Set Destination To Excitement, and Warp-Speed Ahead.
So, you think that Star Trek conventions are for nothing more than places where nerds, with problems with bathing and social interaction, get together with other nerds? Well, you're dead wrong! You better step off, before I order Worf to deploy a bevy of photon torpedoes on your sorry ass! That shut you up pretty fast, didn't it?
Ah, the Star Trek convention. A great bonding experience, and a place to get super rare items that you can't find anywhere else. A while back, at my first convention, I bought replicas of Geordi LaForge's visors for all my homies, and they killed with the ladies. We said, "These visors allow us to detect the level of heat that you're giving off, and let's just say that it increased substantially at the atomic level upon our approach." Sure, the ladies did pummel us into a bloody heap, but that's the most action we've had in years. Correction, our entire lives.
But lately, with DS9 ending, and Voyager not attracting too much attention, it may seem that the Trek convention experience isn't up to what it used to be. Besides the shows slowing down, cons have become less necessary with the advent of the internet. It used to be that you'd have to go to a convention to show off your homemade uniform, but with the growth of the online community you don't have to go to a con to show it off.
I can display the pictures of my homemade replica of the bat'talh of Kahless the Unforgettable by simply posting the pictures on the net, all the while gorging myself with Slim Jims. I built the bat'talh out of a rubber hose, styrofoam, superglue, model paint, tin-foil, caulking, cardboard, aluminum, toilet paper, and a little TLC. Putting pictures up on the net allows me to avoiding the searing heat of natural light. Those U.V. rays would deteriorate my skin in a matter of seconds. Having no resistence to sunlight is a sacrifice you have to make if you want to memorize the entire Klingon dialect. I can tell bullies, "bljeghbe'chugh vaj blHegh", and they don't even know that I'm telling them to, "Surrender or die!" What a bunch of peons! But I digress.
I still enjoy going to the occasional con, but as the interest of my fellow Trekkies wanes, so does my own. So I set out for the latest Star Trek, in Portland, OR, with one purpose on my mind, and that was to find out why Trek cons still mattered anymore. Also, I wanted to try and score with Jeri Ryan. She can assimilate me into her collective anytime, if you know what I'm saying.
What did I discover when I went? Well, Seven of Nine and I didn't do the wild thing (she ordered security to drag me away from her after the whole naked karate fiasco), but there are a number of reasons to still attend a convention.
1. "Hey, you must be getting hot under cranial ridge!"
2. "Whoah, I didn't know they made these!"
But not all of the merchandise was of such a high quality. I saw some products that were obviously just trying to leech money out of our wallets. One vendor was selling Star Trek brand paper. It was just normal paper, with "Star Trek" written in the corner in pen. He must have thought that we're morons. I bought 3 crates of it, but I still object to such a misuse of the Star Trek brand name.
3. "Is that who I think it is?"
So, you're thinking about puttin' on the old Federation issued uniform and heading over to a convention? That's great! But here's a couple of things to be aware of when you head to the convention, so you a have a pleasant and safe experience.
1. "How the hell did he get in?"
2. "I bet crap tastes better than this!"
3. "Duh! I'm so stupid."
I hope that I've expressed just how fun a Star Trek convention can be, and I hope that you've learned a little something that will help you if you go. So come on by and bring your costume, some Arby-Qs, and make sure "The Underwear God" doesn't follow you there. Wouldn't even want him making a BRIEF appearance. Ha ha ha!! That's PUN-derful.
(Fred Patterson is an avid Trekker, but admits to enjoying the occasional "Babylon 5" episode on the side.)