School is over...for now. I've taken the past few days--well, mornings, anyway, since I still have to work--and I've done absolutely nothing. And it is glorious. Oh, and I have my associate's degree as of this past Friday, and my nineteenth birthday party was Saturday, so I've had a busy weekend. Yet another reason to do nothing all morning.
One of the things I love to do when I'm doing nothing is to watch Star Trek. To be honest, I only started watching The Next Generation because Captain Picard looks like Lukas McCamden. But I was quick to realize it's a good show. The captain and Data the android are two of my favorite characters, and Q has got to be one of my favorite villains out of all of cinematic history. Right up there with Maligant from Twelfth Night (or Twelfth Knight...it was some sort of Arthurian romance movie).
But longtime fans of Star Trek have posed some interesting questions, one of which I will attempt to answer today. That question being, how do people on the Enterprise use the bathroom?
I've read some interesting theories on the internet. One of them states there's a toilet that pops out of the wall, and twenty-fourth-century people don't care so much about privacy. Someone else suggested the use of transporter technology. This makes sense. After all, medical technology has increased to the point that headaches and common colds have been abolished. Why not eliminate the need to use the restroom?
Here's where my two cents' worth comes in.
In the world of entertainment--books, movies, TV shows, you name it--most people just don't use the bathroom. It interrupts the flow of the story, and besides, it's sort of crass. Children under the age of four and animals are the only beings allowed to relieve themselves. And bathroom breaks aren't the only things authors and screenwriters have eliminated. Lots of common, everyday activities--like randomly sneezing, hiccupping, or asking someone to repeat themselves--is ignored. And that's the part that bugs me a little.
I don't know why we do this. I suppose authors and screenwriters have different reasons for ignoring these simple things most of us do every day without realizing it. Book authors are told by basically every writing-advice source available to eliminate everything not necessary to the plot or to character development. There went random sneezes and coughs and hiccups. But screenwriters probably have a different reason--hiccups and sneezes are hard for an actor to convincingly fake.
Coughs are another thing altogether. For some reason, the collective human consciousness associates coughing with two things: choking (on water, food, your own saliva, you name it) and dying of some fatal respiratory disease. It's almost like Chekov's gun--if a character is shown coughing, they'd better be dead or close to it by the climax.
Oh, and as far as the bathrooms in Star Trek go? Someone in Season 1 mentions some crew members being trapped in a bathroom when an inorganic life form takes over the Enterprise. So I guess that puts everyone's theories to rest.
What are some other things books tend to overlook? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to check us out on Amazon!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.