Is It Too Soon To Say This Trekkie's Dream Is Wreckkied?

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February 1, 2012

Too Soon?
Image courtesy of DailyContributor.com.

Welcome to the inaugural entry into "Too Soon?" where we look at some truly heartbreaking news and turn those frowns upside down. They say comedy is all about timing, but we're just very impatient.

In the bloodthirsty competition that is Star Trek fandom, Tony Alleyne is near the top of the food chain. That's because he converted his modest one-bedroom apartment into a replica of the Transporter Control Room from inside the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), known to most normal people as the room where people beam on and off the ship.

To clear up any confusion, that is the ship from the Next Generation version of the series, because to pick any other version would be sad and pathetic. At 58 years old, bald and appearing in pictures dressed in full captain's gear, Alleyne has a passing resemblance to Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard, or more accurately Picard's doppelganger from the Loser Universe.

His odyssey began in the mid-90s when he fell on "a run of bad luck" which included losing the ability to continue his job as a professional DJ. Lacking any qualifications, but abundant in free time, he decided a change was necessary, so he started uprooting everything in the apartment. His wife was initially supportive, but after replacing the refrigerator with a warp coil she decided it was time to beam off the ship and find a suitable dwelling that can safely store her yogurt.

Every square inch of the apartment has been converted with alarming detail. This includes the bathroom, which is interesting because the series never really showed you the toilets on the Starship. I guess that he wanted "to boldly go where no man has gone before" and he wanted to make regular entries into the Captain's bog. Stardate 41254.7 at 0700 hours - After orbiting and probing Myanus evidence of last night's spicy corn curry detected.

In 1998, Alleyne thought his obsessive hobby would make for a good business and he started 24th Century Design, offering to do to your apartment what he did to his for a nominal fee. As it turns out, there isn't really a market for people who want to update their 21st century dwelling to the interior design standards of 300 years into the future because there haven't been any known customers looking for his expertise. Perhaps it's because Alleyne's area of expertise is the Transporter Room which, when you think about it, is nothing more than a 24th century bus depot.

By his own estimate, Alleyne has spent over 100,000 British Pounds (roughly $200,000 in American money) on his endeavour, maxing out 14 credit cards in the process. With no income to speak of, it was only a matter of time before things would go belly up and in 2007, he was forced to declare bankruptcy. Despite this setback, he soldiered on, using his income support checks to keep the project going.

This past week, however, Alleyne received news far worse than any tribble infestation; he is being forced to move out of his apartment. As it turns out, the hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars he spent on renovations was for a property he did not actually own. Rather, it's his separated wife whose name is on the deed and with their divorce finalized, he was given his notice to leave. It's ironic that a man's continual attempts to divorce himself from reality come to an end in the form of divorce papers.

To make matters worse, the missus has no interest in selling the apartment as-is to some super fan. Instead, she is going to take down all of the work and sell the dwelling as a "conventional apartment." Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, as they say. When he heard the news, Alleyne said he wept and that he still has trouble accepting that it's the end of the dream. He refers to the apartment as his "life's work," which brings to mind great achievements like the Sistine Chapel. Then again, it also sounds like a something a serial killer would say. I suppose his apartment lies somewhere in the middle.

I know what you're thinking; why pick on this guy for having a hobby? He isn't hurting anyone. Besides, nerd is the new cool, right? Surely, spending almost 20 years of your life meticulously transforming a one-bedroom apartment owned by your estranged wife into an exact replica of a set to a now-defunct sci-fi TV show and costing yourself your reputation and financial security in the process is a sign of a stable, rational mind and not not someone in the harrowing throes of a mid-life crisis.

I guess that now this loser has been jettisoned from his starship without the protection of any escape pod, this homeless fan is going to have a whole new enterprise: Namely trekking from dumpster to dumpster looking for any signs of life sustaining scraps of food. He'll really need to "Klingon" to any kind of hope just so he can survive. Too soon?

Posted by Wayne King at February 1, 2012 1:01 AM

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