Star Trek's Enterprise as a DIY gondola? Why not?

You stumble across the U.S.S. Enterprise in the strangest places (and reconfigurations)--in this case, a canal in the L.A. neighborhood of Venice, Calif., in the guise of a makeshift gondola.

What's the U.S.S. Enterprise doing lounging in a canoe in a Venice, Calif., canal? Edward Moyer/CNET

There's no telling where you might encounter the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Since 1966 it's been on a many-year mission to explore strange new worlds of the pop psyche, to seek out new life as a pizza cutter or a Halloween costume for a dog, to boldly go where no spacecraft--fictional or otherwise--has gone before.

So while in LA recently, exploring the beachside neighborhood of Venice and its canals (vestiges of the Italianate fantasy the area had been in the early 20th century), we weren't exactly surprised to round a corner and run into our beloved starship.

The Enterprise as a gondola? Why not?

Many of the lucky residents of canal-side houses have boats and canoes and such, and it seems that some of these folks like to engage in a bit of DIY geekery.

We wanted to ask someone about the charmingly jury-rigged vessel and its clever maker, but unfortunately there was no one about (except for that one guy with the pointy ears and severe bangs, and he was dozing contentedly in a deck chair and we didn't want to disturb him).

However, we later heard tell of an annual holiday boat parade, and--aha--still later realized we might (gasp) use the Internets to do a little digging. Lo and behold, we discovered the Starship Canoe in action, in a YouTube video no less--one featuring a floating James Brown cover band with Godzilla on bass and Spider-Man on drums. (They're performing "Sex Machine" too. How could we have missed such exuberant revelry? Next year, we'll be sure to make it to Venice a couple of weeks earlier. And to heck with the Rose Parade.)

We did some more Internet sleuthing in the hope of discovering the identity of our enterprising canoe-hacker, and it looks like the "S.S. Enterprise" was put together by Liz and Tim Prokop and Stephen Kruger, and that it won a prize for being one of the best boats in the parade. Bravo (Kirk would be proud). We've provided the gallery above for your bemusement (and inspiration).

With DIY, neighborhood-friendly holiday shenanigans like this, clearly there's still a bit of intelligent life on this planet. No need to beam us up just yet.

 

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