Friday, January 27, 2006

Star Trekkin' Across Muroran

Monday night, when I went out celebrating the Seahawks' victory over the Panthers, I had a very cool experience.

The first two places I tried to go to were closed, so I ended up at Rantaro, a yakitori place right across the street from Ippukutei.

Good food. Good beer and shochu. Yet another cool bartender/master.

Even though it was my first time to go out to his bar, he struck up a conversation with me and made me feel right at home.

We talked about Muroran.
We talked about Shimane.
We talked about alcohol.
We talked about...Star Trek.

Whoa. Wait a second here. A Japanese Star Trek fan? No way!

This was extremely cool! Why? Well...

For starters, I am a big Star Trek geek.

Not in the sense of "I'm gonna dress up like a Ferengi for Halloween" geek.

More of a "I love the heck out of that show!" geek.

Besides, Ferengi's heads look like butts. No way would I wear an outfit like that for Halloween.

Six P.M. on weekdays during junior high school was Star Trek time. Classic Star Trek time. Kirk. Spock. McCoy. Scotty! I faithfully followed the USS Enterprise's adventures on "her five year mission" that only lasted three years.

Classic Star Trek anecdote from the Kidd Family: When I was about two (1979), my folks took me to see Star Trek: The Motion Picture. There's a scene in the movie where the love interest of the young buck gets zapped away by an alien spacecraft. The theater was really quiet when it happened, and then I happened.

As soon as she was zapped away, screaming, I yelled out in the (very quiet) theater,

"OH NO, MOM!"

much to the embarrassment of my parents and the amusement of everyone else.

There ya go, Mom. I hope you're happy.

So anyway, I was a faithful Trek viewer. Of course, Saturdays at 6 P.M. were Star Trek: The Next Generation viewing times.

On into college, where Deep Space Nine and Voyager came along. I enjoyed these shows, but it became a lot harder to work watching them into my schedule. Plus, when I went to Japan to study, I had no way of watching them at all. Same problem with Enterprise, which seemed interesting if for no other reason than Sam Beckett was now Captain Archer. I was over here when it debuted.

Hey, on top of being a Trek geek, I'm a sci-fi geek. What can I say?

Trekkie. Trekker. Star Trek Geek. Dork. Call me what you will, I just enjoyed the shows.

When I was in Hakuta. The season collections of Next Generation DVDs were released over here. I reserved each one at Cosmo and picked them up as soon as they came out. I think that's why they like me over there...I spent a LOT of money getting all those.

When I moved to Izumo. I got into my apartment and turned on my new TV, flipping through the Izumo cable channels until I came to Super Channel. No lie, it was super. Why? Deep Space Nine was showing on my TV screen. "Yes! Izumo rocks!"

Now in Muroran. It is here in Muroran that I met the first Japanese person I've ever come across that knows a little bit about Trek. We talked about all the different series. We used Star Trek as a spring board to talk about differences in Japanese and American culture.

It was quite possibly one of the coolest barhopping experiences of my life.

I'll be visiting Rantaro again soon!

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