Stretching Belief.

Like any Star Trek fan I’ve been celebrating the 50th anniversary watching episodes and movies, including Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home which is still a favorite after all these years. Most science fiction requires some suspension of disbelief and Star Trek requires a lot. And I’m okay with that. There’s a lot that I can just take in stride. Ships and bases floating in the depths of space lose all power but the artificial gravity still works? I can accept that. Warp speed means the ships already travel faster than the speed of light but they have to do an extra-special slingshot around the sun to go back in time? I can accept that. The planet Vulcan looks nothing like Earth and yet has an atmosphere safe for humans? Yeah, and most aliens–including many of the species that make up the Federation council are perfectly comfortable in an Earth environment. I’ll just go with it.

This, though, is just impossible for me to believe.

The problem is I’ve never met a bus driver who’d let someone blast music, even at the back of the bus. As soon as the guy cranked that up he’d be told to turn it down and if he didn’t his ass would be thrown off at the next stop.

Maybe I’m overthinking this, though. Maybe the driver’s a fan. Maybe there’s something I don’t know about the route between San Francisco and Sausalito. Hey, if I can accept that transporters are able to break a person down into a highly energized beam then reconstruct them exactly as they were in another place I can accept a guy blaring music on a bus, right?

Please share your theories below.

Up next: the crew parked an invisible Klingon Bird of Prey right in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Why didn’t any joggers bump into it?

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  1. Ann Koplow

    The driver is watching things so intently that s/he doesn’t hear the noise. I am basing this theory on my personal experience as a kid — if I was reading a book or watching a favorite TV show like “Star Trek” and my mother was calling me, I couldn’t hear her.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s entirely plausible. Even as an adult I find myself getting so intently into things I lose all awareness of what’s going on around me. Sometimes while riding the bus myself I’ll get so tuned into a podcast I’ll come very close to missing my stop.
      In an interview Oliver Sacks also said his friends learned not to call him while “Star Trek” was on.

  2. Gilly Maddison

    Would I be teetering on the Edge of Etiquette if I suggested that the anti-social passenger and a psychopathic friend (the driver) had stolen the bus and, had it not been for Spock neck-pinching the anti-social passenger, the unsuspecting passengers would have been horribly murdered for being conformists? Or maybe the driver was just deaf.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You’re not in any danger of going over the Edge of Etiquette but that’s a pretty dark and twisted perspective to take that the bus driver and anti-social passenger were psychopaths working in cahoots. I’d rather lean toward the “driver was just deaf”.
      There’s another possibility I didn’t mention which is that they were on the Golden Gate bridge that connects San Francisco and Sausalito and there was no place for the driver to stop.
      But I prefer your much darker version of events.

      1. Gilly Maddison

        Oh drat – I hate being all dark and twisted, I’m off to find a puppy to stroke. 🙂

  3. Arionis

    Ha! This cracked me up. It’s also strangely coincidental as this weekend I was channel surfing and came across “Star Trek III: The Search For Spock”. I pulled up the guide thinking that they might be doing a marathon and much to my horror I saw that the next movie up was “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier”. What? They are skipping “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home?” That’s the best one! (just barely edging out Wrath of Kahn, and don’t get me started on the crap fest that was Final Frontier) However I did have a hard time suspending belief on the cloaked Bird of Prey in Golden Gate Park. Especially when they were using a helicopter to lower that six inch thick piece of plexiglass into the still cloaked ship. Nobody noticed that disappearing into nothingness??? Still, the movie was and still is one of my favorites. Then again, I am a sucker for anything time travel related.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yes, IV is definitely the best one and I really couldn’t find a way to fit in my real favorite part–the whole hospital debacle which I’ll always think showed McCoy at his finest. Actually “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” had some of the best lines for the entire cast.
      It’s funny you mention the helicopter carrying the plexiglass. How did Sulu get the helicopter in the first place? In one scene he’s talking to the pilot and then somehow he gets to fly away with it by himself. Takei is an extremely charming guy but, really, there are limits.

      1. Arionis

        An interesting tidbit I got from IMDb at concerning this topic.

        “Sulu was supposed to leap into the Huey helicopter when the pilot was outside, looking the other way, and make off with that. George Takei had just run the San Francisco marathon when they were supposed to shoot this scene, and was too sore to leap into the helicopter. They tried having a grip throw him in, but could not get this to look realistic, so the scene was cut. In the final edit, Sulu is shown talking to the pilot, then shows up flying the helicopter a few minutes later.”

  4. Michelle

    I thought the most unbelievable thing about that scene was that a mean-looking punk would let a robe-wearing hippie lean over and put a hand on him in the first place. Not that I care, of course. Any time Spock busts out the Vulcan nerve pinch I’m always thinking yaaaaay Spock! Well except for that time he did it to Bones so that he could go sacrifice himself and save everyone… though of course I loved that too.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It was funny that he did that to Bones given all the arguments those two had over the years. There were so many times on the playground I wished I could just Vulcan nerve pinch a bully. I can’t remember where exactly but I think there was an episode where Spock watched Kirk punch a guy and then said, “Doesn’t that hurt your hand?”


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