Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"We've got to take that one in ten thousand chance." - Kirk, about to win again, Star Trek


The Boy’s picture of the gigantic planet-devouring machine that ate Ceti Alpha 5. Or was that Ceti Alpha 6? Or is it a ceiling fan?

One of the biggest joys a parent gets is watching children change as they grow, learn, and then make scads of money that you can easily extort them out of, since as a parent you know all of their most embarrassing secrets. As to the change part, The Boy is changing (not diapers, yet, because he couldn’t lift even one of Pugsley’s freakishly large fifty-pound baby legs, even if it meant a year’s supply of Pez©) as he matures.

In one change, The Boy has recently taken an interest in watching things on TV that aren’t documentary or ghost-reality television. The Mrs. informs me that of late The Boy is watching Star Trek™ (The Original Series) on television, and is loving it.

What’s not to love? Cheesy (by 2007 standards) special effects, William Shatner’s fine dramatic performances, and a guy with pointy ears. Great stuff. I remember torturing Grandma and Grandpa McWilder (Mom’s side of the family tree) with one of those old-timey drills that you crank a handle on to move the gears to drill (1930’s tech for “cordless”) until they let me stay up late on Saturday night (10:30 on Channel 4) to watch Star Trek© episodes. I was six. Creepy Creature Feature was the follow on to Star Trek®, so I was then assaulted by horror films until I picked my tiny carcass off of the couch and wandered to bed at 12:30 or so (“The End of Our Programming Day”).

Grandparents rock.

I kept watching Star Trek© until . . . well, heck, I still watch Star Trek™ when I can. When I met The Mrs. I rummaged through her closet without permission noticed that she had a Star Trek© uniform. I was instantly smitten. Not that I’ve ever seen her wear it, but on occasion The Mrs. will dress up like a green slave girl for me, though she refuses to call me “Captain” around the house.

As I reflect, Star Trek® taught me some of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned. James Tiberius Kirk was a role model. Star Trek™ taught me:


It’s okay to violate the Prime Directive, if you’re right. (Kirk always was)


If the Captain has “relations” with a woman and you wear a red shirt, statistically it’s very likely that you will die if you go on a landing party. Consider plaid.

Sometimes you lose. Then you cheat, if you’re right. (Kirk always was)

People from all cultures can get along, if one of them isn’t Klingon© or Romulan®.

Doctors can’t fix anything. Scotty can fix anything, and generally ahead of schedule.

Exponential growth can get you in trouble quickly. Tribbles© and Scotty’s waist prove this.

“Neutral Zone” means “shields up, arm phasers” before you enter.
Romulan™ nerve gas makes a wicked drink. Or was that Romulan© ale? I forget.

A man with a cannon loaded with diamonds always beats a nine-foot-tall lizard.

Stuff always breaks when you need it most.

Surrender is for losers (I’m talking to you, Jean-Luc). Blow the friggin’ ship if it gets to that point.

It may look like you’re doomed, but if you do something batsnot crazy, you just might have a chance.

Sally Kellerman stayed hot for about thirty years, but you always have to let Joan Collins die.

The evil version of me has a goatee, and a much cooler job.

Space hippies are still hippies. And probably smell as bad as the usual hippies.

Logic will break a computer, because Microsoft© is still the dominant operating system of the future.

Captain Kirk did sleep with that woman those women, and he won’t lie about it. Or brag about it.

Serving a greater purpose is good. It’s even better if you have a starship that can turn a planet to cinders.

There is Good and Bad. Be Good and you generally win. Generally.


The Boy will eventually pull his own lessons from Star Trek©, and, frankly, given the moral relativism of a lot of entertainment today I think the original Star Trek® has some great lessons for kids. Plus it’s as nerdy as hell.

I am John Wilder. I am a nerd.

So is The Boy.

Our nerdishness. Watch us revel in it. Revel.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Oz. said...

Simply put -- there are children on this earth that have no possible chance of living a normal life.

Our The Boys and Pugsley are among this group.

9:14 PM  
Blogger John said...

Good to be us, Oz.

8:05 PM  

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