Reibred’s idol of the day… number 2

outerspace2.gif…is Outerspace! That’s right, you know it! It’s the place we’ve all wanted to go. At night, when the sun goes down, we look up into the dusty expanse of stars and satellites and fear it. So we build our fires and huddle around them with the rest of our tribe and pass the tense hours of darkness by telling the ancient stories and passing our history on to our young. And all the while, looming above us… Outerspace. Will man ever invent a device capable of breaking us loose from our earthly mores, allowing us to leap into its warm, ebony bosom? Will the phrase “warm, ebony bosom” ratchet-up the number of Google search referrals to our humble blog? Or will we forever be chained to the heavy land, ever reaching—fingers-splayed to the sky—ever longing to be free?

Well, good news, people. You and I can visit Outerspace today, by rocket, plane, train, Prius or Big Wheel. With modern “Outerspace-age technology,” Outerspace is closer than it’s ever been. The first human to ever go to Outerspace was Buzz Aldrin. He invented the three-stage, solid-state rocket in his mom’s basement after being inspired by an episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery. While the world scoffed and scolded the young man, he and his neighbor, Ed “John Glen” Harris, flew from Long Island to Outerspace and back… on a single tank of rocket fuel! The two brave gentlemen have enjoyed positions of great importance in our land ever since.

vodka.gifI remember the first time I met Outerspace. I was stuck in Atlanta on a layover, the crumpled Chick-fil-A wrapper on the table next to me. It was 1974 or 1975. I’m not sure which, but Mothership Connection had just come out. It was getting late; I was waiting for the red-eye to Minneapolis. I went to the airport bar. It was smoky as hell, but back then it was smoky everywhere. Straight vodka on the rocks, please.

Laverne and Shirley is crap, said a voice in a dark corner. It wasn’t a mad voice, I don’t think, or even a dejected voice, but not ironic either. Or maybe the voice was all those things, had all of them wrapped up at once. I squinted into the shadow. As my eyes adjusted to darkness, I saw some twinkling light, like a thousand tiny stars. It was Outerspace, straight soused. We talked, but Outerspace wouldn’t give much up. I had a feeling he was on the run, the way he’d sneak glances at the door, like someone might be coming to look for him. I think maybe he wanted to get caught. And then I left. I don’t know where Outerspace was going that day, but I haven’t seen him since.


  1. Posted February 27, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    on a single tank of rocket fuel!

    I think I heard about this. Wasn’t there only enough fuel to last for one day but it miraculously lasted for eight?

  2. obadiahstarbuck
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    …And now we celebrate Yom Gipper every year in commemoration of that miracle… and Ronald Reagan.

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