On Trek geeks and goldfish

Friday night we were hanging out with some friends and they suggested we watch a movie. There was one that three of us had seen but Mike had not seen, and he agreed to watch it with us. Now, before I talk about the movie, I have to remind you that I spent several years as a Star Trek geek. I have seen pretty much every episode of the original series and The Next Generation. There were several years in which I had Star Trek calendars (they were replaced with Beatles calendars, my next obsession). I even had two Star Trek t-shirts that I wore proudly (and probably still have somewhere). I read magazines about Trek and sat down with my family each week to watch the episodes. It is important, though, for me to make sure you understand: I never went to any conventions, I didn’t buy figurines or trading cards, I never dressed up like any of the characters. I just get interested in things and like to find out about them.

I am sure, with those clues, that you are well on your way to guessing the movie we watched. However, before I get there, I would like to explain to you one of the differences between me and Mike. He has never seen an episode of Star Trek, and has only seen a few of the movies. And he’s not very interested in rectifying that situation.

So, maybe I should have thought it through before I convinced him to watch Trekkies with us. For one thing, the people in the movie are scary (but earnest). But also, I think the information I kept giving him (to fill in holes) really creeped him out. The best was when it showed Majel Barrett Roddenberry and I turned to him and said, “That’s Gene Roddenberry’s widow.” He looked at me and said, in all seriousness, “Who’s Gene Roddenberry?” Ooooookay. He doesn’t know anything about Star Trek. I kept explaining the relationships between the characters and the different species and I am pretty sure that the combination of me geeking out and the geeks in the movie means that he will never ever allow our children to watch Star Trek. I think he did enjoy it, though.

The other noteworthy thing that happened this weekend was at church yesterday. The same friends were in Sunday School with us, and somehow we got on the topic of pet loss therapy. I explained the story of Big Mouth, my goldfish when I was growing up. He died, and I was very sad. But Big Mouth wasn’t a puppy or a kitty, so no one felt very sorry for me. It reminds me of something Faith said in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Rainbow Valley:

“But why does everybody seem to think it funny that I should have loved Adam [her rooster] so much, Miss West? If it had been a horrid old cat nobody would have thought it queer. When Lottie Warren’s kitten had its legs cut off by the binder everybody was sorry for her. She cried two days in school and nobody laughed at her, not even Dan Reese. And all her chums went to the kitten’s funeral and helped her bury it–only they couldn’t bury its poor little paws with it, because they couldn’t find them. It was a horrid thing to have happen, of course, but I don’t think it was as dreadful as seeing your pet eaten up. Yet everybody laughs at me.”

Big Mouth didn’t get eaten – he just got sent to the great toilet in the sky. But I was still very sad about it. I was allergic to cats and we didn’t have a dog. All I had was Big Mouth (and Lard Bucket, my algae eater) and he died. After a long life, but still. I shared my sad story and my need for pet loss therapy, and we all laughed about it and proceeded with the lesson.

That would have been funny enough, except that yesterday’s text was on Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. At our church, the text is read and then the children come forward for their sermon. As part of their lesson, they were given goldfish crackers to share with their friends. After the service, some of the guys came up to me and said, “We were worried about you during the children’s sermon. Did the crackers make you miss Big Mouth?” I hadn’t even made the connection (because I have been living with the pain of his loss for so long, don’t you know), but it gave us all a good laugh.

The other parts of our weekend were filled with things like car washing, naps, margaritas, and reading. And a fair amount of laundry. It was a good, productive weekend. Except for that whole “missing Big Mouth” thing.

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