This one’s for you, Tim!
Have you ever had a friend that, on paper, you should have nothing in common with? That’s the way it seems with me and my friend Craig. He pretty much lived a rock ‘n roll lifestyle without actually being a musician, and I’ve always been more into nerdy and quitter pursuits, which he gently makes fun of. But we’ve been friends ever since we worked together more than a decade ago, and spend long hours talking on the phone (since he lives in another state) about topics such as music, wrestling, old sitcoms and the nature of the universe. Craig was a big fan of the ribald sitcom Two and a Half Men, which led him to watch Big Bang Theory since it was made by the same creator. But he was really lost by all the Star Trek references, and actually became curious about the topic. He had never seen one second of Star Trek, and asked me for advice on which ones to watch. I was shocked, and also realized my responsibility in steering him toward good selections, and most certainly anything that wasn’t Voyager. He was already a fan of William Shatner from the actor’s various hosting gigs, so I strongly suggested he watch Wrath of Khan. As I had hoped for, Craig thought it was fantastic. He was very surprised that he liked it so much, and quickly began watching the rest of the movies with the original cast (even Star Trek V, which I warned him about and it pretty much shook him with how bad it was). He then began watching The Original Series, which I suspected he wouldn’t like be a big fan of since it’s a bit different than the films, but he ate those up, watching the whole series within weeks and hungering for more. I tried to get him into Next Generation, but he felt the crew just didn’t have the same chemistry as Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the bunch. Even in the worst episodes of the original show, it was fun spending time with those characters, he said. Craig lamented one time during his Trek marathon, “Here we go, babeless in Boca and another Star Trek movie. This is how it begins… noticed there’s a comic store on 441.” So, maybe his life has swung around a bit… He mused how Trek is an excellent escape when things in your life aren’t at their best, and I agreed that a lot of people feel that way about it. He also stated that he now considered Star Trek as one of his favorite shows, so I felt proudly that my mission was accomplished.