THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 29

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 29

…Prez Roy is back in the swing of ‘retirement’, cleared by his physicians and bolstered by the best meds and nanotechnology available…

Nanotechnology

Gus is dealing with the startling revelations presented to him by a family –  he did not know still existed.

“What do I do with “this”, Mindy?”

Mindy McKinney has been waiting patiently for their date-night. “You do as your mother says.

What is there to lose? Keep an eye on the secure NASA database and hope the other geeks don’t miss something important.”

“I have a sister that I never met,” Gus was blown away by the other “this”. “And how do I present this information to Roy? He was 2 ticks from dying and now he hears another of my visions?”

“He trusts you Gus. He didn’t poo-poo your last story. In fact, didn’t he tell you that he smelled Deke’s cologne inside SEx?”

THE END of: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Back to Earth Part Too

The first rule of maintaining a good marriage is listening to your spouse… and doing as they say.

Gus McKinney is wise; Roy Crippen, not so much.

“It hasn’t been 12 hours, Roy,” the former Francine Bouchette and First Lady raises an obligatory objection to his debriefing of the last SOL mission. For all she knows, God struck him down for lying to the current President of The United States. Surely there will be a Senate Select Committee appointed to investigate on who-knew-what-when. “Why didn’t I marry that TV executive in Houston?”

The lady doth complain too much.

Despite of his rocky episode, Prez Roy is back in the swing of ‘retirement’, cleared by his physicians and bolstered by the best meds and nanotechnology available. Ex-presidents are kept alive at all costs. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush {#39 and #41) were sustained until their 90s, but that was then and this is now. If you do not live to 100 these days {2052}, you were victim of one of the following:

  • Fast Food
  • Accident
  • Murder
  • Suicide
  • Starvation or living on the United Korean Peninsula {the same thing}


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 29


page 33

Simply Not Simple – WIF Human Mysteries

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Simple Things

We Still

Don’t Understand

Some have said that the human pursuit of knowledge is like awakening naked in a dark forest, and being asked “how did you get here?” Despite the many difficulties and false beliefs, man has undoubtedly made great strides in having a better understanding of our world. However, there are still ideas, behaviors, and concepts that we still fail to understand. Even the most simple concepts, like the world being round, hasn’t necessarily found footing. We’ve decided to investigate 10 simple things that we don’t fully understand, in hopes that we can come to understand that we’re not out of the wilderness yet.

 10. Some People Don’t Need Sleep

We know, we know. You’re thinking, what is sleep doing on this list? We all know the function of sleep and its importance for brain health and overall wellness. It’s widely believed that the brain needs sleep to generate new pathways and connections. Without sleep, the body would be unable to hold onto these connections and it would also struggle to rejuvenate itself, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.

The curious case of short sleepers, profiled in Ying-Hui Fu’s lab at the University of California-San Francisco, demonstrates that we haven’t come to understand sleep as well as we think. In 2009, a woman entered Fu’s lab and gave a surprising account. No matter what time she went to bed, even if it was late at night, she would still wake up at the crack of dawn. She could never sleep in. Never. And according to the subject, it was the same for several members of her family. Skeptical at first, Fu and her colleagues, decided to compare the genome of different family members. The result was an amazing discovery: a tiny mutation in a gene called DEC2. The mutation was present in family members who identified as short sleepers, but not in members of the family who had normal length sleep, nor in 250 unrelated volunteers.

However, without more conclusive evidence the finding would not be well received. Fu was left with a conundrum: how do we prove that the DEC2 gene is tied to sleep?

In order to test their hypothesis, Fu and her team decided to breed mice to express the same mutation of the “short sleepers.” The results proved that their hypothesis was correct: the mice with the mutation performed just as well as regular mice, in terms of physical and cognitive tasks, while sleeping substantially less.

Fu’s subject would relay that her short sleeping abilities allowed her to finish college in just two and half years and has generally given her ample time to become a more fulfilled person. Imagine, having 60 extra days a year. That’s a reality that future generations will certainly enjoy.

9. We Still Don’t Know How Many Species There Are on Earth

Since Noah and his Ark, human beings have attempted to categorize and catalogue the different species that we share the planet with. You’d think we’d be able to have a concrete understanding of the other creatures that roam this planet with us, but we really don’t. In fact, it’s almost embarrassing how far ranging our estimates are. Most taxonomists believe we haven’t even scratched the surface in discovering all the creatures that live on the planet. After nearly 250 years of work,  and the findings of over 15,000 new living beings each year, taxonomists still shy away from coming up with concrete estimates of how many species inhabit the planet Earth.

