This was sent to me earlier today by a friend. I’ve seen it before, but I have no idea if this is a recent photo someone took of their kids, a pic from an ad or magazine article, or what. It doesn’t really matter, because regardless of its origins, it’s still six kinds of awesome:
“Don’t mess with the Mugato, Captain! You’ll get the horn!”
This, right here, encapsulates what I’ve been saying in other posts recently, about what Star Trek was when I was a kid: FUN.
Back before Star Wars and video games, I used to “play” Star Trek outside with my friends when I was 7, 8, 9 years old in the 1970s. Sometimes we played “Cowboys and Indians” or “Army,” too, but as often as not, we took to the final frontier. Or, that playground near our houses in New York, anyway.
We didn’t have official-looking uniforms or fancy-looking Mugato or Gorn or Klingon costumes, but one or two of us had the freaky gun like you see in the picture, which was a legit “Star Trek toy” back in the late 60s and/or early 70s. A few of us had those legendary Tracer Guns that fired the little plastic disks (watch your eyes!), and everybody else used toy six-shooters, cap guns, sticks, or whatever, and we let our imaginations fill in the blanks. The aforementioned playground had one of those crazy ball-like deals with ladders and slides, and that was our U.S.S. Enterprise, which we were free to fly to the ends of the universe all day long, without our parents having to watch us like Secret Service agents.
While my daughters prefer to spend their time pretending they’re princesses or Wonder Woman, they have occasionally done their bit to bring a smile to their Daddy’s face:
Yeah, we have “cosplayers” now; adults and kids alike who dress up in costume for conventions, and we even have “live action role-playing games” or “LARPs” which are, essentially, a “grown-up” version of this sort of thing. All of that is very cool, and there’s no disrespecting the level of effort and passion required to create a lot of the costumes I see at these events. Still, it’s obviously not the same, is it? There was a simplicity, an innocence about me and my friends–perhaps mimicking the activities of other kids in other neighborhoods–taking on all the threats to Starfleet which could be conjured before porch lights came on and the calls to dinner echoed across that playground.
Good times, those.