A post at Topless Robot about the Top 20 Nerd Commandments plucked a painful memory for me. Specifically, this commandment:
5) All nerds must be able to sketch, from memory, the basic outlines of the Millennium Falcon, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), and the TARDIS.
Yes, I drew the TARDIS as my big project for a High School art class. Sadly embarrassing in retrospect.
But then there was the embarrassment of doing something similar on NATIONAL TV.
In 1988, I appeared on the game show Win, Lose or Draw. Midway through the game, it was my turn to draw and I was shown my phrase: Beam Me Up, Scotty. As a lifelong Star Trek nerd, it felt like some kind of strange providence. But in my nerdliness, I could not figure out how to parse up the phrase into chunks that the “celebrities” could then guess. So I started drawing what I thought was a passable Enterprise, hoping the celebrities would get the Trek reference and start throwing out catch phrases.
It did not happen.
Vicki Lawrence, the host, complimented my drawing afterwards, but it didn’t help. My celebrities were Peter Marshall, aged host of Hollywood Squares, and Marc Summers of Nickelodean game show “fame.” He told me when I sat down on the couch that he had never seen even a single episode of Star Trek.
In the end, though, I did win the game. Woo hoo!
Favorite memory of that game: Our female celebrities were two women from soap operas, neither of whom I’d heard of before. I still can’t remember the name of one of them. The other was Jackie Zeman who people later told me they recognized. At one point, while the women’s team was taking a turn, we sat on the couch watching. Peter Marshall nudged me and pointed at Jackie, who was leaning forward displaying her cleavage. Peter Marshall smiled and winked at me.
Last memory: While I was being introduced, Vicki asked if there was anyone out there I wanted to say “Hi” to. I couldn’t think of anyone right off hand, so I said something like “How about that blonde in the front row,” indicating a very attractive young woman sitting in the audience. Well, for the remainder of the game, whenever I was on screen playing the game, viewers were graced with cutaway shots to that blonde in the front row. When the episode was over, I stood around chatting with Vicki while Marc Summers did what I should have done, what, in my infinite stupidity, I didn’t even think to do — he made a beeline to that blonde in the front row and started chatting her up.
And I’m embarrassed about the Enterprise.