Thursday, April 21, 2005

What if...

Tim Chitwood's column, quoted almost in it's entirity:

OTBs, or "Outside The Boxers," as they call themselves, are unconventional thinkers who believe "there are no stupid ideas," Lessjo says. "We really just wanted to know what would happen if Civil War soldiers fought the crew from 'Star Trek.' You never see that in the movies or TV reruns."

So the OTBs asked battle organizers: Why not attract a wider audience by staging a second "what-if" battle sequence in which a starship crew joins the conflict?

Unwilling to openly ridicule the idea, organizers set up a meeting for Lessjo, Confederate re-enactors and a local Star Trek club -- the latter two in full regalia.

Then the trouble began.

First the Confederates said they wouldn't associate with "Trekkies," and the Star Trek fans said they preferred "Trekkers." The Confederates all laughed, and "that right there got things off on the wrong foot," Lessjo says.

Other missteps followed.

"One of the Trekkers said Starfleet's prime directive wouldn't let the crew introduce superior technology to a primitive culture," Lessjo says. "Then a rebel yelled, 'Don't call us primitive, geek!' And the Trekker said Starfleet wouldn't defend a society based on slavery, either."

That riled the Confederates, provoking one to shout: "Y'all just go fight for the Yankees then! You're all living in a fantasy world anyway!"

"Yeah, like you're not!" a Trekker retorted.

Both sides abruptly drew their weapons, and Lessjo ducked under a table as the firing commenced, he says. He did not crawl back out until the smoke cleared, and by then the Trekkers had withdrawn from the field.

"It turns out replica Civil War guns use real gunpowder, whereas 'Star Trek' phasers have only a battery-powered bulb that lights up," says Lessjo. "You don't go up against a guy with a firearm if all you've got is a flashlight."

So thinking outside the box yielded an unexpected answer to OTB's hypothetical question: "We proved Civil War soldiers would win a battle against the crew from 'Star Trek,' " Lessjo says, chuckling. "You never would have figured that, would you?"

(This is Tim Chitwood's April Fools' Day column)