One giant leap for $200K
LATELY, I'VE GROWN DISENCHANTED with Earth, so I might charter a spaceship as soon as I save up $1 million for an intergalactic getaway. (That’s only 563 zillion “Humor Me” columns, give or take.) And I can bring five friends, so be nice to me.
Lodging in space is the next big thing. Nobody knows exactly when, but scientists swear that a Super 8 on Mars is virtually moments away. That’s fine, but I’ll be more impressed when Mars gets a Piggly Wiggly. We may die battling hostile aliens, like the one that kept trying to eat Sigourney Weaver, but at least our pork chops will be fresh.
For you trailblazers who can’t wait, Virgin Galactic already has travel agents ready to book your seat on a $200,000 suborbital flight. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Virgin’s handpicked agents had to demonstrate their affinity for space travel. One such agent—who drives a Ferrari, loves air shows, has flown in a fighter jet, enjoys guns and claims to be “scientifically wired”—has already sold tickets. (It’s not the best career choice for minivan owners who barf on a Ferris wheel.)
Even if I’m not ready to jump on the first rocket out of here, zero gravity has its perks. For instance, you can leave your bras at home, especially the push-up ones. Women with implants may want to sit this one out, however. There’s been some talk they could explode.
For Boomers, space travel seems sexy because we were raised with astronaut envy. Dressed in those shiny jumpsuits (early bling) with matching boots, our first orbiters were rock stars. We bit our nails during every launch (which people actually watched) and waited for them to return to Earth smiling and handing out moon rocks. But don’t be fooled. Discover magazine says space travel isn’t all shooting stars and moonshine.
That barf thing I mentioned happens in space. You can count on it. And if you’ve got sinus problems now, just wait till you’re orbiting Venus. When you’re weightless, all your bodily fluids migrate north, so your face will puff up and you’ll sound like a NyQuil ad. Oh yeah, you’ll also be constipated.
Which brings us to bathrooms, which is the scariest part of zero gravity in my opinion, since I have trouble peeing on a sailboat. Luckily, space potties come equipped with bars over your thighs, like a roller coaster ride. From what I’ve read, the trick is getting an airtight seal between you and the loo. Think Tupperware.
Maybe that’s doable, but suppose something goes wrong? Where will we find a plumber? We could end up like those 4,000 cruise ship passengers, stranded for days without a flush. And there’s no Coast Guard to tow us back.
The more I think about it, given my affinity for reliable plumbing and pork chops, I may skip space travel after all.
You go. My minivan needs waxing anyway.
JAN A. IGOE, our fearless writer, may not have enough nerve or cash to book the shuttle, but if you go, please send her a postcard. Let her know if the plumbing is safe at HumorMe@SCLiving.coop.