Happy Birthday, William Shatner! This Is Why I Love You

Lindsay Mannering

shatnerDear William Shatner,

Can I call you Bill? Shatner it is. Shatner, you the man. We first met in my parents' basement through the T.V. with the dial on the side that only gets colors from the green/blue spectrum. I was about 8 years old and was totally in love with you. You were the debonair Captain Kirk in mustard yellow who effortlessly commanded the USS Enterprise through trials and triumphs, zooming through space and time with a sexy confidence and inexplicable tan.

While I stuffed goodie bags for my aunt's reunion planning company, I sat cross-legged on the cold cement floor and stared at the television, dreaming that one day you'd land the Starfleet on a farm nearby and take me away to explore the stars and survey the planets. You had me at "Beam me up, Scotty."

I feel like we grew up together, albeit 50-plus years apart.

I could only watch you on Star Trek reruns but felt your presence in the consequential cartoons and spin-offs. No, I wasn't one of those kids in high school that wore C. Kirk costumes or Spock ears to show off their Trekkie love to anyone who wasn't busy punching them in the face, but I was a fan. You got me hooked on the series and I haven't looked back.

And I undoubtedly became a fan of yours, as well. I followed you on Boston Legal and The Practice -- you're lucky I can't say no to a procedural drama. Denny Cane was pure comic genius. I didn't miss the puke-yellow shirts and loved you in a suit. The shows were great timing for us -- me living in Boston, you starring in shows about Boston -- it writes itself.

You know one of the best things about you other than your hooded brown eyes and wry smile? Your voice. So smooth. So full ... ... ... ... of pauses. We hang on your every word because we know you can deliver a punch line and a line of Shakespeare with the same amount of gravitas that will make us think, laugh, or both. Which is why you can sell me anything.

Priceline, negotiator. Tell me more. Tell me how to book discounted hotel rooms. I believe anything you say. Your career has taken you from the handsome leader of an alien-ass kicking team to a pop cultural icon of Earth. Happy birthday, old buddy.

Do you have any fond William Shatner memories?

Photo via greginhollywood/Flickr

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