beepbeepbeep BEEEPBEEEP… beepbeepbeep BEEEPBEEEP… BEEEP BEEEEPbeeepbeeep beeepbeeeeep beeeeeeep.
Quantum entanglement. Teleportation. Where was The neighbors dog? Daydreaming. Phone call. Phillip jumped a little in his chair, the digital rendition of La Cucaracha always bothered him. Why couldn’t NASA just pay the extra cash to get the actual song instead of the chirp-like digital version. He let out a long sigh and tried to collect his thoughts before rubbing his eyes so hard he thought he popped a blood vessel. He looked around to make sure none of his supervisors saw him napping on the job and reached tired hand out to pick up the telephone.
“Hello, thanks for calling the National Aeronautics and Space Agency, this is Phillip how may I help you?”
“Huuullo?” A raspy and old sounding female voice called out from the other end of the line, “Is this a recording?”
“No ma’am, my Name is Phillip, I’m a person.”
“Weeeeell, hey there Phil, that’s a great name,” the voice spoke up after a second of silence, “had a nephew named Phil, what a little rascal.”
Phillip sighed again, the lady sounded like a Carolina river rat, an older type who he knew was going to be asking about the end of the world or something. He knew her kind, just assure her that the dark thing in the sky was not a UFO and after five minutes she’d be calm and collected enough to let him continue with his nap.
“Well…” Phillip started, “Anything I can help you with Misss…
“Brown,” the voice chirped up, “Call me Mrs. Brown, okay Phillip? Or Shelia, actually most of the youngin’s call me Mom nowadays. You can call me mom too if you’d like.”
“I’ll stick with Mrs. Brown, ma’am, is there anything I can help you with today?”
“Yeah, my husband, he’s not too bright nowadays, If I’ma bein honest, I tell ya it’s all that damn whiskey he drinks. But anyways, we was arguin and I said to him, you know what I said Phillip?”
“I said to him, ‘Bill, how you think that there moon stays up there?’ cause I’s always thought you scientist o’er there at NASA done a pretty good job gettin that thing to stay up there, but you wanna know what Bill said back? Bill, now Bill’s my husband Phillip, but you wanna know what he done said after I asked him?”
“Ma’am, I don-
“Ahh I can’t hardly contain it Phil,” The voice shrilled out of the phone, cutting Phillip off mid sentence again, “bless his poor soul, thank the Lord he’s got me around to handle the inter’lectual side of things, but Bill said to me, are you ready? He said ‘I don’t think NASA’s got anything ter do with the moon bein up there, I think it just stays up there all by itself,’ can you believe it?” A cackling laughter erupted from the earpiece of the phone, Phillip pulled it away from his head and twiddled at the plastic black cord that led back to the base of the phone, why hadn’t they been upgraded to cordless, he thought?
“Ummm, Ma’am, I’m not sure if I’m the correct person to handle this, maybe I should transfer you to the educational department.”
“Nonsense, Phillip, you stop bein so silly over there. The only reason I’s even called was so that I could get one of you scientists to tell my husband, his name is Bill, that he’s not makin a lick o sense out here, I mean really, the Moon stayin up in the sky all night all by isself- who ever heard o such foolery.”
“Umm… Ma’am, I’m no expert on the happenings going on here but I can assure you that NASA has nothing to do with holding the Moon up in the sky. I’m sorry Miss Brown-
“Misses Brown, but I believe your husband, -er Bill, is right on this one. The moon kinda does stay up there by itself, well gravity.”
There was a momentary silence followed by a ruffling on the other end of the line, Phillip made out the sounds of a deep and thick voice calling out from the background a very stern ‘I told you so,’ followed by another round of harsh cackling into the microphone from the other end of the line.
“Aww poor hun,” Mrs. Brown piped up in that weasely sounding voice again, “NASA’ll just take anybody these days. I may just be an ol woman from the south but I sure as hell know a rock can’t stay floatin up there in the sky like that wit’out government spendin God knows how much to keep it there. Sorry to been wastin your time young man.”
“But ma’am.” Phillip started contesting when he heard the faint click through the earpiece of his phone. He knew she hung up her end without allowing him the chance to say how wrong she was. He folded his arms on the desk in front of him and buried his face in the makeshift pillow of his forearms and thought about how thankful he was that it was almost the end of the day.
February 7, 2013