Scientists have identified nearly 8.7 million species, but that number is constantly challenged by scientists presenting new methods and models for extrapolation. One concept proposed by Richard May, an evolutionary biologist, is that the diversity of land animals increases as they get smaller and, granting that we’d discovered most species of big animals, he used them as a model for smaller species and concluded that there are 10 to 50 million species of land animals.

Many might be asking why it is so difficult to come up with a finite number? One of the biggest reasons is that 99 percent of all living space is under the ocean, and we’ve explored less than 10 percent of it.

8. We Know Dreaming is Important, but We Don’t Know Why

Sigmund Freud believed that dreams are a window into the unconscious mind, which express hidden feelings that are repressed or that we’re simply unaware of. And while that may not be true, it’s just one of the many theories on the nature of dreams that have not resulted in fundamental answers. What we do know for certain is that everyone dreams. The most vivid dreams occur during the REM cycle, when the brain is most active, and while it may not feel like it, but experts claim we dream at least 4 to 6 times per night.

If we’re said to dream 6 times a night, and rarely remember our dreams, what could possibly be the purpose? Why do we remember some dreams and not others? We simply have no answers. What we do know is that dreaming is important to our health and well-being. A study in which researchers woke subjects just as they were drifting off into REM sleep found that those who were not allowed to dream experienced: increased tension, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, lack of coordination, weight gain, and a tendency to hallucinate.

We guess that we’ve found new meaning in the phrase “never stop dreaming.”

7. Laughing: A Universal Language?

Something as universal as laughter would seemingly be easy to explain. It’s not. Like dreams, laughter is a powerful display of our unconscious. Laughter is involuntary, and thus is a window into our sensibilities. Think about it. Laughter changes our facial expressions, elicits noises (some more flattering than others), and is without question contagious. Who hasn’t been a room where everyone breaks out into fits of laughter?

So what triggers it? It’s not as simple as you think.

Studies have shown that laughter is less about humor and more about social interaction and communication. Laughter is first exhibited in a child at three and a half to four months of age, well before speech, and as such laughter, similar to crying, is a way for an infant to interact with the mother. The idea that laughter is another form of communication was studied by researchers who went to local malls and city sidewalks and recorded what happened just before people laughed. Over the course of nearly ten years, and observing more than 2,000 cases of naturally occurring laughter, “[they] found that most laughter does not follow jokes. People laugh after a variety of statements, such as ‘Hey John, where ya been?’ and ‘Here comes Mary.’” It is not a leap to suggest that laughter supplements language to undress situations and to better form relationships or create bonds.

6. Yawning Cools the Brain

Another involuntary action that we’ve been unable to come to terms with is yawning. A behavior that occurs across species still has managed to puzzle scientists. A widely held belief that yawning occurs so oxygen can enter our bloodstream and to wake us up when we’re becoming drowsy has actually been disproven. Steven Platek, a psychology professor at Georgia Gwinnett College, is one of the many scientists who have said there is zero evidence that yawning affects levels of oxygen in the bloodstream, blood pressure, or heart rate.

The pervading theory is that the purpose yawning is to cool down the brain. The importance of scientific inquiry is that while eliminating one hypothesis it can make way for another. Subsequently, with studies showing that yawning does not affect levels of oxygen in the bloodstream, other experiments showed that yawning actually changes the temperature of the brain itself.

A Gallup study that took place in 2007 revealed that holding hot or cold packs to the forehead influenced how often people yawned, in instances where they saw others doing it. Additionally, when subjects held a warm pack to their forehead, “they yawned 41 percent of the time… (and) when they held a cold pack, the incidence of yawning dropped to 9 percent.”

Mechanically speaking, stretching our jaws leads to an increasing rate of blood flow to the skull and by inhaling at the same time, the air changes the temperature of the flow, leading to cooler blood flowing to the brain.

Experiments done on our favorite test subjects, mice, supported the conclusion that “an increase in brain temperature was found to precede yawning. Once the tiny rodents opened wide and inhaled, the temperature decreased.”

5. Mosquitoes Like Some More Than Others

“They like you more.” That’s the common refrain when a night out on the beach leads to one family member being left ravaged by mosquitoes. The truth is that remark has almost been taken as explanatory. In reality, most of us don’t know why some individuals are targeted more than others. Scientists have come to the believe that 20% of population is more attractive to mosquitoes than others.

