Beam Me Up, Jugdish

Mackin' on nerds at the Edinburgh Castle's tribute to Star Trek's Scotty

It was time for the Scotty sound-alike competition, where members of the crowd would get up and deliver their best Scottish brogue. Most of the quotes were about the ship "breakin' up" or "losing fast." Then a rather swarthy geek dressed in Trek gear got up and recited a free-verse poem that he had written for the occasion, accompanied by, of course, bagpipes.

The Punjabi Scotsman eventually joined his friends at another table. I guess the novelty had worn off for all of us. Or maybe he was tired of being called Jugdish. The band for the evening, the Savage Curtain, took the stage and reeled off a set of surf-guitar-inspired songs from the series. The bassist looked familiar, and, yep, it was local musician Count Dante. He sheepishly admitted that he was a Trekkie. I went to say goodbye to him because Michelle and I were ready to set our flesh-vessels on sleep command.

"We've been working these songs out over a few weeks," he said, possibly referring to the fact that the crowd seemed to disperse as soon as his band hit the stage. "We still have some kinks to work out. By the time Uhura dies, we will probably have some great material."

Michelle and I walked out into the starry night and the Tenderloin. For a brief moment we thought we saw a twinkling star brighten and then wane just beyond Hale-Bopp's constellation; a fiery semaphore that said, "Let there be peace among the planets, let all carbon-based life-forms join as one and prosper."

Wait, no. It was just some crackhead's Bic lighter.

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