The Scientist and the Astronaut – The Harvard Lampoon

Last Ditch Effort #

| Issue Editor: HLD '18 | Art Editor: KDF '19

The Scientist and the Astronaut

  HJH '19

Here’s my best shot at inventing a world where a scientist and astronaut would interact.

The fairgrounds are filled with laughter, screams and the rich scent of fried dough. A man in a long white lab coat tries to climb a wobbly rope ladder and ring the bell at the top. After a few minutes without success, he decides to enter the carnival and play some games. Immediately, the dunk tank catches his attention. Dunk tank, he thinks, adding it to his mental grocery list. “Dunk tank!” he screams out loud. The carnies nod, knowingly.

When games bore him, he takes a seat on the Ferris Wheel and an attractive blonde woman hops in next to him. “I’ve got a toaster back home,” he lies. “Okay,” she responds. “What do you do for work?” He thinks for a moment. “I’m a scientist. You know, plants and robots and stuff.” They sit silently for 45 minutes.

As they approach the apex of the ride, his eyes drift upwards to the glittering network of constellations that crisscross the night sky. “Stars is fire,” he remarks. She smiles. “You know, my work brings me a bit closer to the stars than you might think.” He nods and sneezes into the pocket of his lab coat. “Well don’t you wanna know what I do?” she asks. “Alright, alright already!” he yells. “What in the world do you do?” The ride halts at the peak. “More like what out of this world do I do,” she says. “I run security down at the observatory.”

From the next car down, retired astronaut Buzz Aldrin exclaims, “Oh god I think I dropped my handkerchief. Can someone please catch my handkerchief? It’s going like really, really slow so it should be easy. Hello? My handkerchief! Hello?”