by Chris Rostenberg
When I was twelve years old, I used to Spock people for no reason. I would just saunter on up to another kid, grab the nerves on his neck and squeeze. This would cause a lot of unwarranted pain, but the person would never fall unconscious the way they would if Star Trek’s Mr. Spock were to do his Vulcan neck pinch.
It was early December and I was getting ready to spend my Christmas vacation down in Disney World in Florida, when I saw this kid in the Hommacks Middle School named Timmy Landris. We weren’t friends or enemies but we knew each other in passing. So naturally, I walked up to him and Spocked him.
As I went down the stairs, Timmy called me back. He was irked. So I said, “Well, do you want to fight me?”
“Sure,” he said.
Now, I was not angry, but Timmy was a little angry. We threw punches at each other, but they didn’t really contact. Then I hit his head with my right fist and a terrific pain shot through my hand. It was then that we stopped the fight. We were told to go to the principal, and we walked there together cordially. No more fighting.
That night, my right hand blew up like a bubble. The next day, I got an X-ray and it turned out my fist was broken in two places. The doctor wanted to know if I cared that my fist would be bent forever. That would be terrible! I wouldn’t be able to draw my comic book as well unless my hand was fixed. So the doctor stuck a metal pin through the bone of my hand. To guide him in surgery, he put a little blue dot on my knuckle. It is still there. Today I tell people that the mark is a tattoo of the Planet Earth as seen from far, far away.
So I had to go to Disney World with a cast on my hand, and I couldn’t go on any water rides. At the amusement park, there was a cool hotel that had a monorail train go through it. On Friday night, there were a lot of fireworks and everybody went, “OOOOHH! AAAAHHHH!” My sister and I mocked these people by saying in calm, unenthusiastic monotones, “Ooooh. Aaaaaah.” My Dad found that pretty amusing.
My father gave us our gifts on Christmas Eve. What I remember is that my cousin John had given me the Dungeons and Dragons Basic Game Set Edition Zero (the one with the green dragon). As I told you, I knew of the game from Camp Dudley. When I got the D&D, I was so excited! I learned of a character named Morgan Ironwolf. Back home, I named my character Texter Tuffbear, but my friends made fun of me for that.
Several years later, I was getting ready to go to the Mamaroneck High School senior prom. There was this cute junior named Lara Landris, who was Timmy’s little sister. She wore leg-warmers (which should come back in style), and this wonderful, fuzzy blue sweater that I wanted to use as a pillow in more ways than one. I gathered up the courage to approach Lara with her friends in the overpass. I asked her to the prom.
She Spocked me.