THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 193

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 193

…For the guys, Rising Star is an opportunity to swap boy-stories; huge lies, exaggeration, triumphs and conquests

For teenage girls, it is exchanging: huge lies, exaggeration, sedition and gossip…

“Are you clear on what to do Susannah?”

“But I really like Deke McKinney, Daddy, he’s out-of-this-galaxy!”

“He is four years older than you. Do you really think Crippen would let him date you if he knew you were jailbait?” The deceivingly aged girl has become a pawn in the 2032 Presidential election. “All I am asking you to do is to have your phone on speaker when you are fighting off his unwanted advances.”

“But…”  Her job is to make sure they would not be uninvited.

“Get him to kiss you and the whole country will hear you fight him off.”

“But what if he won’t kiss me?”

“Then pretend you are horsing around, just get us some audio. Don’t you want your father to get that ambassador job for the European Union… can’t you see yourself studying at the University of Bologna or your mother doing what she does best?”

“Shopping?”

“We’re talking shopping, hosting dinner parties… you know, Italy on the taxpayers tab.”

The “Catch a Rising Star” Dance is a long standing tradition at the Space Academy. It is a somewhat frivolous reward for an intensive course of study that requires ultra-serious dedication. The Academy takes the place of a regular high school education, which both Deke & Gus McKinney have signed on to, the former having completed his studies with honors.

And it doesn’t hurt to have a pretty girl or handsome guy on your arm when the big night comes along. Just about every female pledge is wondering who the Dashing Deker (his academy nickname) is bringing to the dance. And much to the chagrin of his female fly-girl classmates, he is bringing that out-of-state girl he has been seen with, riding on his jet cycle and his favorite quarter horse.

For the guys, Rising Star is an opportunity to swap boy-stories; huge lies, exaggeration, triumphs and conquests. And that they do and do and do, instead of dance, dance, dance.

Which the girls don’t like one bit, so they do what teenage girls do best; huge lies, exaggeration, sedition and gossip.


THE RETURN TRIP

Not on this planet!

Episode 193


page 231

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 191

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 191

…What you see is what you get with candidate Roy and what you get is an ambitious agenda…

The informative exercise called a news conference is something that a president, or a would-be, must handle himself. The Press Secretary can be a stopgap mouthpiece, but when it comes to the Washington Press Corps, face-to-face access to the leader of the free world is a very necessary evil and Roy Crippen best acquaint himself with those assigned to report on his campaign.

As the general election rapidly approaches, Roy is pressed on issues that do not have the slightest thing to do with the subject of space. That is where Charlotte Walker comes in handy. As an unconventional non-politician that he is, she embodies the savvy he lacks. As an added bonus, she has an enlightened bent that sets her apart from party regulars.

They often share the podium at these pressers, projecting themselves as a true team, an elected duo who will to tackle the tough issues head on. What you see is what you get and what you get is an ambitious agenda:

  1. Reducing the size and scope of the Federal Government
  2. Cabinet positions halved or quartered
  3. Continuing campaign funding reforms
  4. Replacing welfare with a public service contract
  5. Mandatory high school graduation, with a goal of graduating 150,000 US born engineering students/yr
  6. Discontinue America’s “Policeman of the World” policies that drag the USA into regional conflicts we do not fully understand
  7. Individual state autonomy, including single states that embrace like-minded policies like:

a) Religion

b) Fiscal responsibility

c) Gun control

d) Crime-free zones

Roy will forever trumpet his own vested interests related to the obvious:

  • A meteor defense shield (that replaced the missile defense shield and prevents the 10,000 lb. strike that wiped out Madagascar in 2027)
  • Space Colony II (its immediate construction and deployment)
  • Accelerated funding for the Steven W. Hawking Foundation sponsored SOL Project (achieving the speed-of-light and Earth-like planet/colony search)

THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 191


page 228

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 188

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 188

…The American people have a clear choice between nominees; On one hand you have a sitting Vice-President in Sylvia Freelove and the other, a dogmatic antithetical in Roy Crippen…

 Roy Crippen is trying so hard to prove that he is a different sort of politician.