Scientists have not settled on what exactly distinguishes that 20 percent, but one of the leading theories is blood type. A study found that Type O blood was twice more likely to be bitten than Type A.  The data is less conclusive with Type B with researchers concluding that it falls somewhere in the middle of desirable and undesirable for mosquitoes.

4. Blushing May Have Started as a Social Custom

“Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.” The eternal words of Mark Twain need only to tell us why exactly man “needs to.” It seems to be the most basic of human behaviors. We blush when we’re embarrassed. Being the product of an evolutionary process that eliminates characteristics that lower survival, how did blushing, a response that shows vulnerability, manage to manifest itself in all cultures and peoples?

Darwin remained puzzled until his death, but that did not stop other scientists from attempting to explain this behavior.

Currently, one of the leading theories of the origin of blushing is that it began as an appeasement ritual: to submit to the authority of dominant members of a group. Naturally, submitting to said member would then increase one’s chances of surviving in that group.

Scientists believe that as our social interactions later became more complex, it became intertwined with emotions like guilt, shame, and embarrassment. And as the rearing of family became of the utmost importance in agrarian societies, neuroscientists note that it may have been viewed as socially desirable and attractive for women to blush and therefore reveal honesty to men.

3. What’s the Deal With Pubic Hair?

No longer hairy apes, we’ve evolved and lost most of our thick wool of hair that seemed to represent that earlier period in our evolutionary past. However, a reminder of that history remains in the most unlikely of places: hair in our genital regions. What purpose could pubic hair possibly have? If you’ve been following along, you’ll know the answer is far from straightforward.

One of the most popular theories is that “since thicker hair gathers in regions where we have apocrine (scent) sweat glands as well as eccrine (cooling) ones, it may serve to waft odors that signal sexual maturity.”

Just another example that we’re just one small piece in a long fabric of evolution.

2. Kissing Isn’t Universal

We were surprised to learn that kissing was not a universally practiced show of affection. It turns out just 46% of cultures engage in the locking of lips.

Probably the most likely proposition is that the custom began during child rearing, where the connection between a mother and an infant comes from the “mouth sensations associated with breastfeeding.”

In addition, earlier epochs, probably engaged in mouth-to-mouth feeding of chewed food, is a custom that’s still carried out by the Manus cultures of the Admiralty Islands.  The act of this is used by women to remind children and descendants of their obligations to her.

Lastly, in terms of physiology, our lips are among the most sensitive parts of our bodies, with sensory neurons linked to our brain’s pleasure palaces. The benefits of which has shown that kissing reduces levels of the stress, hormone cortisol and increases the bonding hormone, oxytocin.

1. Consciousness is a Puzzle That’s Ever-Changing

The most complex concept on our list has been puzzling great thinkers for generations. In the 17th century, Descartes, a French philosopher, posited the notion that mind and body were completely separate. That began a philosophical battle that continues to this day. Without any answers, we will ask you to choose what camp you’re in.

Descartes was the earliest proponent of idealism – the idea that the mind and body are entirely separate. On the other hand there are the materialists, like Karl Marx, who believe that nothing exists apart from the material world (i.e. physical matter like the brain); materialist psychologists generally agree that consciousness (the mind) is the function of the brain.


Simply Not Simple

WIF Human Mysteries

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 271

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 271

ELEVENTH AND FINAL CHAPTER

…It is also a day for reminiscence, particularly for The Space Family McKinney, as they hearken back to the good old days of yesteryear on Earth…

Traveling Fast

Excitement, joy, good times, and good old family love abounds this day, in the year {as close as they can agree on a stardate} 2055.005. The McKinneys are gathered outside the spiraling towers for a celebration: the public acknowledgement of Cerella of Eridanus-Eupepsia and Deke McKinney of Earth-Texas as mates for life.

All the ingredients for a grand time are present, with the unusual lifting of the pink mist, mystery pizza aplenty, and an ingenious alcoholic brew that Sampson has managed to replicate.

The unexpected upward visibility allows for the viewing of the “test run” for the new-improved Stellar Explorer, so there are ample choices for one and all to be festive; where you have both a “wedding” celebration and a beggar’s chance to see something traveling really fast.

It is also a day for reminiscence, particularly for The Space Family McKinney. Hearken back to the good old days of yesteryear on Earth. For one, Deimostra McKinney loves to hear about the planet she never knew, even if those stories seem chaotic and illogical.

