Younger offspring: (climbing on a bed) Let’s launch a mission to space!
Dr. Free-Ride: OK.
Younger offspring: (using a blanket and a pillow to fashion a helmet) I’m going to put on a space-suit.
Dr. Free-Ride: Are you planning a space-walk on this mission?
Younger offspring: Yep. If astronauts need to pee in the middle of a space-walk, they can go right in their space-suits. But we’re just playing, so I won’t do that.
Dr. Free-Ride: Imagine my relief.
The Free-Ride offspring share some of their thoughts in the aftermath of their visit to the Air and Space Museum:
Elder offspring: I really liked the airplanes from World War I. It was neat to see how different airplanes were then from what they’re like now, especially the biplanes.
Younger offspring: Also, they had some pictures of Snoopy in those exhibits.
Dr. Free-Ride: What did you think about walking through Skylab?
Elder offspring: That was pretty cool. I like the table where they docked their cans of food so they wouldn’t fly away.
Younger offspring: I thought the big tube they stood in to take a shower was funny!
Elder offspring: When we walked through it, it seemed really small, but then you could look and see that Skylab was this whole big cylinder and we only walked through one slice of it.
Younger offspring: I liked the movie about how the Man in the Moon’s face got to be there — the big crater that’s the right eye came from an asteroid, and the dark parts of the face came from lava that came up from the center of the moon.
Elder offspring: I liked the movies of the rocket launches and the moon walks.
Dr. Free-Ride: Do you think you’d want to go on a space mission?
Younger offspring: Yeah!
Dr. Free-Ride: What do you think would be the best part?
Elder offspring: Being weightless.
Younger offspring: Eating foods from tubes.
Dr. Free-Ride: What do you think would be the hardest part?
Elder offspring: Having your food float away from you.
Younger offspring: Getting bored.
Elder offspring: I could play my GameBoy if I got bored.
Younger offspring: What if your batteries ran out?
Dr. Free-Ride: On a space mission, I have a feeling you’d have lots of things to do to make sure the space ship was functioning properly, and probably there would be scientific experiments you’d have to run. You probably wouldn’t get too bored.
Elder offspring: I’d bring my sketch book just in case.
Dr. Free-Ride: So, where would you want to go in space?
Elder offspring: Probably to Saturn, so I could see the rings up close.
Younger offspring: Then you should bring your colored pencils.