Maiello: Defeat the Press
Miami Fans Mistakenly Chant "Let's Go Eat" During Playoff Game
July 20, 2029
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first moon landing, NASA staged a high-tech reenactment of the event in Nevada National Landfill Park. The landing was delayed by several hours due to cloudy weather and space junk that disrupted satellite transmission of President George Prescott Bush's remote broadcast from Washington D.C. Officials finally commenced the mission without the President's address after impatient visitors began shouting and throwing landfill refuse, including vintage Pepsi bottles, plastic shopping bags, and other historic artifacts.
The crowd cheered as the landing countdown crackled from portable speakers and a burst of smoke and flame produced by 5,000 simultaneously exploding Bodacious Blast Rainbow Firecrackers™ simulated the firing of the the Apollo 11 lunar lander's thrusters. When the smoke cleared, onlookers were treated to the sight of a gleaming replica of the lander built from high tensile recycled plastic and aluminum foil. The latter had been donated by thousands of elementary students who had decorated scraps of foil from their own bag lunches with pictures of smiling astronauts, aliens, and assorted celebrities.
After the pyrotechnics, the audience waited silently in anticipation for several minutes. Finally, a frantic tapping sound was heard from inside the lander. Several NASA engineers rushed to the lander's escape hatch and worked feverishly to break the seals. After twenty tense minutes, they succeeded in prying the hatch open with the handle of a discarded Swiffer™, a primitive cleaning device popular around the turn of the century. The engineers swiftly extracted Nellie Armstrong, astronaut Neil Armstrong's great-granddaughter, and placed her in a wheelchair with oversize wheels to resemble a lunar rover. While the presence of the wheelchair diverges from the original moonwalk, it represents the progress of handicapped people in the 60 years since the landing. Ms. Armstrong rolled several feet and planted an American flag in the sand. Addressing the hushed audience, she eloquently pronounced a modernized version of Neil Armstrong's famous line, declaring:
"One small movement for a person, one giant movement for personkind of all races, classes, creeds, sexual orientations, physical disabilities, and other distinguishing attributes."
NASA technicians then launched a celebratory round of Bodacious Blast Rainbow Firecrackers™ which ignited a pile of half-buried tires near the landing site. Ms. Armstrong suffered first-degree burns and was helicopter evacuated to the Bellagio Memorial Medical Center Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. She was later awarded a Purple Heart and is reported to be in stable condition. The tires continue to burn, but firefighters have reportedly contained the blaze.
NASA spokesperson, Will Spinwell, pronounced the mission an "unqualified success" citing the heroics of NASA employees in rescuing Ms. Armstrong from the malfunctioning lander and subsequent conflagration. He declared that the achievement justified increasing NASA's budget, which has been cut to a fraction its size from the time the original moon landing, and said:
"From Christopher Columbus to Pocahontas to James T. Kirk, the American people have always dreamed of new frontiers and striven against the odds to go where no one has gone before. Today, Nellie Armstrong proved by her historic voyage that we're still going, just a little more slowly is all."
NASA officials estimated that nearly 500 people turned out to watch the event, shattering park visitation records, though a park official, speaking on condition if anonymity, put the number of visitors at 73, which would still be a park record.
Retired telemarketer, Kip Caullin, drove all the way from Reno to witness the event and said that he was moved by the experience:
"My mom always said the moon landing was a fake, so I decided to see for myself if the government could pull it off. I still ain't sure, but it was cool when the tires caught fire."
Not everyone was enthusiastic, however. Environmentalists decried the damage done to the unspoiled wilderness of Nevada National Landfill Park, and others criticized the use of taxpayer money for space exploration. Adam Winer of San Francisco, who attended the event wearing a T-shirt that read, "Space is a Waste of Space!" told reporters,
"The government shouldn't spend our money on moon missions. We should be helping poor people and stuff."
The real measure of the mission's success may be in the inspiration that it offered to the next generation. Keilah Greenman of Las Vegas, age 6, said that she planned to become an astronaut so that she could "kill all the aliens."
But Ms. Greenman may have to wait a while before she can execute any Martians. In light of budget cuts, the proliferation of space junk, and liability concerns, NASA has placed a moratorium on extra-atmospheric missions until conditions are "more favorable for success."
News From the Future is a series of dagblog.com exclusives about events that have yet to occur. We've received the articles through a glitch in the blogosphere known as a bunghole. Previous headlines: