It wasn’t the best of parties, it wasn’t the worst of parties, but the noises of mirth and merriment coming from the other side of the wall made it obvious that whatever was going on at the neighbor’s house was definitely more “happening” than the serenity to be found at present. Lee, Arabian knight far-famed in martial story and Mister Fogarty, the ship’s science officer, balanced precariously on a shared lawn chair and peered into the neighbor’s backyard to confirm this suspicion.
“Hellooooooo!” shouted the slightly inebriated Caucasian Arabian to the merry-makers he spotted in yonder keg arena. “Hello, over there!” Fogarty waved his arms about, firing off a few blasts of his phaser into the air and aiming his tricorder towards the newfound life forms every once in a while to check their readings. “Sensors indicate DRUNK, Captain,” he said in stoic, science officer fashion. The tricorder chirped in affirmation.
The natives beyond the fence smiled and waved back amicably. “Come over!” they cried gleefully.
“We have a keg that we can bring!” offered Lee.
“COME OVER! NOW!” demanded the slightly more crazed gathering of red-faced party denizens.
An away team was compiled to undertake the mission at hand: To find out HOW to get to the party, assess the situation, and return safely to base for report. If the findings were positive, the keg would be brought along on a return mission as an offering to ensure smooth diplomatic relations.
The ship’s fetish officer, Mister Thor, led the away team. Along for this first expedition were the aforementioned Lee and Fogarty, and a few of Lee’s superpowerdly endowed friends, including CondomMan and SuperDrunk.
The group anticipated a mission of moderate difficulty. Backyards might have to be breached, obstacles hurdled, attack mutts evaded. Luckily, an unforeseen “wormhole” (sidewalk leading directly to the party’s cul de sac) opened up. Success!
Upon reaching the party, the away team encountered a population of attendees far more numerous than earlier calculations made by the science officer allowed for. “It is not logical,” said the puzzled Fogarty while making way for a scantily clad French maid and her lusty mad scientist companion, “the sheer volume of costumed partygoers MUST be inversely proportional to the amount of alcohol they can POSSIBLY have within the confines of the household. If we don’t make haste and intermingle with the assembled pageantry, we may be missing out on the opportunity to get seriously fucked up.”
The away team nodded, almost perfectly in unison, CondomMan’s hat-topping receptacle swaying like a metronome under the autumn starlight.
“I suggest,” continued Mister Fogarty, “that the superheroes secure the area. Mister Thor, Sir Lee, and myself will go back to the ship and beam down the keg.”
“Make it so!” commanded Mister Thor gruffly. He brought the cat-o-nine tails he carried to smack resoundingly against the bared buttocks of a passing catwoman to emphasize his approval of the plan. The catwoman giggled and knocked over an alien nun and a giant green M&M in her escape.
While beaming back, Lee paused to pee leisurely against a tree. “Your signature’s going to be the same when you rematerialize, dummy! You’ll just have to pee again!” Lee ignored the fetish officer and smiled, dreaming only of the pleasure of relief he’d be able to enjoy not just once, but twice!
To even out the next away team, martial arts expert and beer enthusiast Master Boo was recruited to service.
“Where are you going?” queried an incredulous Kelly, harem-girl to the Arabian knight and hostess of the party/ship that was being unceremoniously abandoned.
“We’ve found evidence of a superior party!” yelled Lee.
“Where are you taking the keg?” whined a nondescript voice in passing.
“AWAY.” answered the away party.
The keg was transported by an ingenious method of burden rotation whereby the four young men would pair up, grab it, walk a few steps, then pass it off to the next pair. Nonetheless, it was unanimously agreed that this particular “beaming down” was slightly more taxing than the previous mission had been. Still, they made the journey in a very reasonable amount of time, and were given a VERY warm reception upon arrival.
The keg was placed on a small, muddy patch of land next to the garage, facing the wall over which the initial “first contact” had been made. In terms of distance, the keg had realistically only traveled about 10 feet from its originating point on the other side of the wall. The out-of-breath, sore-fingered keg-tenders didn’t want to think of such things at the present time, however. The out-of-breath, sore-fingered keg-tenders wanted to PARTEEEE.