“Do you remember the time Braden decided to go to Mardi Gras alone?” Sampson has a sack full of stories about family friend Braden King. “He was going to find himself a woman in New Orleans, good or wicked!”

“Yes and we got a call from a Louisiana jail asking us to come and bail him out,” Celeste recalls vividly.

Solicitation of a Prostitute was the charge. He goes looking for a girlfriend and he finds a hooker instead!”

“What is a hooker?” asks Deimostra.

“Never mind.”

Gus remembers an alternate childhood version, “But you told us his car was stolen.”

“At the time, that was all you kids needed to know. He made us swear never to tell anyone, as long as we lived.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Family Stories

Episode 271


page 240

Winterized Puns #41 – WIF Wit and Humor

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Winterized Puns

Puns For Intelligent People

Icy U

  • Why is winter the least popular time of year for a wedding?
    Because the grooms always get cold feet!
  • What do you get when someone stares coldly at you?
    Glare ice!
  • I’m trying to break the ice with you, but you keep giving me the cold shoulder.
  • What did the snow plow guy say when his equipment broke down?
    Take this job and shovel it!
  • Image result for snow shovel gif
  • What is Spider Snowman’s secret identity?
    Peter Parka!
  • What does Frosty the Snowman do to combat his worries about melting?
    Take a chill pill! How does Frosty pay for his chill pills?
    With his slush fund!
  • If snowmen can’t ride bicycles, tricycles, or unicycles, what can they ride?
    Icicles!
  • Snowmen are everywhere in wintertime, but why is it that you never see snow toddlers?
    Because they’re always having meltdowns!
  • Why did the bodybuilder get a tattoo of Frosty on his stomach?
    He wanted an abdominal snowman!
  • If snowflakes were currency, we’d all be rich in winter. We’d just make a trip to the nearest snow bank.
  • What do you call a whirlwind winter romance?
    Love at frost bite!
  • What kind of soup can you make with cool beans?
    Chilly!
  • Did you hear that they’re performing Hamilton on ice?
    Everyone wants the part of Aaron Brr!
  • How do you defend yourself against zombie snowmen?
    With a thawed-off shotgun!
  • What do you call a $1 ticket to the ice rink?
    A cheap skate!
  • Did you hear about the ski trip?
    It started great, but it was all downhill from there!
  • Why was the snow plow guy famous?
    Because he was in snow biz!
  • I thought we were going sledding, but we went skiing instead. You might say I was mis-sled.

Here’s hoping your winter is NOT tough sledding! – Gwenny


Winterized Puns #41

WIF Wit and Humor

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 259

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 259

…Celeste uses her new psychic skills to accurately predict the near future, “We are about to have a guest…

Image result for psychic gif

Their first glimpse of John Q. Eridanian, other than the exceptionally humanoid Cerella, comes while on the way to some McKinney family-space. Deke & Gus try not to stare, but subtle double-takes take place from on either side of the alien fence.

“They aren’t all that different than us,” Deke admits in the privacy of the family lodging.

“If you disregard the fact that their feet don’t touch the ground, then yeah.” Gus adds.

“Most of their physiological dissimilarities are organ related,” Celeste tells them. “The greatest difference is inside their minds. They communicate telepathically, although when they chose to verbalize, it is musical in nature.”

“Yes I picked up on that music stuff, but none of the telepathy.” Gus proves he is the real Gus and a McKinney male blockhead to the core. “You sure seem to have it down Mom… and all that time-bending too!”

Celeste uses her skills to accurately predict the near future, “We are about to have a guest.”

Whoooosh, on cue and never looking more striking, Cerella glides in, after doing the intuitive equivalent of knocking.–

Related image{In cartoons, when a cartoonist wants to illustrate what love looks like, he may draw hearts for eyes. And love Isn’t  just in the movies.}

Having had time to digest their first encounter, Deke taking note of this native princess, who has had enigmatic feelings for him ever since seeing this wayward McKinney passed out and vulnerable on the other end of The Milky Way.

In the moment, the others in the room do not exist.

#My name is Cerella, heiress to the High Counsel of Eridanus#

“I believe we met “out there somewhere”,” he recalls.  {not “Somewhere Out There” Click image for video}

She speaks to Deke alone, who takes her hand and kisses it gently, like it may fall off in his hand.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 259


page 232

Wisconsin ~ My Home – WIF Geography & Humor

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Wisconsin ~ My Home

If Gwen can spell O-C-O-N-O-M-O-W-O-C, that proves she is from Wisconsin.

This is hysterical Wisconsin, according to Jeff Foxworthy:

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you may live in Wisconsin.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don’t even work there, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you’ve worn shorts and a jacket at the same time, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with some…one who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Wisconsin.

If “vacation” means going anywhere North of Milwaukee for the weekend, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you have switched from ‘heat’ to ‘A/C’ in the same day and back again, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both doors unlocked, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you may live in Wisconsin.

If the speed limit on the highway is 70 mph, you’re going 80 and everybody is passing you, you may live in Wisconsin.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you find 10 degrees “a little chilly”, you may live in Wisconsin.

If you give directions and tell someone you live 30 miles East of Milwaukee, you are living on a boat and may be on the run from the Wisconsin State Police.

If you actually understand these jokes, repost this so all of your Wisconsin friends and others can see, you definitely do live – or have lived – in Wisconsin.

Gwendolyn Hoff currently lives in Illinois, but her heart remains in Wisconsin.


Wisconsin ~ My Home

WIF Geography & Humor

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 214

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 214

CHAPTER NINE

  Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

… no matter what schedule Gus McKinney is on, hell-or-high water, he shows up for movie night at the White House…

“What movie is playing tonight?” Roy Crippen, leader of the free world  is always the last to know.

He is still an important individual. Even on a light duty day like this one, he has had a meeting with both the King and Prime Minister of the South Pacific island nation of Tonga, greets the National Spelling Bee champion, and deals with a World Bank proclamation;

  • Tonga has a fishing dispute with Fiji and Samoa
  • The new best speller cannot speak a lick of English.
  • And in the most disturbing development, he learns the details about China’s latest demand against the world banking system, demanding payment in full from debtor nations. (Can you spell repossess? Not.)

Come Hell Or High Water by lilcoletterpress

In a topsy-turvy entangled selfish world, re-elected Prez Roy deserves some down-time and if it is the third Tuesday of the second month of the first quarter of 2037, then he should have known that his youngest stepson is in charge of selecting the movie.

He may be turning 21, he may be assigned to another part of the world or he may be bringing a date; no matter what schedule Gus McKinney is on, hell-or-high water, he shows up for movie night at the White House.

“It’s going to be a space movie, what else do you need to know?” Francine Bouchette-Crippen, who is both First Lady of the United States and Social Secretary, cares less about the movie, yet always welcomes the opportunity to ask a number of $64K questions, with a young man in need of some sort of oversight.star_trek_online

And Gus is so brutally honest that he says the darn(dest) things, “Well, some rookie was supposed to fly an X-66 back to Langley (AFB), but I did it instead… and here I am… STAR TREK: ORION’S BELT, right, that’s the movie?”

“And how did you come to get here last month?” A good stepparent would detect a pattern of behavior.

“I told a Senator’s daughter that she could swim in the White House pool, if she gave me a ride in her daddy’s limo?”

“And when the Senator needed his car, it was nowhere to be found,” an inconvenient fact. “Don’t you remember what happened before the 2032 election? Your brother was accused of assaulting a Congressman’s daughter. You better be careful about bending the rules to suit your fancy.”

“But Francine, I only do it so I can spend time with the best 1st Chick this country has ever seen!”

She is generally steamrolled by Gus’ charm.

And how could his stepdad, the Top Gun of the nation, protest watching a movie Star Trek movie about a peaceful planet in the constellation of Orion that kidnaps baby James T. Kirk III, right after he is born. (At a theater near you in 2037)


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 214


page 194

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 192

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 192

…“Well it seems sweet Miss Susannah Grisbaum is a senior at Carlsbad High, but what she has failed to disclose is that she is 15 going on trouble.”…

After Roy’s policy speech, with that state of Utopia pending, can reality be far behind…? Francine attempts to vet Deke’s date to the Rising Star Dance.

Utopia

“What do you know about Deke’s date?”

“She’s pretty,” which pretty much sums up Braden King’s in-depth analysis, “Susannah is her name.”

“Does she have a last name BK?” Francine has been left to do the dirt-digging work.

“I believe it is Greasebomb or some odd name like that, a senior at some high school in New Mexico… you know that state just west of here?”

“Do you know the name of the junior Congressman from New Mexico?”

“That isn’t fair, I’m not sure I know OUR Congressman if I met him on the street.”

“It’s not Greasebomb, but you’re close; Hector Grisbaum, a Dem from Carlsbad.”

“Beautiful country out there, have done some quail hunting out at Antelope Ridge.”

“Well it seems sweet Miss Susannah Grisbaum is a senior at Carlsbad High, but what she has failed to disclose is that she is 15 going on trouble.” It seems she skipped 2 grade levels.

“Wow, she is well developed for…”

“Braden!”

“Say, didn’t they invent the Grease Bomb at Alamogordo New Mexico?”

“Braden…..please focus! I want you to insist that they come back to our house after the dance and keep Gus out of their hair.”

“Don’t you trust Deke?”

“Deke I trust, Susannah not so much. Congressman Grisbaum is President Sanchez’ biggest ally on Capitol Hill and he is stumping with Freelove as we speak.” Francine is assuming the worst. “And make sure all the security cameras are working, inside and out.”

“Why not just tell Deke he can’t date Susannah, it’s not like he doesn’t have half the girls in the country mooning over him?” BK dates himself nearly every time he speaks.

“Mooning?” She shakes her head. “How is it you are still single?”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 192


page 181

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 190

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 190

…“This country just isn’t ready for a henpecked president…

“Braden tells me that Deke has been dating a girl and he has asked her to “Rising Star”. What on earth is that?” It is Francine‘s job to at least have some clue about the boys’ social life.

“Good for Deke! I was wondering when a girl would turn his head!” Roy beams.

“So he takes a girl to a planetarium to watch the stars? Wouldn’t his convertible be better for that?”

Space Academy“No, no, silly, it’s the big fall event at the Space Academy. I remember taking Becky Bartman… she was a cute filly from Plano… oh wait, I get it.. Rising Star is a dance Francine.”

“Does Deke even know how to dance? And Braden needs to be in town that week, because who knows where in Florida we will be.” Francine knows what’s what with campaign logistics. “Has this girl been vetted?”

“She’s a date, not a democrat!”

“How do you know she’s not?”

“Teenagers are not political creatures and Sammy Mac raised his boys right. I trust he’ll be a perfect gentleman.”

“Will she be a perfect lady? Have you met her family?”

“It sounds like he just met her, give it some time. If the girl interferes with his Academy work, I’ll step in.”

“Okay, you’re the president of our family, but I’m appointing myself vice-president of girlfriends, since you didn’t have the guts to make me the real Veep.”

“The country just wasn’t ready for a henpecked president; Hispanic, Black, Female, Democrat, Democrat, Democrat, did I say Democrat ???? , but not henpecked by the #2. I’ll have my hands full with the one I got.”

“Fine, I didn’t want Char’s job anyway, so I will settle for nosy First Lady.”

“There you go, knock yourself out!


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 190


page 179

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 187

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 187

…So between now and November we have to hang loose, play it by ear – cool our jets or whatever you astronaut-types say these days”…

“What’s the deal… does Braden cramp your style? You are turning 18 and always the one who insists he’s Mr. Self-sufficient.” Roy is setting up the “you’re the man of the house” speech.

“Don’t worry Gus; I’ve made all your meals for the week.” Francine knows the source of his angst and it starts slightly above his waist. “I won’t be going out on the campaign trail every time, but I cannot have the future President of the United States rooming the streets of New York alone.

“The way it is now, with you guys almost done at the Academy and us stumping the country for votes, oh and Braden keeping track of New Mayflower, we are all too busy to worry about our normal, everyday family routine. So between now and November we have to hang loose, play it by ear… cool our jets or whatever you astronaut-types say these days”

“It is ‘take a chill-pill’ Francine and I get your drift; we have been spoiled by your cooking and we miss our Mom.” No one could have predicted that statement: from selfish news anchor-to-good cook & mother.

“And Braden sucks thruster fumes?”

“Stop it Roy!” Gus gives Francine a bear hug goodbye. “Now let’s go out to the Big Apple and kick some Freelove butt!”

“That would be Freelove/Cauley butt! Oh, that reminds me Francine. Would you proof the podium banner my people have come up with?”

“You mean banner #13? Maybe this will be the lucky one.”

Roy unfurls it, “Yes, this one.”

Today the USA

Tomorrow the Milky Way

“It still needs some work,” Francine has another, “but I liked the other.”

Crippen/Walker

Astronaut/Straight Talker

“I am sure the American people will understand that a space-geek has his fingerprints all over it,” she laughs uncontrollably, not because the logos are so bad, rather that Roy is trying so hard to prove that he is a different sort of politician.


THE RETURN TRIP

Literary Thumbprint Portraits by Chery Sorg

Episode 187


page 177