Thursday, April 07, 2005

Oops!

The crash was in some ways typical. While traveling at a high rate of speed, the braking system failed. Significant damage resulted and the emergency rescue team responded to the scene with serious concern. At least alcohol or drugs did not play a part in the accident. In other ways, the collision was somewhat unique. No lawyer offered to file a suit claiming $37 million for whiplash, lost earnings and emotional distress. No insurance adjustor rushed to the scene to get a release signed relieving the company of all responsibility. Of course the specifics of the accident were also a bit out of the ordinary. The vehicle had been involved in a head-on collision at over 200 miles an hour with the State of Utah.

If you ever decide to have a head-on collision with a US state, Utah is a good choice. At 84,904 square miles it’s tough to miss. With only about 27 people per square mile, the odds of winding up in a multi-person wreck are pretty low. That must be why Genesis decided on Utah instead of Rhode Island. Genesis is a space probe that returned to earth after flying about 2 million miles to collect particles from the solar wind emitted by the sun. The $267 million price tag not only covered the travel expenses. It also made sure Genesis was loaded with exotic collection panels and lots of technology to navigate its course, monitor its environment, and keep track of where it was. Everything was going according to plan until the parachutes failed to open on the return leg of the flight. Genesis, or the 10,000 plus pieces of Genesis that survived slamming into Utah, continues to be studied with some hope that there’s a few solar wind particles still attached, maybe to the seat belts or the CD player.

The problem of retrieving the solar dust is a very complicated one. It’s all mixed up with Utah dirt, dry lake salt crystals, powdered silicon and burnt up heat shield crud. Then there’s the brown stain. NASA’s Karen McNamara admitted that the brown stain is a mystery. ‘We have to look at the idea that something happened in space…outgassing or condensation of some type of material.’ The question of the brown stain has created some concern in the scientific community. If it’s an exotic life form that was picked up in outer space it might not be very happy to be stuck in Utah. Between the restrictive liquor laws and the fact that most of the heavily Mormon population tries to convince visitors to give up coffee, a lot of normal life forms are not happy to be stuck in Utah. The other concern is that this discovery might inspire some Japanese film company to make a new movie called the ‘Brown Stain that Ate Salt Lake City’. Even if the world is ready for an invasion from outer space, it is generally agreed that the world is not ready for another Japanese monster movie. The thought of comely nano-biologist Valerie Le Bonk (played by Paris Hilton) exchanging furtive, sex-charged glances with kindly old Dr Sakimoto Fujimoridu (played by Sean Penn) in the ‘raboratory’ is a real horror.

Perhaps the NASA scientists should focus their scientific efforts on the last few moments before the crash impact of Genesis. After all, this technological marvel was able to navigate. It did know where it was and it was able to sense its altitude and speed. It probably had the ability to compute the gravitational forces and the results of hitting the state of Utah at over 200 miles an hour. It certainly could count down the few remaining minutes and seconds until the point of impact. That foreknowledge, and the certainty of what was about to happen might explain the brown stain.

8 Comments:

Anonymous kitty teltscher said...

Hi Kevin,

Very funny - made me laugh out loud. As did the play I saw last night 'The Producers'.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous kitty teltscher said...

A friend from Monaco told me that Prince Rainier actually died the same day as the Pope, but it was hushed up, as the clash would make his passing insignificant. It's just hearsay, but might that be an idea for a column...?

6:26 AM  
Blogger Africanuck said...

That last sentence is priceless, I'm sitting here giggling to myself. :D

7:16 AM  
Blogger Abby Taylor said...

This is a little known fact, but Utah has a stronger gravitational pull than any other state. In fact, that's how the United States came to be... it was either unite, and quick, or risk being sucked into the Great Salt Lake. There used to be two other states to the north of Utah... at a time when the Great Salt Lake was much smaller.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Karass said...

your blog is hilarious, especially the title line. I came here on blogexplosion and I can't see your url. please send me your url so I can link you!

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very funny blog...you have a great perspective. I'll be visiting often.

Ana - Independence of
Mind

8:38 AM  
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12:56 AM  
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12:56 AM  

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