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The 64th Moon of the Honey People

The 64th Moon of the Honey People

A satire of bad writing by Michael Mordenga

Launch Pad One: I am Rod Billows

I love pomegranates and that makes me smart. I, Rod Billows, know that pomegranates are filled with powerful antioxidants. Only smart people eat antioxidants. Every day, I go down to the market in Orlando, Florida and order two pomegranates. I eat the first one. And then I eat the second one.

“Lookin’ smart, Rod Billows,” John the fruit dealer smiles. I give him my curious smile because I know that he is right.

I work at UASA, which is a competitor to NASA in space travel. NASA is known for sending space shuttles to the moon and other celestial places. Most people do not know that UASA has also been to the moon. We went to the moon twice. When people ask me if I like working at UASA instead of NASA, I smile and say, “I used to work at NASA, but it was boring.”

UASA has two astronauts, Bert and Jeff. They have both been in space. Now they are getting ready to go again. This time they are going to a moon on Mars. I will not be going to Mars because that is not my job. I, Rod Billows, oversee getting drinks, napkins, and papers for Bert and Jeff. When they need something because they are thirsty or need a paper with a math equation, I make sure they get it. I am wonderful at my job. Bert and Jeff always get what they want.

Bert and Jeff, the UASA astronauts, are getting ready to go into space. Their destination is one of the moons of Mars. Their ship is called The Lunar. It is long sideways, made of shiny steel, and has green wings and a green nose. With special thrusters, called magnum thrusters, they use radioactive material to blast the ship into the speed of light.

Bert and Jeff, the UASA astronauts, are excited to go into space. Sometimes Bert will smile and say, “Jeff, is it time for space?”

Jeff will laugh sonically and say, “Not yet, Bert. Maybe tomorrow.”

They both know that the real blast off day is on Arbor Day. NASA has declared that all holidays will be the day that they launch their ships. The only day they have not chosen to launch is Arbor Day. UASA has chosen Arbor Day. So, while the people of Florida are looking toward the trees, The Lunar will launch into space. It will travel 80 miles per second for three months. Then it will arrive at the moon of Mars.

Sensei Taka Jones comes out of his office at UASA. He points at Bert and Jeff, the UASA astronauts. “Where are my space numbers for take-off?” Taka shouts.

Bert and Jeff give him puzzled smiles. They forgot to calculate the space numbers. Without the space numbers The Lunar will not have enough launch force to launch.

Taka is a tough boss. He was being trained as a samurai in Tokyo, Japan, when UASA called him. He did not finish his samurai training, but he is still disciplined in honor and stealth. Bert and Jeff think that Sensei Taka, the boss of UASA, is bitter because his samurai training has been cut short. The mission to a moon on Mars was way too important and Taka is the only boss who can handle it. That is why this project is twenty days ahead of schedule.

“If you don’t get the space numbers by tonight,” Taka smiles viciously, “I will fire you, Bert and Jeff.”

“Not good!” Bert and Jeff exclaim.

Bert puts up his hands in surrender, “It is my wife’s anniversary today. We are going to the IHOP that I proposed to her.”

Taka turns away from Bert. He then picks up a phone and dials the number for IHOP. The manager of IHOP, Carl Weathers, answers the phone.

“Taka?”

“I need you to shut down your IHOP so my astronauts do not get distracted.”

Carl Weathers waited three minutes in silence, “okay.”

Taka looks over at Jeff and Bert, “Now you will get your work done.”

Bert gets out his flip-phone and carefully explains to his wife that he will not be home. I, Rod Billows, can hear crying from the phone. I run to our supply closet and grab flowers. Bert is going to need them.

As I was walking back, I pulled the pomegranate out of my jacket. I ate two handfuls of the fruit. My mom always said that pomegranates would make me smart. She learned that growing up on a pomegranate farm. My mom did not want me to squelch my future working for a pomegranate farm, so she made me apply myself to space flight science. Everyday, I would come home from school and do calculus calculations to get smarter. By my eighteenth birthday, I, Rod Billows, had become the number one assistant to Bert and Jeff. I ate two pomegranates on the day of my UASA interview. I think you can guess that I nailed the interview.

