In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream “Wheeeeee!”

May 30, 2013

Freshly Pressed, Humor

With the movements towards a permanent colony on Mars, and Virgin Galactic’s progress toward civilian space flights, it seems like a good time to offer just a few reflections on space travel and its implications.

Pew! Pew! Pew! “Look out!” Pew! Pew! BOOM! …aaaand, roll credits.

I think the end of the shuttle program bodes poorly for the screenplay I wanted to produce when I was ten.  It was called Shuttle 6.  It’s about a bunch of shuttles that go up, and something happens that makes them all explode except number 6, and then something bad is happening, and it’s up to the handsome, ten-year-old captain to save everyone, and then he karate kicks some guys and there’s a laser gun fight.  It’s terrific.  And, yes, I realize that’s a little plot-heavy for today’s blockbusters, but I was prepared to thin it out a bit.

People have pretty much given up on jet packs and flying cars.  This is insane.  Yes, I realize that they’d be logistically impossible on any mass scale and there’d be constant fiery deaths, but on the other hand: Jet packs. And flying cars.

What the hell is this? It’s supposed to say “Property of Byronic Man”!

I respect Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, because, in part, he was part of that team that first went to the moon and – perhaps more impressively – made it back.  But what really just blows me away is that he missed being the first human being to step on an extra-terrestrial surface because of, basically, a coin toss.  And he accepted that.  That’s dignity and discipline.  If I’d been on that ship?  Neil Armstrong would have been descending the ladder, saying “This is one small step for man, one giant what the hell??”  And then there would have been me, hurling myself out the capsule bay door, over Neil Armstrong’s head, slowly face-planting into the lunar dust and pumping my arm.  History’s biggest jackass?  Perhaps.  But: first man on the moon.  First words uttered on the surface would forever be, “Yeah!  Suck it, Armstrong!”

"I see a hippo!"  "I see a snowman! Golly, long-distance space travel is fun!"  "It sure is.  Do you have any more calcium pills?"

“I see a hippo!” “I see a snowman! Golly, long-distance space travel is fun!” “It sure is. Do you have any more calcium pills?”

Two of the major impediments to long-distance space-travel are loss in bone-density and packing water.  To solve the loss in bone-density, I say bring calcium tablets.  Boom – solved.  Can’t believe you didn’t think of it NASA.  As for water, the problem is that virtually anything can be condensed except water, so incredible amounts of storage would be needed just for that.  The solution?  As I see it there are two. Option one:  Keep the air in the ship really, really humid.  Crazy humid.  Washington DC humid.  Then you can just breathe water, or lick the walls if you’re thirsty.  Option two: fill the whole ship up waist-deep with water and everyone wades.  Need a drink?  Lean down.  Convenient!  If there’s no artificial gravity in the ship, then the water just bounces around in little balls and that’s even easier, plus you can watch them and see if they look like things.  I can’t believe I have to come up with all this stuff.

Virgin Galactic is getting closer and closer to offering civilian rides into orbit.  Tickets cost $200,000.  A lot of people think that’s ridiculous to pay that much money to spend about 3 minutes in orbit.  But I think these people are forgetting that if you go, you spend 3 minutes IN ORBIT.  IN SPACE, FLOATING AND LOOKING AT THE EARTH.  God yes, it’d be worth $200,000!  I guess what I’m saying is this:  The holiday season shows up before you know it.  If you get my drift.

A scene from the 1979 James Bond film “Moonraker.” A film mostly remembered for its stark realism and the line, “My God, I believe Bond is attempting re-entry!”

Related posts:

Please Hire Me To Colonize Mars

What Goes Through My Head When I look at the Hubble Deep-Field Images

Press Conference From When I Am President: Funding Space Exporation

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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130 Comments on “In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream “Wheeeeee!””

  1. Laura Says:

    Sure, “what does that water ball look like” starts out as a fun game. But then someone points out a ball that kind of looks like a face, and then everyone is seeing creepy transparent water-faces everywhere they turn.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Well, every story needs the guy who slowly goes crazy and tries to sabotage the ship/mission/building. Now he’s got his milieu – the talking water ball faces!

