Playing Trek

When I was a kid, we had to use our imaginations. I know. What? How? But we did, and one of the things we did was play “Star Trek.” Rusty Cook from across the street and I loved the original Star Trek, and we got together to play it all the time. Sometimes we would play it on the gravel playground at school, by imagining we were each a star ship, cruising through space firing our phasers by pointing two fingers at the target and making phaser noise with our mouths. At the time we thought was so cool, but we probably came across as nurds with mental problems.

At home we played Trek by sitting in my room facing the dresser. It had a full-sized mirror, which was about the right size and shape the be the view screen on the bridge. I always played Lt. Sulu, since he was the pilot, and got to actually drive the ship. On the top of the dresser, we stacked three-ring binders to re-create the angle of the control panel, and taped our drawings of the panel on it. Rusty played Captain Kirk, mostly because he was a little bit fat, and look kind of like Shatner.

When we were nine, we had no idea what a photon was, so when we first encountered references to the photon torpedo, I guess it sounded like “Fulton.” That whole first year or so was spent giving orders to “fire Fulton torpedoes!” For a little bit after that, we called them “Fultron” torpedoes, and by the time I was 12, we discovered what a photon was. (In the last few years, I have been calling them “futon torpedoes”, since I think it would be funny to see the enterprise shoot a futon through space at a Klingon vessel.)


  1. …and I would walk in from time to time with a clipboard and ask Rusty to sign things. Good times.

  2. I have vague memories of playing Star Trek with my brother, Robert. I never watched the show and I just played whatever part he assigned to me. Do kids still do things like that?

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