I remember as a kid watching a movie called “Stand by Me“ about some kids on the search for a dead body. I’m not sure how old I was, but the movie came out when I was around four or five years old. I know I didn’t see it at that age, and I’m pretty sure I saw it after The Next Generation started, but I still remember the movie well. I remember when Gordie shot the gun off and thinking “whoa! I want to shoot a gun!” and when Gordie passed out from the leech on his balls. “Oh god, is that blood from his..his PENIS??” I thought for YEARS that it was real. The leeches that is. I wondered if it was scripted or if the boys went in that water not knowing, came out and they filmed some real life reactions to an unknown circumstance. I realized years later the odds of a director really putting leeches on a twelve year olds Johnson are the same odds of me really getting with Kelly from Saved by the Bell or Kimberly the Pink Ranger. Ahh I miss the days of not over analyzing movie magic. I guess my point is I really loved that movie. I wanted to BE Gordie, minus the leech on the wee-wee. I wanted to have a gun, be a writer, go on adventures with my friends to find a dead body, stand up to Kiefer Sutherland when he tries to knife me.
I remember by dad getting all excited for Star Trek: The Next Generation because he watched Star Trek when he was in high school and loved it. He was excited for more episodes and for me to get into Star Trek. I was only 5 years old when it came on and REALLY didn’t get into it until about 1990 when I was 8 or so. We watched it every night it was on, which at this point was nearly every night. I loved the Wesley Crusher character if for no other reason that he was a smart kid stuck in a really strange situation. Too smart for his own good and never given a chance to be what he was capable of. I always thought that he got fucked on the writing and he was never given any material worth a shit. I also thought his departure from the show was fucked. The traveler? Really? That was lame. Thought I did like his April fool’s joke about him joining the cast of Enterprise, that would have been awesome in my opinion.
Fast forward to after I graduated high school in the year 2000 (which is a great song by Silver Chair) I rediscovered Mr. Wheaton online and his writings. I lurked his blog in the early days reading his antics and getting introduced to what I thought of as the back end of his professional career. I have been reading his blog off and on since 2002-2003 ish but for some reason I never picked up one of his books for whatever reason…honestly I dunno why. I loved reading his blogs, he’s witty, clever and has a real knack for entrancing me, the reader, and keeping me hooked.
I even went so far as in 2009 when I went to Emerald City Comic Con I had planned on buying his books from him in person so he could sign them, I could get a picture with him and hopefully convince him to be my friend, have beers with me and then we exchange phone numbers and stay in touch and then we play xbox together and talk about movies and such. But alas that did not happen. What ended up happening was me not bringing cash, ALL the ATM’s running out of cash and me stalking Wil Wheaton just to try and get a picture of him to pretend like we are friends. Pathetic? Maybe, but it was fun to make my wife take pictures of him. It ended up becoming a little game between us that I kept pushing just because. I would have gone up and talked to him, but it felt awkward to try and get a book without money.
Move forward to last week and I finally picked up myself a copy of the Just a Geek audio book and finished it. Now I have listened to many episodes of Radio Free Burrito (not all unfortunately) and am familiar with his story telling. I was still surprised about how great the whole thing was. The stories he told where fantastic. The way he told the stories was amazing. He told some stories that really hit home with me. In fact, the morning of September 28th I was listening to this audio book on my way to work I listened to a story of him talking about when his grandfather died and how it was hard to see his dad go through it and the realization his dad had that someday he would have to go through his death and how hard it was. A few hours later I was at the hospital watching my grandfather pass and thinking of how my mother felt and remember the story Wil Wheaton told me on my way to work. The world is ironic like that. Well, maybe ironic is not the right word. I think the world prepares you for things like this in its own way. For that I think you Wil, someday I will show up at a convention you are selling books at, I will hand you a beer, shake your hand and say “Thanks again Wil, thanks again!”
I’m going to end this by telling you to go out and check out his book and/or audio book. His writing is amazing, he tells stories like a champion and he is a funny, funny man. If I ever get a chance to see him tell his stories live I will be there will bells on. Well, he will probably be at Emerald City Comic Con next year and I believe he usually does a reading of his stories and a Q&A, to which I will defiantly attend, and drag my wife along with me.
This ends this post, I demand you read his work. And Wil, if you are reading this, Thank you.