Re: "Why is any object we don't understand always called a thing?"
McCoy sure sounds extra cantankerous in that scene. But given the fact that he was in a really bad mood when he beamed aboard, essentially being impressed into service by Kirk and Starfleet, I figure he was just looking for ANYTHING to complain about.
In all the history of the world, a riot has NEVER broken out at a Sci-Fi convention.
"It's a fucking TV show!" - Gary Lockwood