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The pallbearers’ abductions

The pallbearers’ abductions

Friday, Feb, 26, 1999 Johnson Space Flight Center, Astrobiology Labs Florida,

“Phil! Come to my office.” said Dr. Porter as he stood in the doorway of Phil’s lab. Phil wrote down a few numbers from the data recorder on his clipboard and started out of the lab to Dr. Porter’s office studying his data sheet as he went. “Phil!” Betty yelled, “Watch where you’re going!” Phil looked up to see a mutant water cooler blocking his way, and side step out in to the hall way. “Thanks Betty!” Bellowed over his shoulder not breaking his hasty stride, causing the young lab techs to dodge from his path he reached the doorway of Dr. Porter’s office. “Good morning Phil! Go on in He is waiting for you”. Said the sweetly speaking Georgia peach of a file clerk, although he didn’t need her announcement to know he was in Dr. Porter’s office. The magnolia and honeysuckle perfume she wore told him he had reached is destination. “Thank you; Annabel, Could you put these papers in a folder for me?” He handed her the clipboard. “Oh! Hi Phil, come on in and have a seat, Oh, and shut the door,” said Dr. Porter amiably.  “How’s the wife and kids?” Phil sat and wondered at Dr. Porter s unusual demeanor.  “Their fine, Robert won his Little League game yesterday.” Phil replied. This small talk was making him apprehensive. Dr Porter was a man who to got the point No wasted chatter.    

Dr. Porter sighed; “Phil I don’t know how to put this;” he pause and rose from his chair to pace behind his desk like a caged animal. “Its them damned bureaucrats in Washington them dam fools. What the hell do they think they’re doing?” He paused, “well Phil they have shut us down, No funding. And they have sent an auditor to inventory and sell off our lab equipment and experiments.” Who? What? Wait a minute? What are you saying? Phil came to his feet,” Phil you’ve got two week to pack up your research.”  Phil drop back into the chair.  “But what about Skylab?  the launch is six weeks out? “Sorry Phil, you, Skylab, and the launch has been scrubbed.”  Phil sat there A zombie had more life then he did at this moment.  All his hard work training his dream of going to space, all exploded the shrapnel littered his mind like stars in the sky out of reach. Phil! Phil! Have you heard a word of what I said? Barked Dr. Porter the semiretired Navel Captain came out. “What am I going to do?” Phil said, thinking out loud. Phil, I hope you don’t mind but I had Annabel send your resume to the US Department of forestry service, and they have sent you a job offer. You like playing in with bug don’t you? Dr. Porter said like he was offering ice cream to a child that he just knocked flat on his back. Phil looked at the paper his mind could not focus on the paper it could just as well been blank as blank as he was.  “Phil, take the rest of the day off. Get some rest and think about the offer. It will put you and Peggy back home in Montana.”

Montana? Home? Phil’s mind raced back fifteen years to home and the Big Sky Country. He bolted back to really when the guard asks “Done for the day?” Phil sighed; yeah I will be back in the morning.  It just dawned on him; he was in his car and going home. He was not sure if he even knew the way he sure did not know how he came to be in the car it all was a bad dream, must be the lab coffee or the three-day-old lab experiment of a donut. Oh! What a pain in his head. What had he done? Drink a fifth of scotch.  hey you dumb ass where the hell do you think you’re going park that dam ford or drive it but get out of the dam way; A guy yelled a guy from behind the wheel of another car. In a befuddle fog, He pulled over to the side of the road.  What did Dr. Porter mean play with bugs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe Phil could adapt the skylab to put some little bugs in there and have them be irradiated during the trip up. They would grow large enough to handle the space lab plus procreate and learn to send giant bugs back to earth and see how the government would like that.

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