Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ensign Samson

Los Angeles, CA 2004

I was in The Original Series (TOS) forum on, when I came across a post someone made that the spanking-new DVD box sets were now available at Costco. Holy Jesus. Season One: Khan, Trelane, Edith Keeler, and where Kirk reminds us that "risk is our business." I had to have it: I haven't seen TOS in what seemed like eons, and now that it was visually remastered and with Dolby sound? Shazam. Granted, my home theater system wasn't the fancy-shmanciest in the land, but it sufficed for the dimensions of my apartment. And my DVD collection in those days was very spare indeed, preferring to borrow films from the library, or Netflix. You see, I decided when I first started collecting DVDs that I would only own the ones that I most had to have; during this period of my life I owned almost all of the Star Trek: The Next Generation box sets, some classic films, all of the Star Trek movies, and a handful of foreign flicks. And yet not even a single videocassette of The Original Series was in my house! I must posses it, I thought to myself. I must! I rubbed my hands together with an ecstatic flourish, plotting on which would be the quickest bus line to take to my local Costco, and relishing in the fact that I had two days off, with plenty of wine to drink.

Screeching tires-time. Pull back those reins, there, guy, because it totally slipped my mind that I had a commitment that I couldn't break.

I was supposed to dog-sit Samson, my then-girlfriend's dog, and she expected me to not just watch him, but to really watch him, i.e. take him for walks, feed him his snooty dog food, and constantly massage his little legs (because they were prone to cramp up on occasion). Yes, my friends, during the time that she and I were dating, my middle name became "Emasculated," but I loved every inch of her, her every grunt and snarl, that I more often than not complied with her dog-centric requests.

But first, a little about Samson: he's a toy Pomeranian who literally had a staring problem. For whatever reason, he really liked me, some might even venture to say that he loved me, and the dog liked to stare at my face. (I have that effect on strange animals, I suppose.) I was nice to him, mind you, but didn't go out of my way to get into his good graces.  He used to sit still and just stare at me, waiting for me to make a move, any move, no matter how small. It was unnerving, but you get used to it. There was a particular night when my then-girlfriend (with Samson, of course), after a cozy dinner at my place, decided to stay the night, and it was now late -- I'm talking last-call late -- and she had since fallen asleep, while I was alone at my kitchen table writing something or other on my computer. And there, as usual, was Samson, sitting by my feet and staring up at me. But it was way past his bedtime, and the poor guy was sleepy, and despite his force of character, his teensy eyes were now slowly closing, his little head nodding to and fro. He was sitting there, falling asleep, waiting for me to make a move. I finally did- I picked him and let him fall asleep on my lap while I finished writing...

At any rate, I had a problem: how was I supposed to watch her dog on my day off, when I had some serious watching of Classic Trek DVDs to do?

Solution: I called her and told her to drop off Samson at my house at a slightly later time than the one we agreed upon. She frowned at me over the phone, but then I promised her the world, forever and ever, amen, and so she agreed, and hung up. I then whooshed my way to Costco, nabbed the DVDs, whooshed back home, and prepared myself for Her Royal Highness' arrival (which wasn't very long after I'd returned). As soon as she closed the door behind her, Samson looked up at me, and I looked down upon him, and I attempted, through my returning stare, and with every fiber of my being, to communicate to him to please, PLEASE be a quiet doggy, and to PLEASE play with all of the expensive doggy toys I've bought for him over the months that have now been gathering dust. And to please let these next few hours be calm ones, and allow me to spend them unfettered with the televised adventures of Captain Kirk, Mr Spock, Bones, and the rest of my friends from the USS Enterprise, and that if he would do so, that I would give him the rank of Ensign, and that I will never, ever forget him.

He did, and I never will.


  1. LOL! I can't wait for you to meet Tuvok! If he's good for you he expects the rank of Commander!

    Gosh I love to read your blog. What could be a mundane regurgitation of mundane life recollections turns out to be instead, a playdate at Uncle Ernie's.

    I can see Ensign Samson staring you down with his ridiculously needy poochy eyes and I can see you trying to be all Riker hardass and then your resolve melting, turning you into Harry Kim.

    A happy ending in the end...the tribble with legs got a warm place to snuggle and you got your quality time with Our Captain.


  2. That was a very cute story. :D