October 5, 2011

Spock's Brain Night: A Family Tradition

Okay, we have a tradition in our family that each year, on the night before Thanksgiving, we all get together at my mother's house. We have been having this get-together now for over 20 years.  Now, this tradition is not simply a get-together, it has turned into an event for our family. Here is how it all started.

My mother is a huge Star Trek fan. Back in the late 80's-early 90's, she was attempting to get every episode of Star Trek (the original series) on tape. She had managed to get a list of all the episodes and she had diligently recorded each one as it aired on TV as a rerun.

The night before Thanksgiving, she had fixed a simple dinner. A few family members where there and we all sat down at 7:00 pm to eat dinner. At this time, she also started recording "Spock's Brain," the last Star Trek episode she needed to complete her collection.

So, we decided to make it a tradition. Each year, we all gather at my mother's and at 7 o'clock we all sit down with our dinner, which usually consists of chili, meatloaf, or spaghetti. As soon as we are all settled in front of the TV  with our dinner we watch "Spock's Brain," which she now has on DVD, along with the rest of the collection.

No one really watches the show anymore and, if we do, it's usually to make fun of it or give our best Spock, Bones, Kirk, or Scotty impressions.

Following the "feature presentation," we usually watch the hokiest movies my mother can find. Movies such as "I'm a Cyborg, But That's Ok," a Korean subtitled movie, which is actually quite good. The movie selection changes sometimes depending on what my mother has found during the year.

More often than not, all of the people simply stay the night because they just have to come back for Thanksgiving dinner the next day, anyways and sometimes alcohol is involved, so people simply just crash at my mother's.

One year, my mother fanatically played quizzes on G4, which  was, at the time, running "Star Trek: 2.0," where you could post things on the internet and have them show up at the bottom of the screen during reruns of Star Trek. She was trying to earn enough credits (they were called something like Spock dollars) to sponsor an episode. She finally managed to get enough "credits" to bid and win the sponsorship of the episode "Spock's Brain."  So, there it was, my mother's message about our "Spock's Brain" night and how this episode was important to us, scrolled at the bottom of the screen during the episode. Of course she recorded the episode. After all, that's how this all started.

So, as Thanksgiving approaches once again, we are gearing up for Spock's Brain Night, a family tradition.

What weird or funny traditions do you and your family celebrate each year?

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