Today the USA   

Tomorrow the Milky Way 

Crippen/Walker

Astronaut/Straight Talker

***Neither one of the red/white/blue slogan configurations will matter much in the final days of the 2032 Presidential Campaign, with the voters’ blurry-eyed from all the campaign ads nagging them at every turn.***

Way back in 2020, thanks to a 3rd party (Libertarian L-Rand Paul Kentucky) push for fiscal sanity, private funding for national elections was taken out of election process. Gone are the days when one candidate can outspend his/her way into office. As the middle-class dwindled into insignificance and a certain 5% of the population controlled 99% of the wealth, the temptation for someone to finance their way into power is stripped away.

This leaves candidates to their own devices, i.e. merits, accomplishments, policies, and promises. For the most part, to the credit of most office-seekers, the dirty noise of misinformation and mudslinging is no longer an effective tool in influencing voters.

In the case of Pete Sanchez, he was catapulted into office by an ethnic majority, a phenomena that was interrupted briefly by one-term reigns in 2016 and 2020, mainly because neither incumbent administration had the mind to curb spending or maintain a clear vision to justify a second and final term.

Sampan by Dominique Charles FOUQUERAY

Some lessons come hard and if it had not been for the financial & sociological collapse of China, Standard Mandarin would have been spoken in every school, Oriental food would be the national cuisine, and the Yen would supplant the US dollar as the world currency. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for China, the combination of Communism and Capitalism is a lethal mix; planned cities with no people living in them, infused with the truth about life in a free society teamed up to sink their Sampan.

So fast-forward to 2032 where you have relative prosperity and a clear choice between nominees. On one hand you have a sitting Vice-President in Sylvia Freelove and the other, a dogmatic antithetical in Roy Crippen.

The less important position of VP offers an equally, though less scrutinized, divergent choice in the persons of Bud Cauley, the former Congressman from Arizona and Ambassador to the European Union and Charlotte Walker, rifle-toting Governor of Wisconsin.


THE RETURN TRIP

Election Day

Episode 188


page 224

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 186

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 186

…Charlotte gets things done, Gus and if that means she puts the fear of God into a few fence-sitters, so be it…

The conquest of space and time are not the only things that dominate the events of 2032, in the ambitious brains of Deke & Gus. The upcoming Presidential election in November has captured their imaginations and currently commands their attention.

The latent bubbles of youth rise to the surface when it comes to their Uncle Roy and his running mate Charlotte Walker. Not that the spirited would-be-VP has replaced newly-minted-mother Francine in their hearts or lives; it’s more like a healthy slather of Sriracha Aioli on their Corn Flakes.

“This is better than when the Texans went to the Super Bowl last year,” Gus gushes out an equate-able comparison.

“O yeah?! How many kids can say they have the President for a stepfather,” counters Deke who is just as excited about being on the ground floor of a presidential campaign; second only to having stepfathers x2 (Roy & Braden King) and a fox for a stepmother (Francine).

“Shouldn’t you guys be getting for the family portrait? You’re too old to have Francine dress you,” Roy injects some reality into the moment. “Charlotte and her family have been in-and-out of the studio for an hour by now.”

“She scares me Uncle Roy.”

“Are you talking about Francine or Charlotte… I won’t tell.”

“Seriously? She can scare the hide off mountain lion!”

“I am glad you are not the campaign manager. Charlotte gets things done, Gus and if that means she puts the fear of God into a few fence-sitters, so be it.” As a note, Roy’s poll numbers have surged since he announced his running mate. “I need you two to be the best campaign ambassadors out there.”

“Is Francine going with you when you go to New York?”

“Probably, but what does that have to do with anything?”

“Because, because that means Braden will insist we stay at his house.” Gus used to have a crush on ‘that news-fox on channel 13’, but now they are newly-minted family unit and all this in/out – home/away is hard for him to adjust to.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 186


page 223

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 184

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 184

…we have lost not only two of our finest astronauts, but the very first colonists on another planet…

Roy Crippen takes his turn as, mourner, moderator and commemorator.

“I do know Sampson and Celeste McKinney and I can proudly say that they counted me as their friend. To know them is to know the definition of reliability. If I had a dollar for every time I heard them say, ‘You can count on us.’ I would be materially rich beyond measure.

