I’ve heard the theory that Kirk’s logs just get circulated round headquarters for lulz before being dumped in the circular file as obvious fabrications by someone bored with a frontier posting.

“Hey, have you seen this one? He says he fought Apollo.”

“What, the old earth probe?”

“Try the old earth GOD!”

“Hilarious! Classic Kirk! That’s better than the time when he was transported to an evil dimenison.”

The reason why in The Naked Now it was Riker who remembered that the previous polywater infection had happened is that he’s the sort of person who would read The Hilarious Adventures of Captain Kirk for fun.

I especially like this idea because of the implication that all the other captains in Starfleet are reporting perfectly ordinary experiences like visiting a space station, dropping off supplies at a colony, bit of a stand-off with some Klingons in disputed space but got out of it unscathed – and then there’s Kirk all, “sorry guys we’ve been off course this week because my first officer seriously needed to get laid (LIKE YOU HAVE NO IDEA MY NECK STILL HURTS)” and “let me tell you about the Chicago Gangster planet” and “WHIPPED AND THROWN IN JAIL BY SPACE NAZIS.”

I actually really like the above explanation

“So wait, they stole his first officer’s brain?”

I always preferred the idea that every single Constitution-class starship of the Kirk era was running into all kinds of insane shit and so the Enterprise’s adventures mostly just got lost in the shuffle.

“Sir, Starbase 12 reports a flock of space sharks cruising through the system.  They’re worried about them chewing on the antennae.”

“Can we get the Hood over there to monitor their path and shoo them off if need be?”

“No can do sir, Hood called in two days ago, says the Captain took his security detail down to the local surface to fight an army of evil komodo dragons.”

“Damn.  What about the Valiant?”

“Captain says she’s currently engaged in a duel of wits with a clone of Bismarck.”

“Like the battleship?”

“No sir, a clone of Otto von Bismarck, the German chancellor from the 1900s.”

“I’m scared to ask, but where’s the Potemkin?”

“Last reported in pursuit of a super-intelligent shade of blue.”

“God’s sake.  What about the Enterprise, are they available?”

“Something about a hole in space.”

“Christ, it’s always something.”