I’ll never forget the great times I had working with Bill back in the mid 90’s. We met when we were both working Tech Support for a company in Merrimack NH. Both of us were excited to be a part of this new tech support division, and we became good friends very quickly. Given the fact that we were both Star Trek fanatics certainly helped! We would spend our ‘off phone time’ quoting episodes, discussing plot holes, testing each other with trivia or just impersonating characters (Bill does a great Kirk!).
During my younger years, I was a collector of the Star Trek Franklin Mint sculptures. I had (and still have) pewter models of a TOS Romulan Warbird, TOS U.S.S Enterprise, DS9 U.S.S Defiant (my favorite), TNG Romulan Warbird and TMP Klingon Battle cruiser just to name a few. But one of the highlights of my collection was a die cast metal, 25th Anniversary edition of the TOS U.S.S Enterprise. It is gorgeous! Beautifully sculpted, painted in white, with intricate details. See for your self:
In addition, the saucer section can be lifted off to reveal a beautifully detailed model of the bridge. Although not to scale, the idea behind being able to see the bridge in this model was sheer genius!
One final plus to this model was that you could open up the shuttle bay and there was a removable Galileo 7 shuttlecraft hidden inside! Oh the joy of a young Star Trek fan adding something like this to his collection!
Now, let me set the scene for you. I don’t have the exact date and time. I only know that both Bill and I were working one afternoon in Tech Support. Given the fact that we were telephone support, we had to be friendly and happy to help our customers, blah blah blah. During this time, I proudly displayed the U.S.S Enterprise at my desk at work. It was no surprise that everyone thought it was cool and often stopped by to take a look at it. I was proud to display it and would often show coworkers the bridge and shuttlecraft as the extra cool things about it!
Well, one day, Bill decided to saunter over and take a gander. I was on the phone with a customer, troubleshooting an issue (and probably having tremendous success I might add). Bill, whom I trust with my life when it comes to care of any Star Trek paraphernalia, PICKS UP the model!!! Yes that is right, he just snarked the thing right off my desk to have a better look. Being on the phone I had to control my shock but must have looked up at him, aghast with surprise. Well it didn’t end there folks! No sireee, not by a long shot.
You ever had one of those moments where something bad happens and even though there is no real change in the passage of time, things just happen in slow motion? Well that is exactly what happened as the model of my beloved U.S.S Enterprise slipped from his hand and came crashing down on my desk with an ear splitting sound of metal smashing against whatever a cubicle desk is made of!!! Keep in mind I am still on the phone with my customer, so I can’t react, or make the blood curdling scream that was building in my throat. Instead of
“KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!!!!!!” I wanted to yell “BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!”, but I couldn’t.
I could only helplessly watch as the navigational deflector dish became separated from the rest of the hull. I could only watch in horror as it pinged across my desk and fell helplessly to the carpet below my feet. I could only wipe the beads of sweat off my brow as Bill nervously retrieved the damaged part, put it on my desk, returned the damaged shell of a hull of my beloved starship to its moorings on the display stand and ran off, presumably to clean his shorts.
After finishing up my support call, I logged off my phone and just stared at her. I was in shock I think. I recall the quote from Captain Kirk when he was under the influence of the ‘maraca’ virus from Psi 2000 in The Naked Time: “Now I know….why it’s called SHE!!” Hands shaking, I picked up the deflector dish and wanted to just put it magically into place. I was worried that trying to do so would bring about the same result as when Ralphie’s Dad tried to repair his Leg Lamp in a Christmas Story and have it all crash down on me again. “Never lose you!” I think I muttered (in my best Kirk voice). “Never!”
Well after some work and some wonderful substance called Super Glue, my inner Engineer Scott was able to repair the deflector dish and I have been proudly displaying the model in my HOME ever since! I have, of course, left one of the battle scars on her hull as a constant reminder one can never be too careful:In all seriousness, the damage was minimal and easily repairable, but to this day I don’t think Bill nor I will ever forget those few seconds of sheer terror when he accidentally dropped it. He has always been eternally sorry and on the flip side I have always made sure he will never forget it. That’s one of the great things about a special friend. No matter what happens, we can always joke about it later. So I raise a toast to Bill! I could not think of a better inaugural blog than to bust his chops and remind him of that special day. Live long and prosper buddy!