Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash Vol. XXXIII: Trekkies vs. Trekkers, selfish terminally ill people vs. taco-flavored Doritos, staying young vs. getting old

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Matt Labash
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      Matt Labash

      Hi, welcome to “Ask Matt Labash.” I’ll be your host, Matt Labash. The idea for this column – if idea isn’t too strong a word – is that it is not a column at all. Rather, it’s a conversation. One in which I do ninety-five percent of the talking. If you did most of the talking, you’d have to watch my eyes go dead and my attention wander until it was my turn to talk again. So trust me, it’s better this way.

      For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I’ll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I’d have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil’ Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.

      This is not, you should know, a mere advice column. If you need advice, I’ll give it. But the only rule here is that there are no rules. You can ask me a question about anything that’s on your mind: current events, pop culture, media, theology, string theory, fishing tips, wicker repair. The only limits we have are those of your imagination. And those of my knowledge base. Which is considerably limited, truth be told. So try not to ask me anything that requires research. Though they tell me I have access to Google on this computer if we need it.

      If all goes according to plan, ours will not be a traditional writer/reader relationship. It’s more complex than that. I might empathize or cajole. I might educate, instruct, or inspire. I might pretend to answer your question while actually reporting you to Social Services, since you’re a dangerous person who should not have contact with children. I might tell you to climb up on my shoulders, that you’re not heavy, you’re my brother. Or I might tell you that you are heavy, and that you should hop down until you lose a few pounds. I might just sidle up behind you, put my big strong man hands on the small of your back, and whisper in your ear the words of the poet, Kenny Rogers: “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”

      To which you’ll say something like, “I can’t, I’ve got to go home and wash my hair.”
      To which I’ll say something like, “Shhh. We’ve got tonight babe, why don’t you stay?”
      Wherever this takes us, our journey begins now:

      <i>Matt Labash is a senior writer with The Weekly Standard. His first book, <a href="">Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys</a> will be published next month by Simon & Schuster.</i>

Editors Note: Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.

If you had to learn either Klingon or Braille, what would you choose? -  Pete

Neither Klingon nor Braille have much practical use for me, but I’d definitely have to go with Braille. For I’d much rather communicate with the blind than with Trekkies. Or is it Trekkers? I’ve been corrected when mentioning them in passing before, so I researched it this afternoon. Sources close to the internet tell me that “Trekkie” started falling out of fashion after William Shatner’s 1986  Saturday Night Live parody in which he implored Trekkies to get a life. (Whereas, Trekkers insist they have a life – a dubious claim, since they’re the kind of people who’d sit around debating the merits of Trekkies vs. Trekkers.)

Furthermore, Spock himself (Leonard Nimoy) – who was, after all, the “science officer” on the Starship Enterprise – tried to settle the debate on Star Trek’s 25th anniversary special, saying the correct term was “Trekker.” Though franchise creator Gene Roddenberry – in what very well could be urban legend – supposedly once corrected a fan at a Star Trek convention who bleated out the term “Trekkers.” Roddenberry purportedly responded, “No, it’s ‘Trekkies.’ I should know – I invented the thing.”

I am no closer to knowing whether it’s “Trekkies” or “Trekkers.” All I know is that after about five minutes of reading Wikipedia on the subject, I wanted to say, “jIH Daq qab tlhej.”  Which according to my online Klingon translator, means, “Shoot me in the face with a phaser.” If a Trekkie/Trekker obliged, and I survived, I would probably be left blind, thus making Braille the clear winner.

If you had three wishes, what would they be? Buzz

I know what the obvious answer is. I know what you’re expecting me to say. That I’d wish for a big pile of cash money, the finest 24 karat crunk grill, and fast cars and faster women. But I’m not going to say that. Because as a senior writer at America’s leading journal of conservative political thought, it probably goes without saying that I already possess those things. Also, I would never say that, because it’s predictable. And I was actually voted “Most Unpredictable” in high school. Why? I’m not sure exactly. I’m actually a creature of habit, and am rather predictable. So you wouldn’t have expected me to take the title, and yet I did. Thus confirming my unpredictability.

NEXT: Matt Labash’s three wishes

  • kyfho23

    Why, Jim, that last point was almost profound. Good luck with the second surgery, and I hope the absence of strong painkillers doesn’t ruin your life too much.

    BTW, after surgery, claiming your knee is haunted make a great excuse for kneeing people in the stones. Living in Washington, there will be no absence of hauntings.

  • gringott

    Salt n Vinegar was a chip before it’s time – and it’s time was 20 years ago. I’ve moved on to extra salt pretzel rings [Cinci style] dipped in jalepeno cheese sauce.

  • wrenchie

    First of all, this misty-eyed remembrance of Taco Doritos is like someone pining for a return to the days of 78 rpm records in an age of CD’s. Besides, that taco flavored powder crap showered upon the dorito-proper made it practically impossible for any kind of respectable dip (nacho cheese, et al.) to cling to the chip itself. IOW, the coating rendered the chip “dip-phobic”, making un-suitable for an enhanced snacking experience. I’ve since moved on to salt-n-vinegar potato chips and bbq pork rinds. Would suggest same for all.