Friday, June 5, 2009

First Friday Flashbacks


Because, it all depends on your prospective. There is always someone worse off than you, sometimes, much worse off....don't forget that.

First Published, March 3, 2006

To Boldly Go....


Surrender Your Garbage Pods


I was watching an episode of Star Trek the other day. I had seen it about a dozen times, but Star Trek never really gets old. Like Gilligan's Island or CSI, you can watch it over and over. Syndicators must love these shows.

I sort of questioned why I liked watching Star Trek so much. I know that originally, it was the science fiction, gee whiz, neato, gadgetry and action, but as I grew older, my fascination with the show shifted. I found myself being 'comfortable' on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

That is when it sort of dawned on me. This show was the ultimate escape. The reality of life, especially once we have grown up and flown the nest can be pretty harsh. Taxes, traffic, alimony payments, incompetent supervisors, dead batteries all tend to make the daily struggle in the modern world pretty bleak at times.

As I watched Captain Picard order Ensign Crusher to Warp 3, it sort of sunk in. This was the perfect office. Imagine it. Going to work in a place where everyone is competent, no one is ever late, everyone has a 'can-do' attitude, you do really important things (like saving whole civilizations) and in the end, the Captain usually gets to have hot sex with some gorgeous, albeit strangely alien heroin with no fear of sexual harassment.

In contrast to the real world, I realized that through some twist of fate, I have been assigned to the Starship Garbage Skow. That long forgotten Star Fleet tug boat where all the "C" students from Star Fleet Academy are assigned. In my world, we struggle to get the warp engines on line every day, the Chief Engineer is usually drunk, the Communications Officer doesn't show up for days, the Science Officer secretly struggles with a Rubic's Cube in his quarters and the Captain has flaming gay tendencies.

The Star Trek on television is the ideal. That place that we all wished we could be assigned to and thrive in. But alas, it is just a fantasy.

I have learned that life aboard the Starship Garbage Skow isn't really all that bad. We rarely get attacked by fleets of irate Romulans or Klingons. The tasks that Star Fleet assigns to us aren't usually that difficult and I get to spend a lot of time looking out the picture windows (that need cleaning) and watch the planet we are orbiting rotate underneath me while the Engineer tries to jury-rig a fuse to get the impulse engines back on line.

I suppose that you have to find happiness regardless of what universe you get stuck in. Life is what you make it. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go program the replicator to whip up some more cannabis and Guinness Stout.

Warp Factor 7 Mr. Smith....Engage