Watching for the delivery truck became my obsession. I couldn’t wait for the package to come, I’d never ordered anything like it before.”
Ever since I had read that wonderful story by Heinlein, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. I tried not to think about it. I mean who in today’s world owned one? I told myself it was too crazy to think about. I told myself that it was not possible to get one, but the effort it took to not think about it, or think of ways that I couldn’t have it, just made it worse.
I knew that they weren’t as popular as they had been in the ‘60’s, & now the entire program had been contracted out to the companies with the most money. I didn’t even have any contacts with anyone in those places. My parents knew a few mucky-mucks from some big offices up north. I only saw them once a year, when they came to our house, dressed in the most elegant attire, made snide comments about our meager Christmas tree, sipped eggnog & complained about the snow. Needless to say, they weren’t going to be any help.
In the story, the boy had sent in a-gazillion bubble gum wrappers, and was the winner of the contest. I didn’t chew gum, the orthodontist was very clear on that. As far as I know there weren’t any contests going on now either. Hollywood tried to adapt it to the big screen, and the only episode they got right was the description of the “mother thing”. It was disappointing, and I was thoroughly underwhelmed by the entire series.
I tried the obvious on line sites. I could have probably sold my mom, dad, house & the car, & still not had enough money to buy on Amazon. The guy on craigslist sounded a little suspicious. His comment about it being new & unopened, didn’t sit right. I searched the other sites with similar results. I was starting to consider my plan to order from amazon, when I got a text from my buddy Mike. Now Mike was an even bigger space nut than I was, we had known each other since the second grade, when he taught me to share by pushing me off the swings, & I taught him to run shortly afterwards. It’s one thing to know about the missions, the astronauts names, even the names of the shuttles, but his knowledge would have challenged Mr. Buzz Aldrin himself. He poured over texts and tomes of astrology & space exploration. His powers to recollect the most minute details was extraordinary, & I referred to him lovingly as my space cadet.
The news Mike had for me was mind blowing. He knew of my search, and the results thereof. He had agreed to help me months ago when I told him about the fantastic story I had read. Mike would be my hero forever when he said the now famous three words. I FOUND ONE.
So now that it’s on its way, a little bit of reality is starting to sink in & some unsettling questions were starting to surface. How was I going to hide this from my loving yet conservative parents, what if it doesn’t fit, I mean I don’t think I can return it, and the most obvious question was,…where did mike get it? I tried not to think about the negative stuff. I just concentrated on the fact that soon, hopefully very soon, I would be one step closer to my dream of being a real astronaut. I mean, I’d be one jump ahead of everyone else, with my own personal spacesuit.
I wonder if I can get my name embroidered on it?