Friday, February 26, 2010

How I (Almost) (Potentially) (Could Have) Saved Mr. Chekov from Getting Arrested

You probably all heard about the tragic death of Andrew Koenig, the son of Walter Koenig who played Mr. Chekov on the original Star Trek series. It was a horrible, senseless tragedy and my heart goes out to his family. I can't even imagine how they must be feeling.

Thinking about Star Trek and Walter Koenig made me think about the days when I used to go to Star Trek conventions.  I had a flash back to a story that I had forgotten all about. (To all those people who only know me as as cool, sophisticated, and suave person that I am now, it must come as a complete shock that I was once a geek. Take a moment to compose yourself, then read on.)

Anyway, I was attending a convention, maybe in New York, and Walter Koenig was checking into the hotel at the same time I was.

A gaggle of little boys, maybe 6 or 7 of them, around 8 years old or so, were in the hotel lobby at the same time.

They spotted Mr. Koenig, and near hysteria erupted. Cue a bunch of little boys running around the hotel lobby, barely able to contain their excitement:  "MR. CHEKOV!!" "IT'S MR. CHEKOV!!" "LOOK, LOOK, IT'S MR. CHEKOV!!!".

Mr. Koenig was just as sweet as could be to them. He signed autographs, answered their questions about how the Enterprise ran, and generally had the patience of Job.

While all this was happening I saw a couple walk in with their little boy who was about the same age as the other boys. The boy was walking a few feet behind them, and they walked right past the gang of boys who were hanging around Mr. Chekov.

Walter Koenig, not knowing that this boy wasn't with the original group,  he reached out, toussled his hair and said, "How are doing today, buddy?"

The little boy looked up with him with a look of terror that I'm sure Walter thought was awe at meeting one of his heroes, maybe a little speechless and shy over seeing a big star in the flesh.

Only I knew it was a look of "Oh-my-God-this-is-one-of-those-guys-my-parents-warned-me-about-and-here-he-is-grabbing-me-in-hotel-lobby-while-my-parents-walk-away-obliviously" looks.

I really thought that when the kid caught up with his parents, he would start screaming about some pervert who tried to grab him in the hotel lobby, so I stuck around to be a witness to let the cops know that Mr. Chekov wasn't groping random boys who walked by him.

But the boy caught up with his parents and didn't say a word about the strange guy who manhandled him in the foyer.

But I hope Mr. Chekov knows that, even if it wasn't needed that day, I'll have his back if need be.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

About a year and a half ago, my boyfriend Art and I were driving home from Montreal through some back roads of Vermont. The scenery was really gorgeous, it was a beautiful summer day, and I got to reminiscing about all the great car trips I've taken through Vermont and Maine over the years.

"You know, in all the trips I've taken through Northern New England, I've never seen a moose in the wild. Everyone I know has a moose story except me. I wish I could see a moose."

Less than two minutes later, traffic slowed and stopped on both sides of the road. People pulled over and got out of their cars. Why? A huge, beautiful female moose had meandered out of the woods and was moseying across the street, taking her sweet time.

Well, hell.

I had a wish and didn't even know about it. AND I WASTED IT ON A MOOSE.

Something seems very unfair about that. To this day I've often thought of all the cool, fun, practical and humanitarian things I might have done with that wish, but NO I had to blow it on a stupid moose.

So the moral of this story is: Don't ever wish for a moose. You'll only be disappointed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Happy Rats

I have rats in my house.

This is not the horrible scenario is would seem like.

I'm really happy to share my home with these two little rodents.

It's a long story how they came to live with me, and that will be a tale for another blog entry.
They are two little boy rats, Adams and Calhoun. Adams is mostly white, but he as a black head with a streak of white on his forehead. Calhoun is nearly entirely black, with some white on his stomach.

Adams is tiny, cute, sweet and lovable. He's happy to see me coming, runs to greet me, loves to have me tickle his tummy, and loves to snuggle with me. I love him and he loves me. Poor little Adams is susceptible to respiratory infections, and spent more time at the vet and taking medications than I would like. Especially since it costs me a small fortune everytime!

Then there is Calhoun. Calhoun only wants two things out of life. Food and "out". And if you are unwilling or unable to comply with his wishes, he has no use for you. He is smarter than me, and can escape from very nearly any enclosure. I wish I had a dollar for every time I searched the house in a panic, thinking this is the time he's gone for good.

I wouldn't be surprised if Adams thinks his name is "Where's your brother?"

I should have known from the start that Calhoun was going to be trouble. When I went to the breeder to pick out my rats, she suggested that I put my hand in the cage to see which ones were the friendliest. I think there were about 12 or 15 baby rats in the cage. I stuck my hand in, and the all scattered, terrified of me. All but Calhoun. He jumped into my hand, ran up my arm, across my shoulders, and took a giant leap from my shoulder to the door of the cage, where he rode the swinging door back and forth. I swear I heard him yell, "weeeeee". In my naivete, I thought that was SOOOO adorable, I just had to have this rat. Yeah, good plan. He went from a tiny little bundle of energy, to an enormous bean bag of energy. He's driving me to an early grave. He completely and totally understands the concept of my back being turned, and will wait for the right moment to make his break. I can't tell you the number of times I just turned around for a second, to turn back and discover that he has jumped out of the 2 foot high play pen and has made for parts unknown.

He also has criminal tendencies. One day he was climbing all over me, and he kept poking his nose in my pocket. I has some dog biscuits in my pocket earlier, and I thought that was what he was after. All of sudden, he JUMPED up and BOLTED away, with a dollar bill in his mouth. I don't know where he was going to spend it, or what he was going to buy, but he was heading out with it.

"My boys", as I like to refer to them as, live in a giant cage in my little living room. They have a big "play pen", which is really just a big plastic corral that is full of rat toys that is supposed to keep them entertained. The play pen works great for Adams. For Calhoun, not so much. He's in, he's out, he's in, he's out. That's the routine, over and over. It's at moments like these that he's earned his nickname, "Rat Bastard".