On the 27th of October 2019 word spread that an opportunity existed for ShatnerKhan 1 to occur on November First. I scrambled to confirm that the resources were in place. I searched for any conflicts that could interfere with the operational excellence needed for such a critical mission. ShatnerKhan 1 was a go!
So much had to be done in such a short window.
- Venue reservations
- audio-visual equipment rentals
- purchase of archival quality motion picture and television recordings
- intellectual property rights agreements
- hotel accommodations
- security staff and clearances
- media announcements
- insurance waivers
- local permitting
The time it took to N/A each of these items on the public domain occasion planning list that I downloaded from a random website was time taken away from the planning of exactly which Shatner masterpieces would be included and which would have to be sadly excluded due to time constraints from ShatnerKhan 1.
When I arrived home that fateful night ShatnerKhan 1 had already kicked into high gear. The delegates, some of whom had travelled from locales almost as far a way as the Andorian, Tellarite and Coridan systems, were attempting to regale Camera Girl with droll anecdotes of their exploits on their far-flung travels. She on the other hand, being a woman and therefore of a practical nature, was more interested in when they intended to leave.
I bounded into the gathering full of enthusiasm and the bright good spirit of camaraderie and feasted on a sumptuous repast of not only wonderful chicken chop suey, marvelous won ton soup and priceless egg rolls but also a mysterious dessert that attempted to predict my future! O Brave New World!
And now sated of our ravenous hunger and perfectly receptive to the cinematic delights we were about to experience we discussed the program. What would be included in this inaugural edition of ShatnerKhan? What would have to be postponed for a subsequent occasion? And what order would we arrange the included courses? I proposed to start off the evening with “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” This seemed a safe and non-controversial strategy. But surprisingly, the delegates were opposed. The attitude of the room was that this was too tame, too familiar. They demanded a more challenging, a more esoteric choice. I knew that some of the delegates had not delved as deeply as I into the less well-known strata of Shatneriana. I resolved to stagger them with something they were surely unprepared for. I played Rocket Man.
For those who had not seen it before, the effect was devastating. By the time the third Shatner appeared there were howls of pain emanating from the audience and shouts to stop the show. I refused. They had sown the wind now they must reap the whirlwind. When the last “long, long time” died out into merciful silence I could see that those who had revolted against the safe choice of “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” were now sadder and wiser. They probably wished they could go back in time and undo that revolt. But no one can unsee “Rocket Man.” Their innocence was shattered. Like the victims of a Lovecraftian eruption of eldritch horror, the image of the tuxedoed Shatners was seared permanently into their souls. I contemplated describing here the experience of watching “Rocket Man.” It can’t be done. The experience is inexplicable. You’ve either seen it or you haven’t. It’s like trying to describe green to a blind man. Suffice it say that it is Shatner at the height of his powers, confident, almost arrogant. In complete control of the audience and his cigarette.
We stopped to revive ourselves with licorice and pretzel rods.