Monday, January 12, 2009

And my klingon name is...

Jen's post today reminds me of the undeniably unique gift-giving enigma that is my grandmother. She has never once forgotten my birthday or Christmas. I kind of like getting gifts from her because they are always weird, unexpected and demonstrate a true lack of thought and understanding as to everyone's personalities and tastes.

A good example of this is the period in my early teens when she bought me a bunch of girly sweaters sized 6x.

Then there was the "Sounds of October" CD, a compilation of different random sound effects arranged into quaint little titles like "My furry little friends" and "A lovely little stroll by the seaside." No one was sure why she gave a CD about October to my mother, who has no special attachment to that month in particular. I mean, my mom's birthday is on Cinco de Mayo, which would make a pinata far more appropriate. Grandma said that one of the nurses told her that it would make a very good gift.

By far the best gift I ever got from her was the Star Trek interactive video boardgame that she gave me for my birthday when I was twelveish. I thought it was weird but kind of cool at the time, being the closet trekkie I am. It had a board that looked kind of like Clue with different areas of the ship marked on it and a VHS tape with some klingons on it.

The story was that the klingons had taken over the ship and imprisoned the crew. The players had to somehow make it out of the room and accomplish a bunch of tasks in a set period of time in order to avert near-certain disaster. The rules and game play were complicated and I don't think we got them before we lost interest.

The problem with game play being tied to the video was that there was only one scenario that I remember, and that meant that every time you played it the Klingons said the same things, took over the same part of the ship and imprisoned you in the same room that you had to strategize your way out of.

It also required that you talked to the video, which required more than a little suspension of disbelief, and lent itself well to being mocked.

The commander-in-chief klingon would ask me what my name was, then pause as if listening while I said the silliest name I could think of, something along the line of Petunia Lipschitz-Garagehead. He would then groan predictably in disgust, tell me that it was a slave's name and give me a new name:

Well, I was about to tell you what I was renamed, in Klingon, but it seems I can't find the word on the internet. Whatever it was it meant worm.

I did however find the word for ponytail holder:

I need some new ones, you know.