      Reply

  2. Andrea Says:

    How unintentionally funny would it have been if Aldrin did leap over Armstrongs head, landed, fist bumped and then floated off into space untethered because he forgot about the bouncy minimal gravity thing? We’d all be wondering where he is now.

    Reply

  3. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    you know what,…people who work in places like NASA are so used to complicated things and their lengthy super complicated solutions that they forget the simpler solutions….
    man o man do you show them how to or what….
    Shuttle 6… I get ya

    Reply

  4. News Burp Says:

    Trivia: Why did the first five shuttles in the classic science fiction non-movie ‘Shuttle 6’ explode?

    Answer: Klingon Warbird

    Reply

  5. thefoodandwinehedonist Says:

    This should come to no surprise to you, but I recently re-watched Moonraker. I don’t know what was more shocking – that line or the whole Jaws/German mountain girl romance.

    Reply

  6. donofalltrades Says:

    More jackasses would make NASA more appealing to the average Joe.

    Reply

  7. Go Jules Go Says:

    NASA needs you, but what we all need is to know is what you’d wear for your trip into orbit. Cape, no cape? Red dress? All this time thinking about balls and you’ve lost sight of what really matters.

    Reply

  8. Michael Says:

    If Hollywood can make a movie based on Battleship, not to mention Hungry Hungry Hippos, Shuttle 6 should not be a problem. You should send them a script.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I was just reading an article about Hollywood’s desperate attempt to add pro-China propaganda to all their movies (and/or eliminate any negative associations) in order to get in to the censored & limited Chinese film market. I’m trying to work in a little something about a floating Beijing space colony, and then the script will be in the mail!

      Reply

  9. PinotNinja Says:

    I’ve always thought that Armstrong must have had some serious dirt on Aldrin and that’s why he “won” that coin toss. Because no one gives up being the first person on the moon without at least a best 2 out of 3 coin toss series.

    Reply

  10. rossmurray1 Says:

    See? This is what science is lacking: imagination. And more lasers!

    Reply

  11. mistyslaws Says:

    Pretty sure they stole the entire plot and movie theme of Shuttle 6 for Moonraker. You should sue Hollywood. Or NASA. Or BOTH!! Say, for about $200,000?

    Reply

  12. silkpurseproductions Says:

    In my humble opinion Chris Hadfield has done more for the space program in the past year then all the rest combined. He sang Bowie’s “Space Odity” and played guitar in space. He jammed with “The Barenaked Ladies” in space. He did science experiments that kids thought up in school, one of which was a very cool water and sponge thing that you would love. He was in classrooms while in space and there isn’t a kid in Canada that isn’t considering being an astronaut when they grow up. If these kids have there way you may yet have your day in space.

    Reply

  13. mairedubhtx Says:

    You have such good ideas. I can’t understand why NASA isn’t beating down your door. I don’t understand.

    Reply

  14. BrainRants Says:

    I laughed out loud at the “thinning the plot down” part. I’d give my left nut (no, not the right one)(because it’s special) to go into space, but Mr. Branson said it was cash or nothing.

    Reply

  15. She's a Maineiac Says:

    I think you jumping over Armstrong and face-planting as the world’s biggest jackass should in itself be a movie. Just add some pew-pew lasers and a fire-breathing dragon and it’d be Hollywood gold.

    Reply

  16. pegoleg Says:

    I was just checking out airfare to England. It seems somebody at Virgin Atlantic got their price lists confused with the Virgin Galactic division. $200,000 is a steal when you compare the cost-per-air-mile ratios of the two trips.

    Reply

  17. Elyse Says:

    Love, this B-Man. And Aldrin lost out because of a coin toss? I would so go over Neil’s head. Absolutely.

    Reply

  18. Jackie Cangro Says:

    Not only would filling the ship with water solve the problem of storage, but it would also produce some cool waves, like a day at the beach.

    Reply

  19. renée a. schuls-jacobson Says:

    You’ll do anything to get out of changing diapers, won’t you? 😉

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Actually, changing diapers can be a highlight of my day – that’s when it’s time to make her laugh like crazy. So, she and her diapers are coming with me, for sure.

      Reply

  20. becomingcliche Says:

    Licking the walls. Now I, too, dream of space.

