“Captain! Our landing is in danger. I can’t see a thing!”
“What? What the blazes is going on?”
“All I see is this reddish haze. It’s been here for at least half an hour.”
“Well, keep going. We HAVE to complete our trip.”
“Whoa! The ground’s right there. And it looks like it’s covered in flowing ice!”
“OW! That bump hurt. Did we land? And why are we skidding?”
“I’m not sure. I guess this ice isn’t great for smooth landings.”
“Well, stop us!”
“Whew. We stopped, and we’re here.”
“Last time I land a spacecraft on Pluto.”
P.S. This story is based on an article I found at (http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/conditions-on-pluto-incredibly-hazy-with-flowing-ice/ar-AAdrdBZ). Let’s just say it fit well with a recurring theme here in F.F.F., too.
“I just wrote a short fiction piece that’s not really fiction.”
“I changed everyone’s name.”
“It’s still nonfiction, then, unless you changed the plot and characters to the point that women became men, vice versa, and the ending changed.”
“Yeah, I did that, changed the setting, added characters, and turned others into composites.”
“I think your piece is ‘based on a true story.’”
“Also, it took place a hundred years earlier, and the characters would never recognize themselves or the events that took place.”
“So you were inspired by something that actually happened.”
“Then maybe it was fiction.”
For international readers requiring clarification, Kepler 452b is not a well-known bikers paradise in the north of Scotland, although its summers may have similar weather to what we’re experiencing now.
It put me in mind of a 100% true story from 41 years ago, which I’ve opted to share in F.F.F. form although of course it’s not fiction.
Journey Into the Unknown by Gordon Lawrie
I remember it as though yesterday: a miserably wet Wednesday night in March 1974. Hearts, my football team, against Ayr United, played in teeming rain. No covered spectator enclosures in those days.
Afterwards we were in no mood to hang around, so our driver decided to take a ‘short cut home’. Then the mist descended, fog actually. We drove along tiny Ayrshire country lanes for almost twenty miles, unable to see more than five yards around us with no evidence of life, habitation, or even another vehicle.
Then we saw a sign.
WELCOME TO MOSCOW
We decided we were lost.
* * *
(Look up an atlas for an explanation if you need to!)
Morning all and happy Friday. My story this week is inspired by the fact that I am actually off on my hols today – a week touring the north of Scotland on a motorbike (pillion passenger only). Have a good week y’all.
Destination Unknown by Emma Baird
The Brunton family holiday usually consisted of a couple of weeks in a static caravan on the coast.
As there were a lot of them, this arrangement was the only one that worked. This year, though, a mystery benefactor had stepped in. Mrs Brunton had received an email, telling her the family had won an all-expenses paid holiday abroad.
Mini Bruntons bubbled over with excitement at the idea of a sunshine holiday. “Where are we actually going?” Mrs Brunton asked as they boarded.
“Ah well, the journey might take a while,” the steward answered. “We’re off to Kepler 452b.”
The black birds became violent and snapped at anyone who sat on our back deck.
Even our cats were not spared.
We discovered the black bird’s nest high on the Magnolia tree, in our yard.
A few days later suddenly their whining and violence stopped
We were relieved but wondered, why?
One night with no breeze, noise of leaves flickering comes from the Magnolia tree.
A giant Possum climbing down the tree, had driven the black birds away.
The animal world still depends on size and strength of muscle.
Only humans, God’s best creation, rule with their head.
“May I help you with those suitcases?”
“How nice of you!”
“Didn’t you just move in?”
“I’m going on a world cruise! I’m so excited! I hope I have enough clothes.”
“Shouldn’t be a problem. You must have a dozen suitcases.”
“The cruise line said ‘no limit.’ Thanks for loading my van.”
She drives off. A few minutes later, a car drives up, and a woman gets out and walks to the door.
“She just left,” says the helpful neighbor.
“My new neighbor.”
“I’m your new neighbor!”
She runs inside and screams, “She stole all my clothes and jewelry!”
“Yeah, that’s what they all say,” said the photographer, getting ready.
“I mean it,” she insisted from behind her mahogany desk. “I’ll break the camera. I always do.”
“Look, your company wants publicity photographs of all new Board members. Smile, please!”
Something tinkled quietly. Dismayed, the photographer realised his upmarket Canon’s lens had shattered. He tried a Nikon, then his beloved Leica. Same thing, each destroyed.
“Told you,” said the woman. “I’m ugly.”
The photographer looked; she might be right, though it would be wrong to say so. But in the end the company settled for an artist’s line sketch.
Joe and Matt ordered another round.
Matt stared at Joe. “What’s the difference between politeness and tact?”
“Well, Matt, let’s say you bump into a woman who’s coming out of the men’s room. If you say ‘Excuse me, ma’am,’ that’s polite. If you say, ‘Excuse me, sir,’ that’s tactful.
“Yeah, Joe, but what if you intuit that the woman you bump into self-identifies as a man?”
“That’s easy. Just say ‘excuse me.’”
Matt drained his schooner. “Okay, Joe, but is that politeness or tact?”
“Who gives a shit.”
“Jeez, I’m glad I’m not you, man.”
“Right back at ya’, pal.”
Serf Efriken physicists have solved the problem of gravity on Pluto and golf. Next week I’m going there soon for my daughter’s wedding, and I’m there to play golf on Pluto. The physicists solved the problem of gravity by building a gravity field under the golf course. The surface of Pluto, and thus the courses, has an underlying metal layer that is easily charged to create a magnetic field. Since that time golfers from various planets are now flocking to Pluto. To travel there using thought speed takes but a few split seconds. Thought speed is another invention of these physicists.
“Man–is that darned Open still going on?”
“Yep. Isn’t it wonderful?”
“Seriously? YOU like golf?”
“Hey–I’ve played all my life!”
“And you haven’t permanently gone to sleep yet?”
“At least this Open’s more interesting, now that it’s been moved to Pluto.”
“Oh, yeah? How so?”
“For starters, they can’t keep golf balls on the ground. No gravity.”
“So what do they do?”
“For one thing, all the holes are now in the air.”
“And the players fly while hitting, too. Wild.”
“Cut me a slice of that!”
“Really. We gotta hit Pluto for some golfing fun.”