Trenton Broughton danger: high entropy

The Crusher Complex or How I learned to stop Sheldoning and start loving the Wil

I had a Sheldon moment. It happened over twenty years ago, but I just realized what actually happened while watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory. In this episode, Sheldon tells of how he traveled eleven hours by bus to meet Wil Wheaton at a Star Trek convention, only to be disappointed by the star’s absence. Wil then becomes number six on Sheldon’s arch enemy list.

Wil was also on my arch enemy list.

The 80's and 90's were a difficult time for me
It was sometime around 1987. I was a huge Star Trek fan. I also ate Cheerios. Lots of Cheerios. In fact, I think that was the only cereal that I ate when I was a kid. One morning, as I was enjoying a bowl of whole grain goodness, I noticed the contest that Cheerios was putting on. Commercials started showing, and I became more and more excited. Could this be my chance? My once in a life time opportunity to boldly go?
The kid in that commercial above epitomized my childhood. So I doubled my cereal eating in hopes of making it big. And then it happened: nothing. No letters in the mail, no Ed McMahon pulling up with a Star Fleet uniform, no LeVar Burton calling my name on the Reading Rainbow Star Trek: The Next Generation behind the scenes episode (I know, I know, that episode didn't air until 1991, but I didn't understand linear time until Deep Space 9). Instead, a new guy shows up on the set: Wesley Crusher.
More like Crusher of Dreams
I put two and two together (unfortunately, I came up with five), and concluded that he was the one who  won the Cheerios contest and took my place on the Enterprise. How could he! I pretty much held a grudge against him for the next couple of decades.

Then, he shows up on my new favorite show, The Big Bang Theory (thanks for dredging up such painful memories, guys). With my emotions stirred, I hit the Internet to do some sleuthing. How did Wil Wheaton win the Cheerios contest? Did he eat cereal for every meal instead of just breakfast? Did his father own a factory full of workers dedicated to opening cereal boxes? HOW DID HE DO IT?!!

Then I found this:

September 15, 1987

Some 24 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey-Nut Cheerios appear, carrying news of a TNG walk-on contest. The contest, sported from boxes on store shelves nationwide, is the biggest of many up-front promotional tie-in campaigns for the new series, roughly two weeks before its debut. Fans could also redeem the backs of four different stickers found inside the cereal and $1.00 to receive a poster of illustrator and designer Andy Probert’s Enterprise-D artwork as seen hung in the Ready Room. The eventual walk-on role contest winner was an elderly woman who did not care to “claim her prize.”

Oh snap.

Wil Wheaton, will you ever forgive me?