When NASA told me I was going to space, I cracked a really funny joke: “Space? As in ‘outer’ space?” I was then told that I hadn’t taken the situation seriously enough and had to wait another eight years before I was asked to go again.
I began fantasizing about all the ways my life would change for the better. For instance, I assumed that my favorite bagel place, Large Sesame Seed Bagels (they’ve got the largest sesame seeds I have ever seen), would name a menu item after me. Whenever anyone bit into my usual—a plain bagel with a cup of water for dipping and extra napkins on the side—they would think of my heroism. But that never happened; no one respects me after I got a stomachache in space and NASA had to send my mom to come to pick me up early.
The worst part was that a local news team ran a story that the reason my mom picked me up was because I was scared. If they had bothered to do even a modicum of research, these so-called “reporters” would have learned that a big part of astronaut training involves watching scary movies and also spending an entire night in a haunted house to prove you are brave. So to say I was scared is ridiculous.
What actually happened was I ate too much astronaut ice cream, and got a really bad stomachache. You may be wondering why I didn’t just drink some ginger ale to make my stomach feel better. Well, you can’t have soda in space because the gravity fucks with the carbonation, genius. I didn’t get my degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Southern Arkansas Community College for Guys Who Want to Learn About Space (And By “Guys,” We Mean Both Men and Women, We Are Learning to Be Woke, Please Bear With Us) without picking up a thing or two.
Anyway, once I realized I was probably going to yarf, I called mission control and told them the situation. Since you really don’t want yarf getting in all the machines and computers and stuff, we agreed that it would be best if my 76-year-old mother picked me up early.
So please stop sharing the “Astronaut Crybaby” meme (in which I am in my full space suit, my mother is giving me a hug, and my eyes are all red) with captions like “lmaooo what a shrimpass little turd.” I was not crying. Your eyes just get really dry when you come back to Earth because of the differences in pressure when you cross the atmosphere. The reason that my mother’s eyes aren’t red is because it affects men and women differently. It’s biology, okay?
I really wish I had just stayed on that rocket ship, not only to spare myself all this humiliation but because I later found out that after I left, a bunch of aliens boarded the ship and had a big orgy with everyone. If the top secret photos NASA showed me of the alien species that exist are to be believed, then awooooga! Picture a hot Mark Zuckerberg, but with the most sinewy tentacles you’ve ever seen, grey skin that is constantly covered in a mucus-y layer, and radiating just the sexiest energy (this energy is actual radiation which can cause cancer in humans). Hubba hubba! It was an especially big bummer because another reason that I wanted to become an astronaut was so I could lose my virginity to an alien, start dating them, and then post an Instagram of us where I call them “bae.”
Since no one from NASA has agreed to aid in my quest for redemption by sending me back into space, I am constructing a large, Wile E. Coyote-eseque rocket in my garage with the help of my cousin’s coworker’s son (Trevor is president of the robotics club at his middle school). I told Trevor two things: Make the rocket powerful, and put some handles on the sides. I’ll take care of the rest. Because I am an astronaut. And I am owed respect.