    Reply

  21. 1pointperspective Says:

    Buzz is from my hometown, who knows where Neill grew up.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Really? Does he still live there? You could cut him off in line and, “Ah, you’re used to it.” Then nudge him and laugh.

      Reply

      • 1pointperspective Says:

        I doubt he still lives there, but there was a parade for him after the moon landing. I haven’t lived there in decades myself.

        I heard him on a radio interview recently. I think cutting him off in line would result in him smacking me or anyone else who tried it. He’s an American icon, and a big time curmudgeon.

        Reply

  22. List of X Says:

    I would have been difficult for you to beat Armstrong to be the first man on the moon in 1969. I believe NASA has some silly requirement that you have to be born already before they let you fly on one of their spaceships.

    Reply

  23. Teepee12 Says:

    Reading Buzz Aldrin & John Barnes “Encounter With Tiber.” More info on the inner workings of NASA than I imagined possible. You might find it interesting. Good story AND DIAGRAMS!

    Reply

  24. talesfromthemotherland Says:

    I’ve been to NASA in FL 2x now and each time it blows me away. The magic of space flight, and what might be out there, never gets old for me. It’s sad that, as a nation, we stopped caring… until the program was dead on the launch pad. Having watched the moon walk, as a very young girl, I never imagined that was possible. Calcium supplements, duh. Right?

    Reply

  25. Hippie Cahier Says:

    Dear WordPress — Why not just put B-Man on automatic-Freshly Pressed? Everything the guy writes is guaranteed to be worthy.

    Reply

  26. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    “This is one small step for man, one giant what the hell??”
    I would’ve sputtered out coffee, had I been drinking it. I don’t think I’m ever going to hear the original words the same again.

    I’ll start setting aside the pennies for your Virgin Galactic trip. By my calculations, I’ll be able to gift you this sometime around 2142. Maybe a few bloggers could chip in? (Just don’t call it on a coin toss . . .)

    Reply

  27. Philster999 Says:

    Great post, and great site — I’ve taken the plunge and decided to “Follow” along!

    Haven’t thought of “Moonraker” for, well, decades, I guess. I saw it as a teenager and though I can’t say its “stark realism” particularly resonated with me, I do remember using the “My God, I believe Bond is attempting re-entry!” bit whenever it was even remotely apropos (and often when it wasn’t) for years afterwards.

    Reply

  28. SocietyRed Says:

    B-man
    I knew this was front page material, like everything else you write.
    Congrats!
    Red

    Reply

  29. Jen Says:

    I’m banking on civilian time travel before affordable civilian space travel. Isn’t the other major impediment radiation and cancer risk? Ever since reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, I’ve had second thoughts about whether or not I am interested in space travel. (If you haven’t read it, you should!)

    Reply

  30. blondebutterflies Says:

    Your writing is genius…you made me laugh out loud!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Thanks! And I fully intend to use your comment for promotional tags, so when people say, “Ew, did you seriously use the word ‘genius’ about his stuff?” you’ll know why.

      Reply

  31. L. Palmer Says:

    I think Shuttle 6 could fit nicely into the esteemed children-oriented oeuvre of Robert Rodriguez, including all 3 Spy Kids and Shark-Boy vs. Lava Girl – which really was created by a 6 year old.

    And, it’s the movies. You can breathe in space. Referring back to a previous comment, you could have a girl in a tank top on the moon. She would just breathe Lun-air.

    Reply

  32. Hitchiking Colorado Says:

    Great post. I enjoyed your outlook on Armstrong’s re-interpreted quote if there had been extra-terrestrial life on the moon rock. I remember when Virgin Galactic was first getting started when I lived in New Mexico– mind-boggling awesomeness. If I ever get lucky or get rich, I’m going to do this. If not, perhaps I’ll take out a highly-financially backed credit card and do this just before I croak.

    Reply

  33. troypulchinski Says:

    I’m following too now, but forget the Virgin trip. We gotta set our sites on the one-way trip to Mars! You can’t tell me there isn’t anyone you’d start a collection for to see them shot out to space permanently. Just sayin’.

    Reply

  34. Janelle Weibelzahl Says:

    Fancy seeing you here on Freshly Pressed once more. I just started a new blog with a different username, and went over to WordPress’ main page to find and follow your blog again so it would show up on my new Reader, and there you were!