The superheroes had secured the area well, and the party was abuzz with friendliness towards the young newcomers. Del, a sweater-donning, toothpick-chomping charmer from London and his Dublin-born friend Brian, who was costumed as any given member of Oasis were the first to offer real conversation, along with, “ah, so…erm…mind if we have some of that?” Cups in hand, thrust forward, the keg expelled into them naught more than a frothy dose of creamy foam.
“Hmmm…we’d best wait a few minutes to dispense the refreshment,” nodded Fogarty, who brushed off a few flecks of the keg’s misfired residue from his officer’s togs, “it’s a little testy after such hasty transport.”
Mister Thor and Mister Fogarty went off to further explore their new surroundings. Thumping disco noises were prominent, and it was their aim to find out where the offending noises were emanating from, if possible, and within the bounds of the Prime Directive, put an end to them in favor of a more pleasing array of music.
“I feel like I’m in a ’70s porno movie,” said Thor. “That pisses me off.”
They made their way to the noise chamber and were greeted with the vision of every manner of animal, vegetable, and mineral two-step American Bandstand-style dancing to the likes of Donna Summer music. After shuddering away the initial horror of this discovery, Mister Thor approached the party’s white polo shirt-clad, white entertainment officer (DJ) in an attempt to sway him from his current retro course.
“Say, we’re from the future, see? We’d like to hear some real music.” Thor said, slipping $6 into the DJ’s paw, requesting what he considered to be “real music.”
The DJ agreed. “It’ll be coming right up!”
A great deal of time passed. Misters Thor and Fogarty made conversation with an Oktoberfest beer wench and a Geisha girl. They even tried to kind of dance. A little bit. Joey Lawrence made bedroom eyes at a pretty young hobo woman in the corner. A creepy, white-shrouded pyramid lady smoked cloves nearby.
“Go check on that request, would you, Mister Fogarty?”
“It’s coming right up!” was the DJ’s response as Fogarty approached.
Meanwhile, Thor insisted it was okay for the Oktoberfest wench to partake of the keg.
“Just tell ’em Thor sent you, baby!”
Oktoberfest lass (we’ll call her Cynthia, since that was, in fact, her name) was greeted at the keg by Lee, who devised an impromptu secondary test to ensure that she was REALLY sent by Thor.
“Okay, then. What’s the secret handshake?”
“D’oh.” was Cynthia’s disappointed response.
Lee wouldn’t be swayed by the protests of a pouty damsel. Only when the ritual was learned and displayed would he relent in giving up a portion of the keg’s precious cargo to the thirsty Cynthia. Lee, as should be obvious in this point in the story, is a complete bastard.
Fogarty found another area of the party as yet undiscovered on his way back to where Thor was teaching Cynthia the “secret” handshake. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink!) It was the garage, swaddled in fabrics, adorned with foodstuffs from the four corners of the world. He even witnessed the distribution of canned cheese to several partygoers via the “saltine wafer” method. Was this heaven? Fogarty pinched himself to ensure his place in the here and now. Much of the room escaped his attention upon this initial investigation. Best to report back and reapproach with backup, just in case, he reckoned.
Rejoining the room with the fetish officer, a new discovery was made by Thor: there was a nitrous tank in the corner! A zany, bearded gentleman with a VERY BIG FACE mask on his head dispensed the goodies through the primitive, yet effective balloons that appeared like magic from his bag of tricks. The tank itself was disguised as a set of golf clubs, and a line of party folk queued up to accept its bounty. Fogarty had been wise to retrieve backup before exploring further, after all. Fogarty was about to experience something strange and wonderful. He checked to make sure he was still wearing a blue shirt (“the reds are always the first ones to go,” he remembered hearing from a wise old Federation officer years ago), and stepped bravely forward.
“fffffffft.” went the little orange balloon.
“This isn’t doing ANYthing! This is crap!” Fogarty exclaimed, dropping his usual science officer calm.
“No, you’re doing it wrong. It’s like this.” Thor patiently explained. A small demonstration set things right. “Again.”
“fffffffft.” repeated the little orange balloon. A quick return and another deep inhalation followed. Then the world suddenly skewed, unfocused, and refocused. Fogarty could hear his head pulsing with a rhythm corresponding to the previously horrid (yet now, very appropriate) disco music from the other room. What a beautiful place of wonder was the world, thought Fogarty! He could distinctly hear thousands…maybe millions of processes whirring in his brain…it was like he was back on the bridge. Like he WAS the bridge, or a machine on it…
“We’re just computers!” He exclaimed with profound realization, “we’re just big, organic computers!”
