Friday, August 05, 2005

Outer Space Is a Really Nice Place

Maybe it's because KCRW is kicking off its summer fundraising drive, but it seems that NPR has ratcheted up its stories this moring to thrill Volvo-drivers the suburbs over. Today Steve Inskeep interviewed Ed Francis, a vice president at space-suit--correction, "Extra-Vehicular Mobility Unit" (gee, I thought that would be a pedestrian?)--maker Hamilton Sundstrand. (Company Motto: The Only Space Suit You'll Ever Need cause if it fails, well, you won't need another one.)

Ed Francis says, "A space suit, in its simplest terms, is a one-man space ship," which goes to show why you need to listen to NPR, since I would have guessed a space suit, in its simplest terms, is a suit you wear in space.

But the segment doesn't really get going until Francis discusses the excitement of a Filene's Basement Extra-Vehicular Mobility Unit Sale, when eager women travel hundreds of miles to rush Filene's at 8 am, hoping to find that perfect space suit for a mere $7.5 million, a deep discount form the original $12 mil. Although the suits weigh 240 pounds on earth, since it's meant for the vacuum of space, it never makes a woman's butt look big. As Francis points out, like an astronaut, a bride has to "work in one of the most hazardous environments that there is," a world where all eyes are on her and there will be photos that will last a lifetime, or at least until the next marriage and the photo of the bride with that cheating rat bastard may he rot in hell gets put away. While astronauts must fear micro-meteorites, brides need to be protected from waves of deadly rice. The energy bar in the helmet is a big plus, since it's so hard to eat the meal when greeting all the guests and trying to kiss with a helmet on when the stupid guests start clinking their knives on their water glasses as if you and the new hubby weren't goint to spend the entire evening on the lunar surface committing interstellar perversion.


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