“As Braden King would tell you,” he points at BK sitting between the boys, “there isn’t anything they would not do for their country and their space program. And if we could hear them now, they would be telling us, ‘Do not stop with Space Colony 1. You must press on; you must come out and be with us.”

He pauses to reflect on what space exploration is all about.

“When one decides to become a working astronaut, there are certain things you must come to terms with in your mind. Topping that list and there is little question as to its reality, is that constant companion of dealing with the speculative unknown: d-e-a-t-h. We at NASA, as well as our global partners at the World Space Consortium, deal with technology at its finest, but because of the distances involved and other uncontrollable factors, danger is:

  1. one step behind every single manned mission
  2. when we step out of a vehicle exceeding 100,000 feet of altitude
  3. each time we take that next step baby step closer to the edge of the solar system

“I need not remind you of the Challenger or Columbia and the brave men and women who gave their lives. Did they believe they would return to Earth safely? Yes they did. Did they know there was a possibility that they wouldn’t? Yes they did.

“We have gone 27 years without a fatality in space. We now find ourselves coming to grips with terrible realization that we have lost not only two of our finest astronauts, but the very first colonists on another planet

“…. both were keenly aware of the perils they would be facing. Did they know that Space Colony 1 was destroyed by jealously and hate not a meteor or electrical malfunction? No probably not.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 184


page 220

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Remembering Puns #35

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Remembering Puns

A lot of brave men fought and died in San Antonio, Texas, which is Alamo reason to remember

Way back when, I used to remember things by tying a string around my finger. Even then I had digital memory.

Related image

 

I went to Cairo, but I don’t remember if I saw the river or not. I wonder if I am senile

Image result for the nile

I can’t remember ever getting nits as a kid, although I do have a lousy memory.

Image result for lice

My friend had amnesia and couldn’t remember how to walk up the stairs, so I had to go back and teach him step by step.

When entering a funeral home, remember to stay alert and always look alive!

I couldn’t quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but eventually it came back to me.

He couldn’t remember the pill’s name but it was on the tip of his tongue.

Image result for tip of the tongue

‘Did you remember to buy me the coffee with ice cream inside it?’. ‘Oh I’m sorry, affogato!’

Image result for affogato


Remembering Puns

#35

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 181

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 181

…“Listen to you! There IS a devious bone in that good-old-boy body…”

“Well it can’t be another Texan and it can’t be another space guy, so why not a rifle-toting, rock’em-sock’em reformer from America’s Dairyland.” Brain gears are churning away. “And we can sneak it in at the end of the Space Colony tribute.”

“Morbidly, you may be on to something, tying this whole deal in with the McKinneys, but, and I underline but, I don’t think it should distract from the solemnity of the memorial service.”

His wife is buying into the notion. That low, murky, gray cloud that has shadowed Roy the past four months {always a step behind like a political version of an undertaker} is starting to clear up, replaced by the blue-hue of tranquility.

With calm comes clarity, “We will wait until the scheduled news conference that afternoon. The emotional impact will be different from the memorial, I won’t even deviate from the respectful reminiscing I have been working on, but sliding the announcement in at the end will negate any negative reaction to Charlotte.”

“Listen to you! There IS a devious bone in that good-old-boy body,” Francine is impressed.

“The time is right for a female Vice-President and I believe you prefer my choice to that Georgia peach of a Congresswoman… the one whose husband just died of a brain tumor… and she has called me twice to express her interest?”

Francine is quite aware of Roy Crippen’s baser appeal. He is a tabloid rock star, a media darling, and the hottest thing presidential since JFK {after an extreme makeover and an injection of swagger}. But just like Kennedy he is more than a pretty face; men with a hypnotic power of persuasion and the adept skill to lead the nation down the road of turbulent uncertainty.

Another welcome asset in his corner is with his support team’s ability to keep a secret. In a society where security and info leaks are an art form, thanks to the instantaneous news cycle and continuously connected individuals throughout the world, in those somber days leading up to the posthumous honoring of Celeste and Sampson McKinney… not a single peep, hint or drip about candidate-elect Charlotte Walker.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 181


page 216

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