session 4-B: How to maximize your screen time, while playfully anatagonizing your co-workers.
Presenter and STAR: William "Bill" Shatner.
Mr. Shatner will elaborate on traditional methods of screen hogging, such as moving towards the camera, elaborate gestures, extreme pausing, line stealing, and fixing the cameramen up with easy dates. In addition, he will reveal his own personally developed innovative methods, such as bribing the screenwriters to include more dialogue for his character, threatening the directors with extended walkouts, and subtlely suggesting to Gene Roddenberry that he needed more screen time or he might accidentally let those photos of Gene and Nichelle Nichols slip under Majel Barret-Roddenberry's dressing room door. In addition, Mr. Shatner will discuss associated techniques on how to avoid getting the crap beat out of you by an enraged James Doohan.

Session 7-A: Turning a cult television career into a five record recording contract.
Presenter: Leonard "Spock" Nimoy
Mr. Nimoy will explain how sleazy record producers can be easily convinced that a moderately limited singer who happens to have a regular role on a hit sci-fi television show can sell millions of records warbling tunes about Hobbits (The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins from The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy), William Shatner's failed attempt to join the regular cast of Hee Haw (Billy Don't Play the Banjo Anymore from The Way I Feel), Experiments with public nudity (Nature Boy from the disturbingly named The Touch of Leonard Nimoy) and remakes of Johnny Cash hits (I Walk the Line from The New World of Leonard Nimoy). Mr. Nimoy will also explain in extended and graphic detail the best ways to manage one's groupies.

Session 12-B: Staying in the Closet in the Twenty-Third Century.
Presenter: George "Mr. Sulu" Takei
Mr. Takei will describe the difficulties of being a closeted gay man in the rough and tumble world of the United Federation of Planets, his long and unrequited crush on Chekov, his liberation during the extended shirtless swordplay scene in The Naked Time, and the time the Green Dancing Woman "made his Johnson move."

Session 37-A: Keeping Cool in a Room Full of Uptight Caucasians.
Presenter: Nichelle "Uhura" Nichols
Ms. Nicholls will talk about her experiences as an African-American woman on national television in the 1960's, including Leonard Nimoy's pathetic attempts to speak "jive," How she fended off Bill Shatner's amorous advances (with a crossbow on at least three occasions), and how she fought off the boredom of endlessly repeating the line "hailing frequencies are open, Captain."

Session 164-D: How to Survive Life as a Redshirt.
Presenter: Bob "The Redshirt Who Lived" Zsworski
Mr. Anderson will describe how he managed to appear on 54 Star Trek episodes as a security guard aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise without once getting phasered, pushed into a bottomless pit, burned by underground creatures, killed by salt-eating monsters, beamed into solid rock, or converted into essence and then crushed by aliens from Andromeda. Some of Mr. Zsworski's tips include: "Always try to get bridge duty," "Never make the casting calls for beam down duty," and "Always stand behind Kirk whenever someone is holding a weapon."

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Obviously, we'll have more later, as this kind of anniversary doesn't come around that often...

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