If you follow me on Twitter (thank you and I’m sorry) you know that I spent the last four days cleaning out my garage to make room for a homebrewery. I came across a lot of awesome things from a lifetime in showbiz, as well as a bunch of 80s and 90s artifacts that I was able to afford due to the aforementioned lifetime and the showbiz in which it was spent.
I documented the more memorable things on Twitter, and a non-zero number of people on the Internet seemed to enjoy taking the nostalgic journey with me.
One of the things I got out of the garage was this Star Trek trading card:
The more observant among you are probably thinking something like, “Hey, Wil Wheaton, what gives, man? Wesley never wore the Sunglasses of Justice on Star Trek! In fact, I own or have seen that trading card, and I know for a fact that he isn’t wearing sunglasses at all! YOU’RE A PHONY WIL WHEATON! A BIG FAT PHONY!”
Okay, first of all, calm down. It’s all going to make sense in a moment. Please read on for the description I wrote to go with this trading card on eBay:
So imagine this: your friends Paul and Storm are in town to shoot some pick up shots for their soon-to-be hit webseries Learning Town. They ask you if they can come hang out, because they’re bored.
And then you’re like, “Oh, sure, because you’re bored. Not because you enjoy my delightful company and insightful commentary on current events as well as various aspects of popular culture and encyclopedic knowledge of internet memes. Good day, sir!”
But before you can say “I said GOOD DAY,” they promise to bring you a burrito.
“Curses,” you think to yourself, “my one weakness. How could they have known?!”
So they come over, with burritos and everything, and you hang out and eat a pretty rockin’ mojado-style burrito, and it’s great. Then, around the time they’re getting ready to leave, one of them, who we’ll call PAUL for this story, says, “Oh, hey, can you autograph a Star Trek thing for a person I know because you were on Star Trek and this person is, like, really all about Star Trek?”
You have been cleaning out your garage for four days, and you happen to have excavated a bunch of things from a lifetime in showbiz, including some trading cards from a science fiction television series you worked on as a teenager, so you say, “Yeah, I’d be happy to do that. In fact, I have a pretty cool one right here on the kitchen counter for some reason so let me whip out the Sharpie pen all famous actors carry with them at all time for use in occasions such as these and get to work.”
You uncap your pen and scrawl your magnificent autograph, which you’ve developed for years and years after tens of thousands of efforts, across one side of the card. But then, for reasons that may or may not be related to the two homebrewed beers you’ve enjoyed — and earned, because remember you have spent four surprisingly emotional days reliving pretty much your entire life through artifacts — you finish your signature with a flourish that drags an angry black line right across your face.
“Well, crap,” you might say. “I’ve ruined this, just like some angry people say I ruined that show they loved twenty-five years ago.
But then you get an idea! You know how to save it and turn it into a priceless work of collectible art that will surely sell on an online auction site for ones or even fives of dollars. I mean, we’re not talking dented ping pong ball money, but it’s still something nice to give to your local humane society. So you start to turn the line into sunglasses, and when you’re drawing the second lens, you realize that maybe you should have just turned it into an eye patch, because that would make Wesley Crusher cool like Snake Plissken.
“Man, I should have made this an eyepatch,” you say, “because sunglasses are so pedestrian.”
And that’s when it hits you: dude, you’ve got this. You know how to save this, because you’re a professional and you know exactly what the hell you’re doing. You turn the sunglasses into THE SUNGLASSES OF JUSTICE and write, “YEEEAAAHHHH!” right across the top. You slam the card down on the table and say, “Nailed it,” because you did.
That’s when your friend tells you that he forgot the name of the person he wanted the goddamn thing for in the first place, so if you could just go ahead and sign something different in the future that would be great and you are all OMG DUDE I MADE THIS JUST FOR YOU AND NOW YOU DON’T EVEN WANT IT WHAT THE HELL MAN.
And that is when you realize you could probably take this card and put it in the trash … or put it on eBay as a charity auction with a stupid description that isn’t as funny as it should be, considering how long you took writing it.
Okay, Person On The Internet, here’s what you’re bidding on: a Star Trek trading card of everyone’s favorite ensign (SHUT UP HE WAS THE MOST POPULAR CHARACTER EVER I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN), signed by Wil Wheaton, who is a pretty neat guy. It is ruined and restored exactly as described above and in the accompanying picture. If you want, he’ll even write the name of your choice on it (probably on the back or maybe in small print on the bottom) or draw a bird on it. It won’t be a good bird, because he can’t draw at all, but it will be in a nest and have a beak that really says, “I am such a bird! Look at this beak! It’s two triangles!” The bird may have wings, depending on things, but wings are NOT GUARANTEED.
This card will be put into an envelope, stamped with a REAL WESLEY CRUSHER STAMP THAT IS TOTALLY AMAZING BECAUSE I FOUND IT IN MY GARAGE THIS WEEKEND, and mailed to the address of your choosing. You won’t even have to pay for shipping, because Wil Wheaton is a pretty neat guy.
See? It all makes sense now, doesn’t it. Also, 100% of the final bid on this trading card will be given to the Pasadena Humane Society, because they help pets like Seamus and Marlowe find their forever families.