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“Oh, Mr. Spock, Is Your Shoulder Hurting? Do You Need a Back Rub?”

Daydreaming by the Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson

Poor Nurse Chapel. Not only does she work closely with the irascible, crabby, cranky, difficult yet soft-underneath-it-all Dr. McCoy, she has had the misfortune to fall in love with the hyper-emotionally controlled Mr. Spock. The only thing that she has going for her is Dr. McCoy’s  inability to notice his head nurse’s angst. After all, he is a doctor, not a therapist, dammit.

One wonders if all the time that Nurse Chapel spends Daydreaming affects her ability to do her job, but then one thinks, just what is Nurse Chapel’s job anyway? Dr. McCoy seems to solve all medical issues with those air shots of his, and Nurse Chapel spends her time hovering, almost mooning, but that word has changed meanings to where it verges on inappropriate. (Of course, given the length, or lack of it, of women’s uniforms on the original Star Trek series, perhaps “mooning” isn’t such an inaccurate description after all.)

It is a relief to know that, in real life, Majel Barrett, who played Nurse Chapel, was married to series creator Gene Roddenberry, who created the character expressly for his wife. This might possibly explain her frustrated romance with Spock; how different it all would have been if she had liked Captain Kirk, and he had liked her, and . . . enough said.

Daydreaming was sold at Mystic Seaport’s Maritime Art Museum.

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