A Klingon letter of resignation

Posted by Dan Barkin on January 3, 2014 

A town councilman in Indian Trail, NC, decided to resign his elected office. And so he sent his resignation letter to the mayor. He wrote it in Klingon.

I know what you’re asking. Where is Indian Trail?

After doing a little research, I found that it is located about 15 miles southeast of Charlotte. Indian Trail is the Clayton of the Charlotte metropolitan area, if that helps.

Oh, yes. The Klingon letter.

Well, the councilman, a gentleman named David Waddell, decided he’d had enough of serving on the council and so he sent his letter to Indian Trail Mayor Michael Alvarez. It was in Klingon, and in case the mayor’s Klingon was rusty, he provided a translation.

For the benefit of those who have not misspent hours watching the various iterations of the Star Trek franchise, the Klingons are a warrior society.

Capt. James T. Kirk and the crew of the star ship Enterprise, whose five-year mission, etc., etc., are constantly having to look over their shoulders for the Klingons because the Klingons are a notoriously short-tempered crowd constantly taking offense about something or other. When the Klingons are in the neighborhood, you want to keep your shields high, I’m just saying.

Later on, the Klingon relationship with the Federation warms up and one of the Klingons, a Mr. Worf, gets a middle-management position on the bridge of the Enterprise. Still, you don’t want to kid around with Worf.

As in most things Star Trek-ish, it wasn’t enough to create a fictional Klingon society. Oh, no siree. The Trek community had to create a fictional Klingon language. And the search engine, Bing, has added Klingon to its translator, because, goodness knows, that’s what it will take for Microsoft to overtake Google.

That was what Waddell used.

I located Waddell on Facebook and asked him what prompted the Klingon letter. Here is what he Facebooked back:

“The Mayor and I had joked about doing something in Klingon when we ran for office, but the meetings are neither the time nor the place, so we didn't take the idea any further. So when I decided to resign, I sent a letter for the public (to) the Monroe Enquirer Journal, in English, and my letter to the Mayor in Klingon.”

The mayor, incidentally, did not take it well. He called the Klingon letter “an embarrassment for Indian Trail and . . . an embarrassment for North Carolina.”

The story has gone viral around the Internet. In a slow news week, it has popped up on web sites around the country and overseas, with lots of “boldly going” and “live long and prosper” references.

If he had just written the resignation letter in English, the story would have barely made it up U.S. 74 to Charlotte.

“I was just trying to lighten the whole thing with some humor,” Waddell told me. “My goodness, it grew legs and ran amok.”

Like an agitated Klingon.

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