It was a cold, dark, starry night. I could see my breath in the chilled night air. The stars seemed especially bright tonight, like you could almost reach out and touch them. Yes, it was a beautiful fall night.
Did I mention the pair of feet I also saw sticking up in the air out of the garbage can?
I suppose I should have been surprised, maybe even alarmed to find a pair of feet sticking out of my garbage can ...but we're not what you might call a 'normal' family.
Me? I didn't even flinch.
I peeked inside to see what else was attached to those pair of feet sticking up. And there he was, slumped inside the can, frayed tennis shoes & feet in the air, and wearing a football helmet!
Again, strange behavior in most neighborhoods but not so far out of the range of normal behavior. At least not in my family. Bizarre behavior no doubt ...but then, kids do the strangest things. This 'kid' however happens to be my husband.
"WHAT ...are you doing?"
Oh, hey Honey! What are you talking about?
I gave him my best stern-faced glare of disdain I could muster ...without breaking out into laughter.
"Oh. You mean this? Well, I was reading about the early days of space exploration, you know... about those intrepid space explorers & just sort of got to wondering ...you know!"
"Intrepid," I said with one eyebrow raised?
"Yeah, I was wondering how it felt ...to be in the cold, dark, loneliness of space, cramped inside a tiny space capsule...."
"So," I interrupted, "you climb upside-down inside a garbage can wearing a football helmet, looking up into the stars all night. Let me guess, you're writing an article about this, aren't you?"
He grinned sheepishly. "Guilty as charged."
"Hey Buck Rogers! You do know that you're not really in outer space, don't you?"
"Yes I know..."
"So you're exploring the 'space' between your left and right ears?"
He bit his lip to keep from replying.
"And how long have you been out here, in the cold, night air."
"Five, maybe ten min..."
"How long," she demanded?
"Uhmm ...a couple hours?"
"I see. And you're conclusion on space is..."
"My conclusion," he continued, "is that when I get out of this garbage can, I will never do anything this stupid again!" and then he added, "So you promise not to tell anyone?"
"Not a word," I agreed with fingers crossed.
I helped the idiot I call my husband out of the garbage can. He gingerly worked the kinks out as we walked up the steps to go inside.
"No more space exploration for you?"
Not for me," he said. I'm offically retired!"
And then I had to say it. "You know ....NASA lost a great space cadet tonight!"
"And if you don't believe me remember, you can't make stuff like this up!"
The Final Frontier
The dark, empty void ...of inner space. Like the one between his left and right ears. I helped the idiot I call my husband out of his 'space capsule'.