Thursday, July 22, 2010

Its not the capsule I'm worried about...It's the rocket!

First of all, you have to understand that I live and have lived in Rocket City, USA for over 20 years now. Huntsville, Alabama was the answer to the Trivial Pursuit question, “What city has more PhDs per capita than any other city in the USA?” Lots of engineers in town. Lots and lots of Rocket Scienctists.

To complicate matters, I’m married to an engineer who just happens to be a Rocket Scientist. He prefers the term ‘Rocket Engineer’. Okay. Whatever. I call him Rocket Man. It isn’t unheard of for me to be sitting in a restaurant booth with him, lost in my own thoughts (or playing on my iPhone) while he has assumed the position with his BlackBerry to his ear and is saying something like, “Well, find Ernie and ask him if the paint loses its integrity at x to the minus 10 or 13! Get back to me as quickly as possible, please.”

There was a time in my innocent life that I would have laughed and that sentence and thought, “Oh, Molli! You heard that on a movie.” I mean, who talks like that? Really? Well, my Rocket Man does…for one. And the people he works with. And about 100,000 other Engineers here in Rocket City. When we say, “Houston, we have a problem”…Houston listens!

I had the funniest dream last night. I’ve been awake for two and a half hours and I’m still giggling. It might not be funny to anyone else in the whole world, but it is cracking me up.

I dreamt that Rocket Man and I were in a high tech NASA building, waiting for a launch countdown. Okay. Been there, done that. While it is exciting, it isn’t hilarious. Only thing was, after that launch, he and I were going to be strapped into an Orion capsule and be launched into orbit. And then the first rocket, the experimental flight, took off and exploded into a billion pieces. Right before my eyes.

In my dream, I looked at Ed Massey and said, “I’m not going! You are NOT strapping my ______ in that Orion capsule and lighting off that rocket! I. AM. NOT. GOING!

Now, you’d have to know that Rocket Man of mine, and his facial expressions and his way with words to truly appreciate this. He isn’t always the most patient man in the world, but when I get crazy, he gets very calm and extremely patient. So, in my dream, he gets that “Now, Mollianne” look and explains to me that he built the capsule. Its going to be fine. Just trust him. Yada, yada, yada.

Oh, did I mention that I HATE to fly. I hate the loss of control, the feeling of leaving the ground, of moving so quickly AND they make me turn of my iPod during take-of and landing AND I can’t have my knife in my possession while we fly? Okay, so you can imagine how I’d feel about a bazillion tons of highly explosive rocket fuel under my seat. I’m not comfortable about this at all.

I look at him with all frankness, trying to maintain some semblance of logic and reason and say to him, “It’s not the capsule I’m concerned about…it’s the rocket!”

Two of his cohorts were also in my dream. One, a NASA program manager and the other a sub-contractor who IS a rocket propulsion expert. They have assumed the Rocket Man-esque rational, logical stance. They assure me that they have built a fine capsule and I should just trust them. I’m sure if I hadn’t woken up, one of them would have explained to me that they had built a fine launch-abort system, just in case we needed it. But I shouldn’t worry. I wouldn’t need it.

Ha! You can’t fool ME! I know that none of those guys work for the company who actually has the contract to build the capsule.

So, in my dream, I did the last reasonable thing I could think of. I called my Daddy. He answered the phone and told me that he couldn’t talk. He and Mother were in Indianapolis (what?) and in traffic (they hate driving in city traffic) and had just missed their exit. Then he hung up. Hung! Up!

Looks like I’m stuck. Just as I woke up, I was looking at Rocket Man, giving him the look he gives me on occasion and saying, “Really. It’s not the capsule I’m worried about. IT’S THE ROCKET!”

I think I need a vacation!

This is the Ares IX during launch. Rocket Man and his co-horts built the Roll Control System on this baby and it worked. I guess they think they can strap me to anything they build and launch me now!


Annie said...

Funny funny stuff!! And I totally agree that you need a vacation! And rocket fuel under the butt does sound like a little fun :)

juelfo said...

I wish I would've waited to get married this time around. You could've hooked me up with one of these guys and you and I could be talking trash right now!!! LOL

Mollianne said...

No, rocket fuel under the hiney does NOT sound like fun to me.

I am ALWAYS up for talking some trash.