The Enemy Within Is One Mean Mama


“Mr. Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That’s the only planet in the galaxy that can make that claim.”–Captain Kirk (from Star Trek: The Original Series, “Elaan of Troyius” episode)

From the first season of Star Trek, way back in 1966, “The Enemy Within” episode revolves around the ensuing mayhem when a transporter mishap mysteriously divides Captain Kirk into two versions of himself, a good guy and a downright evil one.  Evil Kirk repeatedly flaunts his wicked ways, and despite Good Kirk’s valiant efforts, he is no match for his other half.  It is Mr. Spock who finally subdues Evil Kirk by applying his “Vulcan nerve pinch” and rendering him unconscious–but then the ingenious Mr. Spock surmises that the Good Kirk actually needs the Evil Kirk in order to survive.  So Mr. Spock is somehow able to “dematerialize” both versions and combine them back into one, thereby restoring sanity and dignity to Captain Kirk and order to the USS Enterprise.

My question is this:  Where is that pointy-eared Vulcan when I need him?

I don’t consider myself to be “evil” (I realize others may have a slightly different opinion, but they’re just plain wrong!); in fact, I know I am a good person with a tremendous heart.  Unfortunately, all the kind feelings and good intentions that originate in the chambers of that big ol’ heart often get waylaid on their journey north to my mouth and my brain, and despite my best efforts, sometimes Good Karen gets shoved aside and trampled when her nemesis Mean Karen rears her ugly head and assumes the throne.

Mean Karen seems to feast upon the fluctuating hormones that until recently lay so innocent and dormant inside her little body–and just like white rice, the more Mean Karen feeds upon those hormones, the more they seem to expand and absorb all that is around them.  And while those nasty things may be the unhealthy main course, raging fears and mind-numbing anxieties are serving up some pretty debilitating side dishes that completely overpower her common sense tastebuds.   It’s what’s for dinner, but believe me, it is not a tasty treat.

And, man, does Mean Karen have some powerful weapons in her arsenal!  (“Shields up! Rrrrred alert!”)  Chief among them are her lightning-fast, roller-coaster emotions that leave innocent bystanders questioning whether it’s safe to hold on tight for the ride (screaming in terror all the way)–or if they should take their chances and jump from the car before it crashes to the ground.  Add to those emotions some vicious words that escape through her lips when Mean Karen thinks thoughts she doesn’t honestly believe and then utters words she doesn’t really intend, and she has just concocted the perfect recipe for impending disaster.

But Good Karen–though battered and bruised, humbled and humiliated–isn’t ready to wave the white flag of surrender just yet.  She’s been sucker punched one too many times by her other half, and she’s dusting off her britches, gritting her teeth and coming up swinging.  She’s a fighter, that girl, and she has a few weapons in her arsenal as well.  And besides, she’s just too darn stubborn to let Mean Karen defeat her and lay claim to all that is beautiful and right in her world.

Yes, Good Karen will figure out a way to dropkick her other half back into her rightful place (in the deepest, darkest, tiniest little corner of her spleen), harness her massive energies and keep her nastiness at bay.   She’ll forcefeed her sunshine and jelly beans–by golly–and she’ll hammer her with soothing love poems and yellow daffodils until Mean Karen is feeling so warm and fuzzy that she’s completely disarmed, disabled and purring like a kitten (not a roaring lioness, not a growling tigress–a purring kitten, I tell you).

Yep, that’s what she’ll do.  And if those tactics don’t subdue The Enemy Within, Good Karen will be tracking down Leonard Nimoy (or the nearest Mr. Spock Wannabe) and begging for her very own “Vulcan nerve pinch” to put her out of her misery.  Any volunteers from the pool of recent victims with fingers just itching for the opportunity to deliver that pinch?  Step right up . . . pinch as hard as you like (but, please, resist the urge to wring my neck while you’re at it).

From Star Trek: The Original Series, “The Enemy Within” episode:

Captain Kirk (in speaking about Evil Kirk):  “I have to take him back inside myself. I can’t survive without him. I don’t want to take him back. He’s like an animal. a thoughtless, brutal animal. And yet it’s me. Me!  (I feel your pain, Captain Kirk!)

McCoy:  “We all have our darker side. We need it; it’s half of what we are. It’s not really ugly, it’s human.”  (And if McCoy said it, it must be true.)

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About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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8 Responses to The Enemy Within Is One Mean Mama

  1. My brother called me mean last week, 30something years ago we could have fought it out, but now it just kind of simmers in the back of my mind.

    • FORTY-something years ago I would have decked my brother for such a remark, but now he’s twice my size, and I doubt either one of us would have the energy to pick ourselves up off the floor! Unfortunately, I let too much “simmer” in my mind, too, when it would be so much easier and healthier just to let it go …

  2. janetmorrison says:

    So can I blame mine on fluctuating hormones?? I need some sort of excuse…er…reason. You took the words right out of my mouth…except I didn’t have words to explain it. So now I think I’m going to take your blog post, paste it into my journal, and change all of the “Karen’s” to “Janet.” 🙂

    • Go right ahead, Miss Janet! And it is a small comfort to me that someone much younger than I am sometimes feels the same way (sorry!). It’s a tough battle when you feel like your biggest enemy is your “other self.”

  3. bronxboy55 says:

    McCoy said to Kirk exactly what I was going to say to you: It just shows that you’re human. A truly mean person wouldn’t be worrying about her effect on other people or trying to monitor her own behavior. Also, I have a feeling a lot of people who know you really well would be surprised by this self-assessment of yours.

    • Thank you, bronxboy. I know I’m not a “truly mean person”–I know the depth of my heart–I just hate that sometimes that meanness seeps out before I have a chance to contain it. And most people probably would be surprised at my assessment because, as is so often the case with all of us, those closest to me are the ones most likely to suffer my wrath.

  4. Kip Light says:

    I blame the existence of “evilme” on the fluctuating population density of Tribbles between my ears. I swear those things are as bad as hormones!

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