    Anyways have you ever considered that perhaps that’s how it did go down (Aldrin jumping over Armstrong’s head and all)? And that they subsequently shut off the camera, got in a huge fist fight, and upon Armstrong’s victory they re-filmed and faked the whole “first” steps bit? Okay I know it was probably broadcast live so this scenario is unlikely, but hey you never know!

    Reply

  35. storiesfrmiraq.wordpress.com Says:

    This is a message from a star million miles away from the earth. On behalf of people of the star, we say thank you for posting such a wonderful post. keep it up!

    Reply

  36. mirrorgirl Says:

    Interesting read:) don’t think you would run past him and say what you thiught, would be far too tired of the effort of running 😉

    Reply

  37. Terri L. Spilman Says:

    Ha! Your moon landing would probably be the first covered by TMZ. Finally an outlet for all of us who grew up in the 60’s to put all that astronaut food and TANG to good use.

    Reply

  38. nerdgeistofficial Says:

    First off Im glad someone is showing respect for Buzz he has shown a lot of humor about his place in history and that shows strong character, 2nd – please finish the script lol and third if I had the money id probably pay it, love your blog very awesome!

    Reply

  39. Eagle-Eyed Editor Says:

    Freshly Pressed again! Congratulations!

    P.S. Neil Armstrong called. He admitted that he used a double-sided coin for that momentous coin toss. 😉

    (Just kidding, Neil! I love ya, man!)

    Reply

  40. Brown Road Chronicles Says:

    Go Byronic!! FP’d again. Bet you feel like youre on the moon! I know… lame… Congrats dude!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Oh, I feel like I’m walking on a lack of air!

      Thanks. Apparently I’m FP’d in the “space” category, which is not the most well-traveled corner of WP, but I’ll take it! It’s like when you win in pool when the other guy scratches on the 8-ball. Still counts!

      Reply

  41. segmation Says:

    I can see why you were recently voted “The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write”. So humorous and made my day! Thank you!

    Reply

  42. tamberrinoartstudio Says:

    Loved that! It made me laugh out loud! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. 🙂

    Reply

  43. reocochran Says:

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! How does one achieve such glory? I heard from a fellow blogger in my first month, that he got it when he hit 100 posts. I went past 200, need help figuring this out! Really, just kidding! Glad you made it! Now I can say, I read you before….you became freshly pressed!!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      If anyone can figure out the magic formula for getting FP’d, they can probably name their price to bloggers everywhere. The best I can tell, it involves saying – out loud – “You know, I don’t even care about getting freshly pressed.” But you have to mean it, or they know.

      Reply

  44. kristal111peierls Says:

    Well done Earthling ❤ Love the movie, it's a total winner. Lots of special effects and make sure to include some half naked people. ;-P

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Tough for a space movie… but if Hollywood excels at anything, it’s figuring out how to get people with their clothes off. “They may have been infected out there! Quick, they need to strip off those space suits so we can, uh, scan them!”

      Reply

  45. bobbysony Says:

    Lo.l NASA should hire you. This was a nice read

    Reply

  46. birdgotweet Says:

    Smart with a sense of humor. This is the best you can get! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 😀

    Reply

  47. Marooned In Life Says:

    What a shame… “Suck it, Armstrong” would look so good on a commemorative postage stamp.

    Reply

  48. criticaledgedefensesolutions Says:

    Hell you don’t want go to mars young man, Asteroid mining is the future.Take a look A 79 foot wide M TYPE asteroid could hold 33,000 tons of material that can be mined. and with over 50 million dollars in platinum alone, I think ill be a space cowboy and do some mining.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Well, there’s a little educational film called “Armageddon” I think you’d enjoy. Easily the most realistic space-drilling movie to come out in the latter-90’s.

      Reply

      • criticaledgedefensesolutions Says:

        Thank you,I love that movie.its a great film about destroying an asteroid heading towards earth Thats why its called” Armageddon”, Im talking about towing Asteroids close to earth so we can mine the resources from them.
        Thank you

        Reply

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  1. Freshly Riffed 37: Third Location And A Second-String Team And One Awful Plan | A VERY STRANGE PLACE - June 16, 2013

    […] In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream “Wheeeeee!”: “Chestbursters are fun!” […]

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