As entertainment reporter for the Middletown (Ohio) Journal in 1993, I covered the opening of a “Star Trek” exhibit at Kings Island, the nearby amusement park.
The marketing folks at the park suggested I cover it by dressing up like the characters who represented the exhibit. At the time, I was a casual “Star Trek” fan but an intense reporter, so I agreed.
I became a Klingon for the morning.
(For you “Star Trek” dummies, the Klingons are an ugly, warrior race who speak a gutteral language and eat raw meat for breakfast. Not exactly how you’d describe me, so it was a stretch.)
Here is part of the description from the newspaper column I wrote:
The task of transforming my humanoid form from a tera’ngan (Earthling) into a Klingon takes about 35 tupmey (minutes). First, there’s the brown makeup, brown eyeshadow, brown mascara and brownish lipstick. loD (male) Klingons also must glue moustaches and beards to their faces.
Then there’s the elaborate costuming: silver shirt mail complete with fur-covered sleeves, high collar and spine; nuH (weaponry); belt; gloves with spikes; and thigh-high, four-inch platform black boots with horns.
Finally, the crowning touch: a long, curly, dark brown wig and silver helmet.
Ah, I think, I am Klingon, hear me roar.
It was with that transformation that I crossed from casual fan to Trekkie.
I started watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” every night (in reruns most nights, new episodes on Thursdays).
And later that year, I joined the legions of fans who needed to “get a life” (a statement made infamous by the original Capt. James T. Kirk — William Shatner — in a “Saturday Night Live” skit) by attending my first “Star Trek” convention.