With a giant grin, Mister Thor rewarded Fogarty’s outburst with a hearty gladiator handshake. “You finally GET it!” he shouted. “NOW you understand!”
Mister Fogarty DID understand…well, for the next twelve seconds or so, anyways. He would come to many similar, no less bizarre realizations throughout the evening…enough to expend the burden from at least three more innocent balloons. Brain cell holocaust or a peek into the universe’s many secrets? Perhaps it was, after all, a fair helping of both.
Still the DJ hadn’t complied with Thor’s generous request. Patience had worn thin. Thor took action.
“It’s coming right…” the DJ began, backing away from the red-eyed, clearly pissed-off, whip-wielding fetish officer.
“You’re the whitest motherfucker I’ve ever seen. Give me back my cash, BITCH.” Thor hissed.
Stunned, the mouth-gaping DJ returned the $6, then called the security guards. Thor had, by that point, wisely moved along to another place in the house.
Fogarty had, in the meantime, wandered outside to notice the Irish fellow Brian to be in distress. Hunched over and spewing up the most vile mixture of dinner and whatever he’d been drinking for “dessert,” Brian was in, as they say, “a bad way.” Fogarty took pity on the poor lad, scouting out a chair and a glass of water to ease his suffering.
A concerned Thor, upon entering the scene, said, “Mister Fogarty, will he live?”
Fogarty raised his eyebrow and said, without a trace of irony in his voice, “Dammit, Thor. I’m a science officer, not a doctor.”
Freddy Krueger and Ginger from Gilligan’s Island came in search of the keg’s wondrous elixir. Strangely enough, Lee seemed more willing to forgo the “secret” handshake with this pair, as Freddy sported real metal blades on his brown leather glove. There was no guarantee that his striped sweater’s bloodstains weren’t also real.
Ginger made cat’s eyes at all the bachelors in the nearby vicinity and weaseled her way to the front of the line while Freddy ran a rough, sandpapery tongue over his rotten teeth and growled a “thank you!” before swilling down his fair share of beer product.
Fogarty continued tending to the poor health of the unfortunate Brian while Thor, in the meantime, was playing the smooth cad. It can be happily imagined that the Star Trek universe isn’t short on supply of superbly delicious pickup lines.
“I’m from the future, baby! Have you ever done anything high-tech?” He said to the Oktoberfesting Cynthia, now, finally, with beer refreshment in hand.
The two leaned back into the shadows and made NAFTA noises for ages before the Geisha Girl could be heard to shout at them, “aren’t you coming up for air?”
On the other side of the party, Boo, in his own fashion, could be heard saying, “Hey, baby! My kung-fu’s the BEST!” to some drunken pirate wench. It can only be assumed he got his timbers shivered by evening’s end.
Brian finally came to his senses and was actually able to stagger slightly. With greatly-improved spirits, he expressed many thanks to Fogarty, whose only reply to the grateful sentiments was, “would you like another beer?”
Brian declined and sat back down.
Del the Londoner was going on and on about how great a party this was, and that nothing of the sort would ever happen “back home.” His smile was canyon-wide, and his energy wasn’t dampened by the onslaught of late hours. “Another beer?” he offered Fogarty.
Fogarty did not decline. Fogarty did not sit down. Another round of beer from the now nearly-empty keg was passed around to everyone in the traditional flimsy plastic cups. Cries of “cheers, ye bastards! HARGH!” rang through the autumn air while faux police officers snorted coke in a nearby corner.
Sunlight streamed in through the windows as our heroes groggily, one by one, awakened back on the bridge. Much time had passed…hours, in fact. Kung Fu Boo peeled his face off the radiant, golden-colored shag carpeting upon which he’d been sleeping, large creases crisscrossing his countenance. Further investigation proved that the keg had mysteriously made it back to its original position, with no one recollecting how such a thing had occurred. It was hypothesized that Fogarty’s communicator had been set with a “drunk-man’s” switch, designed to beam the crew and all its belongings back to the ship in case they should cross harm’s way.
Or…were their experiences all a dream? Thor mumbled and rolled over, a black nitrous balloon falling from his previously clenched fist onto the carpeting before his face. He stirred slightly and continued to slumber.
[RIP James Doohan]