Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Once in a Blue Moon (01/06/11)
TITLE: Spaceman Bob Retires
By Clyde Blakely
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Spaceman Bob: Alive!
Reporter: Alive? You mean lucky to be alive?
Spaceman Bob: Not only fortunate to be alive, Miss Parker, but I’ve seen so much of God’s wondrous universe that I wonder why He has blessed me so. What I have experienced has become part of me. I feel even more than ALIVE!
Reporter: It’s hard for us, who have never been where you’ve been nor done the things you have, to appreciate that depth of understanding. Was there ever a time when you felt you might not make it back to earth?
Spaceman Bob: Yes, several times: equipment malfunction, getting lost for a while, running low on supplies.
Reporter: Did you ever CRASH?
Spaceman Bob: Once - in a blue moon.
Reporter: You mean, into a blue moon? And what is a blue moon?
Spaceman Bob: No, inside a blue moon. I had seen so many different stars, planets, moons but never a blue one. It looked like Swiss cheese but a blue haze coming from it. I had to explore it.
Reporter: Blue Swiss cheese? I’d want to take a closer look too. Tell us about it.
Spaceman Bob: I was still in our Milky Way galaxy, maybe that what gave me the “cheese” impression when seeing all the holes in it. They didn’t look like meteor impacts, much deeper, like tunnels.
Reporter: You landed on it?
Spaceman Bob: Not exactly. When I got closer I could tell some of the holes where big enough to fly into, so I did.
Reporter: You flew into dark, uncharted holes in a blue moon?
Spaceman Bob: Uncharted, yes, right down this explorer’s alley. But they were not dark. There was a dim light coming from every hole. I was so excited finding this blue moon I neglected to radio mother earth my intent and I was on the far side of that moon from earth. Big mistake.
Reporter: What happened?
Spaceman Bob: As I moved closer and the tunnels came into clear view, I started activating my spacecraft’s sensors: videos, sound recorders, magnetic, etc. I even had a newly installed smell sensor.
Reporter: A smell sensor?
Spaceman Bob: Yes, it was developed by a grade school kid from India. This was the first time we had used it. And it worked!
Reporter: It smelled something?
Spaceman Bob (glancing around): Well, this is highly classified information but since this is my last day what can they do? Fire Me? It smelled cheese.
Reporter: Are you serious?
Spaceman Bob: I recalibrated it and that’s what it registered.
Reporter: This is really news!
Spaceman Bob: Well, not really, it did detect methane gas: a byproduct of cheese metabolism (with a wink).
Reporter: Okay, you got me; but that stinks (returning the wink). Go on.
Spaceman Bob: The tunnel’s walls were covered with blue gems reflecting its star’s light, giving the appearance of light being generated in the tunnel. The deeper I went the more beautiful the gems became and then…
Reporter: Then what?
Spaceman Bob: The tunnel ended.
Reporter: So you turned around and came back out.
Spaceman Bob: No, the tunnel ended; I was so absorbed looking at the sides of the tunnel, all the gems, the reflected blue light, I didn’t see the end of the tunnel coming and BAM - I crashed. I tried to radio earth but I was too deep and still on the far side of the moon. My engines died and I couldn’t get them started.
Reporter: So you put on your spacesuit and went to the surface and radioed?
Spaceman Bob: I was going to do that but the helmet’s visor broke when I crashed. There was no replacement. I must have damaged the electrical system also; everything was starting to go dim. It was going to get cold and dark real fast.
Reporter: Oh my.
Spaceman Bob: Then I heard the leak.
Spaceman Bob: The spacecraft’s hull cracked on impact and my oxygen was escaping. I only had a few hours to make it out…
Reporter (interrupting): Well, that’s all the time we have today. Turn in next week to hear how Spaceman Bob escaped his crash. Once, in a blue moon.
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