Star Trek: The Next Generation characters ranked by how annoying they would become over a two week camping holiday in the south of France, maybe in Provence or the Languedoc region, somewhere with good wine, I mean all France has good wine but I had this really nice bottle in Collioure once and I was thinking something like that? Have you ever had violet flavour ice cream? I had some of that there too and it was delicious. There is a little stall that does what must be twenty flavours. Maybe thirty

OK, so you are going on a camping holiday in France and you need to take one of the main cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation with you. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know why. You just do. It’s one of those big campsites with a nice shower block and flushing toilets and a little bar with a Fußball table and a pinball machine so it should be a nice break. Is there a ping pong table? One of those concrete ones? Yeah, sure, why not. Do they have a pizza oven? Yes, but they are only open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and if you don’t like mushrooms the vegetarian options are pretty limited. How big is the car park? I don’t know, but I think you will probably get a coach from the airport anyway so I wouldn’t get too bogged down with parking. You were thinking about doing a couple of day trips? That’s a good idea actually. OK. Let’s say you hire a Fiat, maybe a Tipo. No. Do you need a Tipo? They’re quite big, aren’t they, Tipos, and there’s only the two of you. Let’s say a Panda. I tell you what. You’re on holiday, have something a bit fun. Maybe a Panda Cross? In yellow? Yeah. Nice one. OK, you’ve hired a yellow Panda Cross and as you drive into the campsite you are pleasantly surprised to find that the car park not only has loads of spaces (a generous two bays for each camping plot) but that the individual bays are unusually roomy. Not that you need a huge amount of space with such a sensibly proportioned car but it’s nice to be able to open the doors fully for a change, isn’t it? Not like that car park at the train station. Eh? Those spaces are ridiculous! And I tell you what is even more ridiculous: the fact that nobody has worked out that if there wasn’t such a massive surcharge for passing from one train authority to another, people wouldn’t drive across the border to save money. I mean it is two miles, how can that cost another three quid? You don’t get this nonsense on French trains, although you wouldn’t know that because you insisted on hiring a car. As if the half mile walk from the campsite to the train station would kill you. Fine. Fine. But did it have to be yellow? Were you worried you weren’t going to stick out enough already in your bright pink bermuda shorts and matching ears? Who forgets to put suntan cream on their ears? And no, I haven’t forgotten you don’t like olives. I just thought you could make an effort while we were on holiday… Jesus… you eat like an eight-year-old! I didn’t come to the south of France to eat pizza every night. Yes. I KNOW they aren’t open on Sundays. That’s why I bought the fucking olives you shitbag…

Worf

Definitely the least annoying. Worf would be a dream of a holiday companion. Sure, occasionally you might have to remind him to calm down a bit, but those nights drinking little bottles of French beer as you swap stories and watch the stars will stay with you for a life time.

Guinan

OK, so she will probably drag you round a few local cathedrals and make you walk up that massive hill to the town centre on market day, but you’ll thank her for it later. To think you would have just stayed by the pool all day and missed that El Greco. It’s amazing isn’t it? A painting like that in such a tiny church. If that was in Britain somebody would have nicked it by now. It’s a different culture, I guess.

Data

Oh, you’d have some laughs, you and Data, misunderstanding local customs and the like. Or rather, you’d laugh and he’d have thoughts about why he doesn’t understand how humour works. Unless it was in the later series, when he gets the emotion chip and that. Then he’d laugh too. I guess.

Beverley Crusher

Her medical expertise would come in handy if you wanted to go picking mushrooms or something. I dunno. I’ve got nothing. I don’t think she’d be very annoying.

Tasha Yar

Look, I’ll be honest, I skipped most of the first series. Don’t look at me like that. Everyone says Next Generation takes a couple of seasons to get going. She seemed a decent enough egg though, so I’ve put her in the middle.

Picard

He’d probably bang on about wine a tad too much, and God help you if he gets wind of the Shakespeare festival going on in Toulouse, but you’d look back on it all with fondness.

Wesley

He can’t help being a teenager, and for the sake of not making this whole exercise weirder than it needs to be let’s assume that you are a teenager too, yeah? So, not hugely annoying, but a bit annoying.

Troi

Things would start off ok, but then she’d have a go at reproducing the bouillabaisse you had in that little bistro, and it won’t matter that you say that you think it’s great she’d read your emotions and she’d know you thought she’d overcooked the fish and bollocksed it. Over the next few days, little resentments would build up and build up, until they spilled over into the mother of all arguments where you both say things you later regret. Why she couldn’t just have pizza like everyone else I’ll never know BECAUSE I can’t READ EMOTIONS like SOME PEOPLE.

Geordi La Forge

Geordi will, inevitably, spend the entire holiday mooning over one of the Belgian girls camping in the next field but never quite building up the courage to buy her a drink. It will test your patience. Every night you are in that bar and EVERY NIGHT he says nothing. Does nothing. Fifty eight Euros I put in that bastard pinball machine!

Riker

Good ol’ horny horn dog William Riker will be forever pestering you to hang around the swimming pool, even though you have put on a couple of stone since the last time you saw him and are not comfortable taking your t-shirt off in public like you were in your youth. “Don’t even sweat it bro,” he’ll say, “Those chicks will only have eyes for these!” And then he’ll do that thing where you make your chest muscles pop up and down individually. And you’ll realise you’ve grown apart, and you’re not even sure you like him anymore.

Then, on the third night, he brings two girls home with him and hastily introduces one of them to you before disappearing into the tent with the other one, and you and Magda sit awkwardly together as he and Olga have sex on your sleeping bag (and don’t ask me how you find that out, you do not want to know) and it’s not as if he doesn’t know you will be able to hear everything, is it? And you try to make conversation with Magda, to at least make things a bit less awkward, and she drunkenly, with tears pouring down her face, tells you that she has been in love with Olga since her fourteenth birthday party, and she thought Olga had invited her on a camping holiday because she felt the same way, and oh God how could she have read the signs so completely wrong. And you don’t know what to say. You want to tell her she will find the right person but you don’t know Olga so you can’t ignore the possibility that Olga is the right person. Maybe she is in love with Magda. Maybe she doesn’t know Magda likes her and is afraid to say something, just as Magda is afraid to say something to her, and in a sense has got herself in a situation with Riker because of that. Maybe it started off with Olga trying to make Magda jealous? Though having said that, from what you have heard through the tent, which is a lot, she seems to be really into Riker. So, from nowhere, you start telling Magda that you love Riker, and you thought Riker had invited you on a camping holiday because he loved you. And the more you talk the more you realise it is true. And where the fuck did that come from?

Chief Miles O’Brien (you know, the one played by Colm Meaney. Come on. He’s in about fifty episodes, Jesus. Keep up yeah?)

Your holiday is ruined by the grim knowledge that at any point ‘chief’ might, and probably will, say something intolerant. And yes, suuuuuuuurrrrre, by the end of the holiday he will have learned an important lesson about another culture and apologised and made a new best friend and everything, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to spend a good proportion of your holiday feeling like a right twat.