I have a confession to make to the world…I stalk William Shatner. That’s right, I follow him daily. I look at where he is each day, what he is saying, and what’s going on in his life. Well, okay, I don’t actually “Stalk” William Shatner and don’t worry, he won’t have to get a restraining order against me, but I do follow his Twitter Account all the time.
I have never been able to meet William Shatner in person, but I’m still holding out hope that I’ll attend a convention and meet him somewhere. You know, the day I’ll likely step up in line, and he’ll say, “Hello there,” and I’ll respond by telling him how awesome his work from acting to writing, to his charity work has been and how honored I am to finally meet him in person…well, I hope I will. I guess I’m more likely to ramble off, “You’re Captain Kirk, T.J. Hooker, Rescue 911, the reason I still have a Commodore Vic-20 to this day, you wrote the Tek books, and have great horse charity events and I’m in your fan club and have followed you since I was a little kid…..oh, and you were in that cool episode of the Twilight Zone where the monster ripped the engine cover off the plane!” At that point, I’m sure security will have to ask me to move along so that Mr. Shatner can sign other autographs…so much will be my big moment!
Despite having never met William Shatner, it seems he has always been there in my life. As a child, I did watch those Star Trek shows over and over and over…Ok, yes, I have the Blu Ray editions now too. I also watched just about anything he was in such as T.J. Hooker, Rescue 911, and yes Battle of the Network Stars! I have several autographs on Star Trek items and collected from reputable sources over the years. I even watched episodes of Boston Legal, not because I like law shows, but because William Shatner was in it!
Having read his books, read about him, and heard what other actors have said about him – did you know some of it is not nice? Really! – I still did not feel like I knew him, then that all changed! One day a magical thing happened! William Shatner got a verified Twitter Account. He started tweeting and I started stalking…err, following.
With Twitter, I was able to read where Shatner would be, what conventions he was attending, what auctions were going on, how charity events were going, and what updates he was telling fans in the club and in the world. For a William Shatner fan, it was great.
But it seems with all good things, there is always someone out there bent on destroying it. Suddenly, I started seeing attacks against Shatner. They were saying mean things like, “He was rude when I wanted a selfie with him,” or “He refused to sign an autograph.” I could not believe it. People were mad at William Shatner for not signing an autograph at the park, while he was eating dinner with his family, or even while he was at an airport – which made me think of Better Late than Never, another favorite of mine. I found myself getting frustrated with these other fans! Yes, frustrated with the fans.
You think it’s odd that I’m frustrated with other fans? I don’t think so. Let’s stop and consider this for a moment… Most of the fans complaining were saying things like, “He would not sign an autograph when he was out eating with his family.” Now, if you really think about this statement, it means that the person making it must live near Shatner or at least they are in the same city or area where he is at the time. Most of the time when William Shatner travels, at least according to his schedule, he is doing a convention somewhere, has a public appearance somewhere, or is almost always going to local comic con shows or charity event. Now, if this person is near him at that time at a restaurant, there is a good chance the person lives somewhere near Shatner or is in the same area where he will be appearing. Why can’t they just go to the convention or event and meet him? How hard is that?
From the many tweets and counters I can see, William Shatner has one rule and it’s easy – he doesn’t do selfies or sign autographs in public. Even on Better Late than Never, I only saw him grant one selfie with a fan, and that was at a high altitude that could have been affecting his thinking because it was certainly a break for a moment from his rule. Nonetheless, I can completely understand the rule. Can you imagine if you are a bank teller and you go out with your family to eat and a customer walks up to you to ask, “Can you tell me how much cash I have in my account?” What would your response be? I’m willing to bet you would say something like, “Well no, but if you’ll call me at the bank tomorrow, I’ll be happy to let you know.” It’s the same for William Shatner – when he’s with his family, with friends, eating out, waiting for a plane, or whatever, he is not at work. He may be flying or going to work, but he’s simply not there…so let him be.
I stalk William Shatner or follow him on Twitter. I have been a lifelong fan, but I have never met him in public or at a convention. I can say, that even with my “Lifelong Fan Status” – yes that’s a status even if I made the wording up – that if I happen to pass him at the airport, I would be happy to say, “Hello Mr. Shatner,” and move along. I can say with confidence I’d do that and I live in small-town Texarkana, Arkansas – not exactly the next stop on Shatner’s tour schedule – I know I checked. So, you fans who live near his convention locations, or happen to eat in the same restaurant – let the man have his off time and go to the convention to meet him when he is working! I know I would, and again I have that “Lifelong Fan Status” going for me. So, I’ll follow him on Twitter, read the tweets, and just settle for the hope that someday I can make it to one of those conventions or one of the fan group meetings and get an autograph in person and likely ramble uncontrollably about everything I have ever read of his or seen him act in…yes, that includes the new animated Batman and Two-Face film – told you I have that “Lifelong Fan Status”. In the words once written and sometimes debated folks, “Get a life” and let William Shatner have one too. Oh, and if you happen to read this Mr. Shatner and you’re not working at the time, I just want to say, “Hello” and I’ll catch you one day at a convention.
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