I finish the last pomegranate when I walk into the launch room. There is a white board with scribbled math and numbers on it. I turn my head sideways for one minute. Something is not right with the numbers. I grab the black marker. I start to write numbers because I suddenly understand the numbers that we need for space flight. My eyes light up. I, Rod Billows, have solved the space equation.

“Rod Billows!” Taka’s shrill smile can be heard behind me.

I can tell from Taka’s face that he is angry, surprised, and delighted, but his years of samurai training are holding it in.

I show him the numbers. I step away from the whiteboard. I give Taka room to see. Boy, am I in trouble?

“What is this, Rod Billows, our number one astronaut assistant?”

“I think I solved your space numbers equation,” I gulped a smile.

He stares at the numbers for three minutes, silently chewing his words in a quiet tone. He looks over at me.

“Rod Billows, how would you like to go to space?”

“It is my dream, Sensei Taka.”

He looks over at Bert. “Bert, I did not like your attitude. You are fired from UASA. Rod is taking your place.”

I was sweating. Bert got out his flip-phone and told his wife the sour news. I could hear crying on the other end. I was nervous, but then I was excited.

I, Rod Billows, am going to the moons of Mars.

Launch Pad Two: Leesa

As I was leaving UASA from a hard day of work, I bumped into Leesa. She was a desk attendant for UASA. Her legs are mid height and her hair is brown. She has green eyes. I smiled at her. She answers back with a cute smile.

“Guess who is going on the moon of Mars?”

Leesa drops her stack of papers in shock, “You are going on the moon?”

I help her pick up the papers and we share a warm glance for ten seconds. “I have been selected by Sensei Taka, the boss of UASA, to go on the next voyage.”

I give her finger guns. She smiles cutely. “That is amazing, Rod Billows. Does that mean Bert and Jeff are fired?”

“Only Bert,” I exclaim, “He had a real attitude problem.”

“It stinks that he had an attitude problem. His wife is pregnant.”

“Maybe next time he won’t be so mouthy with Sensei Taka, the boss of UASA.”

She twirls her long brown hair in her long fingers. “Will you bring me back something from the moon?”

“I have to check with Sensei Taka if that is alright.”

Bert starts to begin passing me and Leesa. He is holding a box of rockets that he brought from home. He looks petrified.

“I guess you will have to take me out tonight.” Leesa includes warmly.

My heart jumps, “I would like that Leesa. We are both blue collar workers who have been given the chance of a lifetime. Let us celebrate. I have a gift card to Dave and Busters.”

She smiles.

“But I can’t stay out too late. The Lunar leaves tomorrow morning.”

“On Arbor Day,” Leesa added.

I wait for Leesa at Dave and Busters. She comes to the place where I am standing. She is wearing a green dress with red socks. She is gorgeous. Leesa, the desk attendant, takes my hand and leads me to the Dance Dance Revolution machine. I show her my dance moves. She claps like a seal. She takes my hand and I lead her to the basketball machine. I start throwing basketballs and gaining tickets. Leesa laughs. I have enough tickets to buy her a teddy bear the size of her head.

After the games and appetizer of mozarella sticks, Leesa and I are in my Prius. She has a very warm and sentimental face. The night is so quiet you can hear a yeti fart.

"I like you Rod Billows."

"I like you Leesa."

"Why do you have to leave for Mars, tomorrow?"

I look out the window of my Prius. The moon is beautiful. But it is not my moon. The Mars moon.

"I have to fulfill my destiny. My mom says I will be great one day. I am done getting drinks and papers for astronauts. I am the astronaut."

She is clearly astounded by my speech. A smile spreads across her face. "I see that you must go now."

I lean in exactly twelve inches at a thirty degree angle. Leesa does the same. We kiss for one minute. Leesa is excited. I am excited. She is hot and I am in love. The perfect combination. She touches my face.

"I will wait for you to comeback."

"If the thrusters live up to their potential then it will only take a week."

She doesn't understand me. I know I shouldn't bring my work home with me.

Leesa gets out of the Prius and walks home. I can tell that I made her excited and a little sad. I can tell by her smile and the tears in her eyes. Leesa will miss me. I will miss her.

I, Rod Billows, must finish this mission.


To be continued.


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