Dead Ensign Sketch

For Hallowe'en of 1999, I went to a couple of parties as a toasted ensign from Trek Classic. ("Hey, the expendable security guy!" "No, the expended security guy.") Black boots, black pants, and a red shirt with a big hole charred in the chest. (That "division insignia" badge made a lovely bullseye for the red-shirt target, right..?) For the finishing touch, I crushed a piece of wood charcoal coarsely, mixed it with an egg white, and slathered the paste on my chest under the hole in the shirt. When it dried, it gave a very effective "toasted" look. (It also itched abominably!) The picture is here. (My thanks to Beulah Wadsworth for the picture!)


I wanted to complement the costume with a bit of Trek/Python satire, but didn't finish this until later.

K: Hi, Bones. Uhura told me you wanted to see me. What's up?

M: I wish to talk with you about this ensign, whom you dropped off not half an hour ago right here in sickbay.

K: Oh yes, the security redshirt. What's, errr, wrong with him?

M: I'll tell you what's wrong with him, Jim. He's dead. That's what's wrong with him.

K: No, no, he's resting.

M: Look, Jim, I know a dead ensign when I see one... and I'm looking at one right now.

K: No, no, he's... he's not dead... he's resting, you know. Remarkable guys, the security people, aren't they, eh? Beautiful targets-- er, tunics.

M: The tunics don't enter into it! He's stone dead.

K: No, no, he's resting.

M: All right then, if he's resting, I'll wake him up. Hello Mr. Security Guy. I've got a nice fresh band-aid for you.

K: There, he moved.

M: No he didn't, you hit the medtable.

K: No I didn't!

M: Yes, you did!

K: I didn't!

M: Hello, Ensign. Wakey wakey! This is your alpha-shift alarm call! Now, that's what I call a dead ensign.

K: He's stunned!

M: Stunned?

K: Yeah, you stunned him just now as he was waking up. Security people stun easily.

M: Now look, don't play the Ceti eel with me. That ensign is definitely deceased. And when you brought him in not half an hour ago you assured me that his total lack of movement was due to his being tired and shagged out after a long encounter with a beautiful female alien.

K: No, that was me. Well, he's probably just counting his blessings.

M: Counting his blessings! What kind of talk is that? Look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment you left him here?

K: The security guys prefer meditating on their backs. Remarkable guys, aren't they? Eh, Bones? Beautiful tunics.

M: Look, Captain, I tried to find out why he was staying upright. Turned out that in lieu of a pole up his butt, he studied acting with Jonathan Frakes' drama coach.

K: Oh of course he studied. Listen, Bones, if we didn't keep those security guys chained to desks, they'd sneak over to the shuttlecraft, hack the 256-bit-encrypted lock codes, and... swoosh!

M: Swoosh?

K: Swoosh!

M: Jim, this ensign wouldn't swoosh if you gave him 300 cc's of cordrazine! He's bleeding demised!

K: No, no, he's meditating!

M: He's not meditating, he's rigor-mortis-ing. This ensign is no more. He has ceased to be. He's expired, and gone to meet the Great Bird. He's a stiff. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. If you hadn't propped him up on my wall, he'd be in the recyclers. He's hopped the twig. He's curled up his tootsies. He's shuffled off this mortal coil. He's run down the curtain and joined the bleeding Choir Invisible. He's fucking snuffed it! Vis-a-vis the metabolic processes he's had his lot. All statements to the effect that this ensign is still a going concern are from now on inoperative. This is an ex-ensign.

K: Well... I guess I'd better replace him for next week, then.

M: Jim, what happened to him? The other guys who went down -- shot, poisoned, brain-sucked, extruded. But I can't find anything wrong with this one. Why's he dead?

K: It's in his contract.

Copyright (C) 1999 by Joel Polowin. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this material in any non-profit medium provided that its content is not altered and that this notice is appended. I would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication in which it appears: Joel Polowin / 18 Norice St. / Nepean, Ont. / CANADA / K2G 2X5 but remove the XYZZY - it's a little magic to baffle the spambots.

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