I went to a Star Trek convention yesterday.
This isn’t something I make a habit of – in fact it was the first one I’d ever been to. (I also went to a wedding fair today – first one of those too. And no, it wasn’t for me.)
I should explain. The company I work for makes language learning software, and a couple of years ago we fulfilled one of my boss’s lifetime ambitions and produced a CD for people who want to learn Klingon. This involved working with a translator from the UK and Marc Okrand, who created the language, and then having two actors – in full costume – recording in our boardroom. Just another day in the office.
So this weekend was about promoting the CD to fans at Destination Star Trek in London, and it’s fair to say I was more than a little anxious. Mostly because I know nothing about Star Trek, apart from the few references I’ve picked up from watching Big Bang Theory. So I was a bit scared that the place would be full of Sheldon Coopers asking me difficult Klingon questions.
As it turned out, that only happened once and the guy realised very quickly from my blank expression that I had no clue what he was talking about. On the whole, everyone I spoke to was lovely and didn’t expect anything from me at all. They were excited to be there and meeting their heroes. They were excited about learning Klingon (I did feel sorry for the wife of the guy who left the stand shouting Klingon words at her, though). And they were really, really excited about the Enterprise pizza cutter we were offering as a prize in one of our competitions. Which, to be fair, was pretty cool.
I also learnt a few things. One guy told me how to say ‘to be or not to be’ in Klingon (no, I can’t remember it now). I learnt that you can make a Starship Enterprise out of balloons. And now I know what a tribble is. Well, I know what one looks like. Let’s not get carried away. Sorry to end on a cliché but as we’ve established, I don’t know any more subtle references, so hey – live long and prosper 😉
And by the way, if anyone wants to learn Klingon…