Gather ‘round my steed, Nerd Army, heroes and red-shirts alike, for while it is not St. Crispin’s day, Admiral Chris has been kind (and gentle) enough to offer this space for a public service.
The idea hit you somewhere in the middle of the TNG boxed set. It was perfect. All those hours as a child with a TV tray over your lap, eyes glued to reruns of the original series. The countless times you brought a worn VHS copy of Wrath of Kahn to the babysitter’s. Arguing at film school in defense of Shatner.
So you made an appointment, you Photoshopped the hell out of a graphic pulled from the internet – or maybe scanned from a Halloween costume you never threw away – and you did it. You goddamn bled for Star Trek. And there it is now on your shoulder/back/forehead. About as subtle as piloting a Galaxy Class starship in the geek pride parade.
You joked with the guy giving it to you, and he suggested you refer to it when questioned as simply “a pussy magnet.” But you were still caught unprepared the first time a lady noticed and asked for an explanation. Bound by the Klingon code of honorable combat, like George Washington standing over that cherry tree stump with a Bat’leth, you can’t help but mumble something about “Starfl- Enterpr- Nothing, nothing, no no no” while frantically scanning the room for an escape route. Alas, like the Kobayashi Maru or those “Sexy Singles in YOUR Town” ads, it’s a trap. You can’t win. You can’t escape. Your back to the wall, charisma set to “repel,” you gotsta comes clean.
An impermeable ode to a sci-fi franchise is not exactly a tractor beam for ladies. And browsing Memory-Alpha with OK Computer on repeat may not seem strange or repelling to you – quite the contrary – but the 3.5 squillion women who made Ryan Gosling famous probably find it a bit off-putting. In fact, your Star Trek tattoo will never, ever, ever get you laid. But you can survive, prosper even, if you keep your gravity boots on the steel hull of reality and face facts. To aid you on this particular away mission, you will find below five damn fine reasons (collected via personal experience, mind you) that you can expect your killer new ink to take down your ego faster than a photon torpedo, leaving you to die horribly alone and unfulfilled in the cold vacuum of sad.
Your Star Trek tattoo means you probably accessorize like a motherfucker without even realizing it. Aside from having in your home a kickass Tricorder universal remote, the USS Reliant pepper grinder (jammed nigh on six years), a 1:10 scale Botany Bay coffee table covered in empty Vanilla Coke cans and broken dreams, and a gen-u-ine Original Series Communicator™ corded telephone that never rings – circa 1992, bitches – you probably carry on your goddamned person such gems as, oh, say, that stainless steel Jurassic Park keyring, the Weyland/Yutani-branded flash drive, and a ticket stub from a midnight screening of They Live. Are you also wearing an NPR baseball cap? We won’t even mention the plush tribbles. These little lovelies might make you feel warmer than a gutted Tauntaun carcass (franchise cross-pollination; you’re allowed to be offended), but always remember: What Would Hudson Say? At this point probably, “Game over, man. Game over.”
Your Star Trek tattoo all but guarantees that you are prone to rants and/or incessant whining the likes of which only your kind are capable, about which class of cruiser is better suited for staging an offensive in the demilitarized zone or the canonicity of Wesley Crusher’s Starfleet uniform in Nemesis. Your temper is presumably shorter than Worf’s with a battle-regalia rash, and the truth is that no one sexually active would like to hear your thoughts on the casting of Zach Quinto. Your average coffee shop girl would rather argue about The Shins, not whether Scotty created a time paradox by handing over the formula for transparent aluminum to that balding engineer in 1988. Yes, for all we know, the guy invented it. Time to check your finger for a ring; in this girl’s eyes, you’re married to Loser. Unless you can summon the transporter or make a quick slingshot around the sun, target set for ten minutes earlier, you’re probably going to want to admit defeat, take a few deep breaths, excuse yourself, and weep your pale pasty body to sleep in the harsh glow of your Firefly screensaver.
Your Star Trek tattoo is forever. Like Seven-of-Nine’s ocular implant, McCoy’s hemorrhoids, or the painful memory of that kid jumping up and down on your chest during recess in 3rd grade shouting “X-Men is gay,” it will never go away. While women do look for and value commitment in a partner, they do rarely look for downright creepy commitment, like your near-religious mania when Firefox informs you of a new RSS post; or commitment to things that are silly.
Your Star Trek tattoo is not ironic. You know these kids today and their irony.
You are fighting natural selection. Darwin will always win because Baby Jesus wants him to. This is precisely why you didn’t get laid in high school. Or college. And if you think things have changed just because you’re old enough to drown your loneliness in Monty Python Holy (Gr)Ale and White Romulans whilst yearning for the sweet release of a speedy death without being dragged to sick bay, hail Halford: you’ve got another thing coming.
Don’t get me wrong, kids. There are plenty of girls who like Star Trek. They’re smart as Ferengi energy whips, of course, and have a deep-seated respect for the power of speculative fiction to speak to a higher truth about the human condition, our past, future and possibilities. They exist. I’ve met some. Your friends might even date them. But mind-meld reality, son: you don’t get to. If at any point you feel yourself slipping into connection-you’ve-never-felt land, rest assured: they are married. Or lesbians. Or way into cosplay. Or inexorably out your league. Don’t ask why. There is no why. Respect them. Admire them from a distance. But do not engage. A beautiful moment can all too quickly turn into a battle for your very life and the lives of your crew, stranded in orbit because your dick got in the way of retrieving whatever precious resource found on no other planet in this sector was needed to reactivate the warp drive. Way to go. Some poor ensign is going to have to die with a shout and a whimper while you discover she just wanted to suck out your liver and feed it to the pulsing gelatinous mass she worships as a god.
All that said, you’ve got some pretty sweet ink. And you didn’t get it for the broads anyway. You got it because it means something to you. Because it represents a time in your life where the future was bright, where the air was sweet with innocence; because maybe Roddenberry was onto something; maybe you want to believe that people are capable of so much more than just what we see on the news every day; maybe it’s possible for us to build a better society, to work together and advance as a culture and a species.
Also, it looks fucking wicked and Nimoy will totally want to be your friend.
*Hearty thanks to Zack at iMoose for pressing the significance of “predictably” upon me. Dick.
Photo credit: Johnny Bishop