Captain’s Log. Stardate October 24th, 2012. I have many observations and hypotheses to offer about the Cuadrilla Klingons, their economy, their dietary habits, and their public rituals, but today I will confine myself to two: first, their indefatigable esprit de corps; and second, their capacity to approach a problem head-on, without indulging in sentimentality.
Let’s start with the esprit de corps. I mentioned in a previous log that walking on the footpaths of Cuadrilla requires a level of assertiveness toward strangers that would surely be interpreted as physical aggression in the Land of Freedom. If you encounter a single, unaccompanied Cuadrillean, you can usually manage to push your way past him or her so long as you courageously hold your course (or alternatively if you ride a bicycle very assertively). But if you encounter three or more Cuadrilleans, it is pretty much a lost cause. They form a sort of “Klingon Chain” that spans the full breadth of the sidewalk, and that bond is almost unbreakable, except perhaps by brute force. The symbolism of their perambulatory practices is certainly not lost on this observer. The ties of kith and kin, clan and tribe, are virtually unbreakable in this region, and often last until “death do them part.” Remembering this symbolism, daunting as it is, somehow changes my instinctive irritation into admiration when I behold a Klingon chain blocking my path.
Now, the candor of the Cuadrillean is well known to any visitors to this region. The Cuadrillean waiter will probably spare you the small talk of “hello, how are you today? My name is....” and just ask you straight up, “what do you want?” I know of a group who went golfing and when they realized their inexperience was holding up the group behind them, they invited the more experienced group to pass them out. In response to this gesture of goodwill, they received unsolicited and candid advice from the other group (predominantly or exclusively made of up of Cuadrilleans) about how to improve their game. Did they ask for that advice? No. Did they need it? Absolutely. And perhaps that is one of the distinguishing features of the Cuadrillean: he will give you assistance and advice unsolicited, but advice and assistance that you actually need. He is not a Little-Miss-Helpful, who ruins other people’s lives in the name of misplaced altruism or unhelpful helpfulness. To the contrary, he perceives that you need something and that he can provide it, and he offers his help in an unsentimental, no-nonsense and effective sort of way.
Let me conclude with a little vignette that illustrates quite nicely the directness and fearlessness with which the Cuadrillean interacts with strangers. I had just entered a bathroom at a public institution, and someone (I cannot prove it was a Cuadrillean, because I was on the inside, while he or she was on the outside – but his behavior has all the hallmarks of a Cuadrillean attitude) attempted to enter quite forcefully, shaking the door with a gusto. As the reader can imagine (especially my Freedom Loving friends, who have quite a strict etiquette about not shaking down the doors of bathrooms), I could not help feeling persecuted, even though my persecutor, as far as I know, had no knowledge of my identity, nor any knowledge that he was doing anything out of the ordinary. In any case, I waited it out, just as one waits out a storm or a tornado, and thanks be to God, the lock was built to resist the full force of a Klingon assault. If this had only happened once I would not have thought it worth recording, but since it happened to me a second time, it is one more relevant data point in my quest to understand the Cuadrillean character.