I've never been a rabid Star Trek fan.
Sure, as a kid I begged my parents to let me watch the original series. It's what we talked about on the playground. A rite of passage in the '60's. Camping out on the floor in front of the TV, watching Shatner put the moves on a multitude of mini-skirted alien babes. I'd snarf down a "3 Musketeers" candy bar while breathing in the exotic worlds and aliens. Space helmets were pointless while Shatner chewed up the scenery, sucking up the oxygen around him. My hero. For a kid? Heaven. Naturally my brothers made fun of me for it, little realizing one day the "geeks" would inherit the entertainment industry. I mean, one of my brothers still belittles people for reading books. I know, right?
Back on track...recently my wife and I had a chat about Star Trek. I told her I wished I could teleport (because I hate traveling, love the destination, despise the journey..."are we there yet?"). She said, "No, you don't want to teleport." Curious, I asked her why. My mistake.
The answer horrified me. As it will you, too.
Apparently the teleporter doesn't just "transport" molecules, DNA, flesh, bones, the gnarly works. No, nothing that nice and tidy and comforting. My wife explained, "The Enterprise crew dies every time they teleport. Basically, they're clones."
WHA? "Live long and prosper," my ass!
An absolutely horrifying concept. I had no idea, not a clue.
Childhood dreams shattered ("Shatnered?"). Nightmares ensued. Never again would I look at the silly voyages of the Enterprise in the same light again. I mean, we all know about the "Red Shirts," right? (For the uninitiated, any time a red-shirted crew member beams down to a planet, they basically have "Dead Man Walking" emblazoned on the back of their red shirts). But the entire crew? Dead? Again and again? I spent my childhood years watching stunt doubles. Clones, for God's sake! How many Shatners can the universe handle?
No wonder "Bones" was always kinda' pissy about the teleporter. "I'm a doctor, Jim, not a reconstituted corpse!" Now I'm severely locked into "Team Bones," forget about the Shat.
Look, I'm by no means a "Trekkie." I've never watched the series where the Reading Rainbow guy wears an air filter around his head. Or the series where some dude has a back-bone running down his forehead and says things, in a very deep and serious voice, like, "Captain, there are strange, sticky substances enveloping the nucleon TV dinners." Didn't watch any of those. I always thought a "Klingon" was a sock stuck to a sweater in the dryer.
But part of my childhood died the day my wife clued me in to the ugliness of the televised future.
"Beam me up, Scottie?" Um, no thanks, Scottie. How about, "Scottie, book me on the next interstellar Greyhound bus to Hemrrhoidon 12?"