Legos in La-la-land

Beck likes Legos. Trey likes Legos. Gina Gershon may or may not like Legos, but no one's holding it against her.

Published July 21, 2000 10:58PM (EDT)

Dear Button,

When I was in sixth grade, "The Dukes of Hazzard" was big. Every Friday night my friend Kirk Ryan would come over, and we'd build a makeshift fort out of the dark brown cushions from the basement sofa, load up heaping bowls of Breyer's chocolate ice cream and then sit rapt for an hour in our pillow fortress watching Bo, Luke and Daisy fight to keep the Duke name untarnished under the watchful gaze of Uncle Jesse.

Now, let me just say from the start, Luke was cool. You couldn't have had the Duke boys without him. But Bo was the shit. Everyone liked him best, and everyone wanted to be him at recess when it came time to reenact scenes from the show. All the girls were gaga for John Schneider, and getting picked to play him was a thrill. (The same was true for the girl who got picked to play Daisy. It meant we all thought she was hot.) So you can imagine the reaction the girls had when I showed up at school one day with John Schneider's address. I had copied it out of a Teen magazine I spotted when my friends and I were stealing candy bars from CVS.

A girl named Kristin Prete came closest to catching me. Her legs were long and powerful, but my little stubby guys took quicker turns. I'd let her get close, then duck a U-turn. She didn't stand a chance. None of the girls did. That is, until the end of the school day when they could go to the drugstore and look up the address themselves. (No one would believe I had it unless I told them where I got it.) But knowing they could get it later the same day made them no less anxious to tear it from me in the meantime. I felt something at recess that day I had never felt before: power. I had something all the girls wanted.

And now, 18 years later, I find myself in the same position, but not in the same way you think. Yeah, I've got the goods on Trey, I have gone to the next level. I was lucky enough to arrive at the "South Park" office to discover in my mailbox a message from none other than Rene Auberjonois.

Kids today might recognize him as Odo on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." Others may remember him from the "Love and the Spaced-Out Chick" episode of "Love, American Style," but I will always remember Rene as Clayton Endicott III on "Benson."

Now, I grant you this phone number might not bring me the same screaming crowd of delirious hotties that Trey's number would (though Rene is a very classy gentleman), but it might bring in some bank on eBay.

Picture it: Filthy rich CEO of a computer company lives secret double life as nerdy Trekker who spends weekends wandering through Renaissance Festivals with a band of like-minded geeks in too-tight Star Trek bodysuits and faux tricorders, never breaking character.

(Apparently this actually happens. Neither the Star Trek people nor the Renaissance people will break character even though everyone knows what's up, so you get a lot of this:

Festival Jester: "Odds bodkins! What a strange manner of costume you wear!"

Trekker: [moving tricorder around in a deliberate way] "Captain, from the nature of the clothing and speech patterns, I believe we have arrived in 17th century England.")

How much do you think said filthy rich CEO would pay for such a phone number?

The eBay idea came to me after Trey got a complete set of "Crossbows & Catapults," a game we played as kids (around the same time we used to watch "Dukes of Hazzard") through the online auction house.

While I love that game (and anything else involving catapults), what I really want to find is an old helicopter flying game I played at a neighbor's house when I was 10. A small plastic helicopter was attached to a central base by an 18-inch metal rod. Also attached was a control console used to fly the helicopter. You'd increase the rotor speed until the copter lifted off, then you'd change the pitch angle to fly it in either a forward or reverse circle. A hook on the bottom could be used for picking up various objects, but only a delicate, practiced touch could master the hover.

Trey has also been getting back into Legos, and now every flat surface in the house has either a Lego Ice Fortress or Lego Ninja Dojo on it. Which is not such a bad thing, so long as he doesn't clear off the Scotch shelf.

And Legos make great gifts, too. Trey and I went to Beck's birthday party out in Silverlake this past weekend. He seemed genuinely pleased when Trey handed him the Lego Ice Speeder. In fact, I think he wanted to put it together on the spot, but Gina Gershon walked up. He immediately lost interest in the Legos. I don't blame him. She is something else. After I whispered to Trey who she was and that she was hot (it was very dark and he hadn't really seen her yet), he got her number and they made a dinner date. I mean, I was going to ask her out myself, but I thought Trey looked a little down and it might do his confidence some good. So I sent her his way, you know? That's the kind of guy I am.

Plus, I was busy holding myself back from mussing Crispin Glover's hair, which appears not to have moved since he played the high school version of Michael J. Fox's dad in "Back to the Future."

The party was held in a sprawling house that overlooks downtown L.A. Trey had been to a couple of parties there before, including one for Virgin Records. That's where he first met Nick Rhodes. After they had chatted it up a bit, Nick suggested they go up to the VIP area. Trey followed. But when they reached the bouncer, he wouldn't let Nick up. Gave him all sorts of shit for trying to fake his way into VIP. Real assholey in that way bouncers can be when they feel you're trying to put one over on them. Then he saw who was behind Nick and waved Trey through. Now, Duran Duran has made almost half a billion dollars for Virgin, so Nick wasn't really pleased with this guy. "What's your name, so I can have you fired?" he sassed. "You can't have me fired," the bouncer shot back. "All right," Nick said, "what's your name so I can have you killed, then?"

Talking after the party, Trey and I agreed the main drawback, despite the beautiful surroundings, were the shuttle buses. They're a kill switch. You go from dancing around, drinking and laughing, to sitting quietly with a bunch of strangers, wanting desperately to be home already.

Speaking of home, one night I came home to find him and Jun both building separate Lego projects and I felt so lame I pulled out the Lego Boba Fett ship Jun had bought me several months earlier and snapped it together. It was eerily soothing.



By David Goodman

David Goodman, like Steven Spielberg before him, grew up in Haddonfield, N.J. He writes for "South Park" and is the editor of

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