I'll tell you what most normal people don't go to Las Vegas for: Star Trek.
Mr. Spock and the Vegas strip don’t necessarily go together like peanut butter and jelly or Mel Gibson and hatred.
If you’ve ever read anything that I’ve written you should be know that I’m anything but normal. I’m weird, and I’m a nerd and I like nerdy things, and because of my extreme nerdiness I've been to Las Vegas twice – specifically for Star Trek.
Are you fighting the urge to give me a wedgie? Admit it. You are.
Maybe you want to dunk my head in the toilet and flush? Grab hold of my nips and twist until you hear my flesh tear? Kick me in the scones, and then kick me again for using the word scones?
No problem at all. I get it. I completely understand. And honestly, you aren't the first.
My head is quite dunkable.
It's fun watching my faux-hawk swirl.
Here’s the deal; the Hilton in Las Vegas has a little something called "The Star Trek Experience" and its pretty much nerd heaven. Seriously, I'm not a religious man by any means, but if there is a god I’m guessing that he resides somewhere between the row of Next Generation mugs and the Porthos stuffed toys in the gift shop.
This place gives me a boner that makes my Rosario Dawson boner look like a Drew Barrymore boner by comparison – which is barely a boner at all.
It makes me feel like Augustus Gloop, the moment he first waddled into Wonka's chocolate factory and began to salivate.
I think I should mention that Agustus also had a boner in the original film.
Check the Special Edition Directors Cut, pause the moment before he topples into the chocolate and zoom in on his little shorts. You'll see it.
I want everything at The Experience to be mine. I want to take it home with me, and stack it on my desk and stare it lovingly. I want to read it, and play with it, and pop it into my DVD player. I want to drop my pants and make sweet love to it.
My wife of course hates The Experience and she hates the dumb look on my face when I’m there.
"Why do we have to go on that stupid ride again?"
"Steven, you're not really going to spend seventy dollars to get your picture taken in that captains chair again, are you?"
"Can't we leave, and go see a show or something? Maybe we can get tickets to Cirque Du Soleil?"
Cirque Du Soleil? Seriously? This woman had the nerve to suggest Cirque Du Soleil to me? Batshit crazy. Batshit-fucking-crazy.
She once had the gall to actually Celine Dion as a viable substitute for all things Star Trek.
I almost hit her in the face with a brick and buried her in the desert beside Fat Jimmy Stampanato.
It's one thing to not "get" my weirdo obsession with all things Trek. Fine. I can understand that. Okay, maybe not understand it as much as accept it, but still.
It's another thing entirely to suggest Celine Dion as an alternative. That's nonsense. It’s lunacy. It's fifty steps backward, right over a cliff and into a tank full of man eating Great Whites with lasers on their heads and chainsaws for teeth.
It’s the sort of thing that gets a happily married woman served with a stack of divorce papers if she’s not careful.
At The Experience they have a simulator ride called the "Borg Encounter." Before you actually get on the ride part of the ride, you and your group are lead through a series decently constructed sets, while explosions go off around you and actors pretending to be Starfleet officers play out a scenario in which the Borg are attacking the space station you’re supposed to be on.
It's petty sweet.
It’s Agustus Gloop boner sweet.
Also, when the actors aren't looking I like to touch all the fake buttons and pretend I’m firing photon torpedoes.
Shut up. It makes me smile.
At one point during the tour our group of space tourists was huddled in a cargo bay as the ship exploded around us. Suddenly the lights went out. My wife grabbed my arm and squeezed.
What the hell?
Was she scared?
The sound of an explosion blasted through the speakers in the wall behind us. A cloud of smoke came rushing into the room. My wife moved from my side and slid behind me. She buried her head in the crook of my armpit.
She was scared.
Holy Toledo, the doofus love of my live was honestly, no joke-scared!
She was also using me as a human shield form the fictional danger, but that’s whole other discussion
A group of three guys dressed in Borg costumes slowly began to walk through the twisted metal and billowing clouds. They were moving in our direction and the little red laser beams on their eyes were flashing off our touristy garbs.
My wife was peeking through the crack between my armpit and my torso like a terrified five year-old with urine running down her leg. She was breathing fast. Sweat was pouring down her face; her nails had punctured the flesh of my arm and were digging into the muscle underneath.
She’d clearly lost her mind. "What the hell are you doing?"
"What are you doing? Are you scared?"
The dude’s dressed as Borg - who likely worked part time at the best buy just outside of town - were barely ten feet away when the "resistance is futile" warning roared from a speaker system above our heads. At least that’s what I think happened. It sounded about as clear as the ordering window at a Burger King. My wife ducked her head out of sight and mashed her face into the center of my back.
I chuckled. I had to. She just looked so damn silly. "Shut up. You're really scared, aren't you?"
"You do know that those are just guys in costumes, right?"
"I know that.”
“Then what’s the problem?”
“Well…what if their circuitry goes haywire or something? You don't know."
Screw it. I didn’t have the energy to respond.
I may be a dork and a nerd, and I might be a loser of the absolute highest order, and my strange man-love for Captain Picard could be considered morally reprehensible in the eyes of the fundamentalist Christians out there, but at least I'm not my wife.
My wife thinks the fake Borg guys have circuitry.