Here’s the original letter…actual names have been edited to protect the innocent:
Dear xx. xxxxxx WYKKED KEWL,
Long time no email. If you’ve forgotten, this is one of your former Astronomy 101 students, Johnny Spot. I was the chick that always wore the crazy scarves and laughed inanely at your “Cast of Degrassi High Explains Space” videos. I have embarked upon a new project, founding The Rubber Chicken Society — a loosely knit conglomerate of idiots who enjoy rubber chicken related humor. In my function as RCS Press Representative, I am in charge of blogging (what an ugly word, it sounds like slang for emptying the poop barrel on an RV) about RCS events and activities. Recently, the RCS has entered the space race. You can read all about it on the blog: www.rubberchickensociety.wordpress.com. Basically, the RCS plans to send a rocket with a rubber chicken dressed like Khan from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan duct taped to it into ACTUAL space. We need your help. Would you be interested in advising us ex officio (or totally officio if you prefer) style? I’ve sent an open letter to NASA requesting their help as well. Somehow, I don’t think that they’re probably getting back to me. Please let me know if you’re interested in amateur rocketry. Thanks for your time!
RCS Press Representative
And the response:
Rubber chickens huh? Glad to see you haven’t gotten any more sane! So, by “actual space” I guess you mean something like “in orbit”. That’s definitely not an easy task. I’m no rocket engineer, so I don’t know how much help I’d be on that, but I know enough about the physics to be able to say something about how much energy is required, for instance.
I’d happy to be of help if I can!
XX Dr. T
And THEN I wrote back:
Dear Dr. T (Wykked Kewl),
Thank you for complimenting my sanity. I’m glad that you understand that getting more sane is not an option for me, as I have totally maxed out on the amount of sanity one person can have. Sometimes, I have sanity give-aways where I donate my extra sanity to needy people, like sorority girls. I’m philanthropic, yo.
Yes, sir, by “actual space” I do mean in orbit, although the chicken does not have to maintain orbit for any length of time. In fact, if we could just get the sucker marginally higher than those bratty school children did, I’d probably be pretty much appeased. I wasn’t aware how difficult this was going to be until an alert reader suggested that it could possibly cost 100′s of thousands of dollars to send an 8oz chicken into space. I’m planning on asking Mark Zuckerberg for some funding. This seems like it would be right up his alley.
Basically, I need three things from you: first I need to be able to call you Dr. T in all my blog posts so that I can out-qualify the A-Team (they only have a Mr.), I need your permission to publish your findings as they relate to my stupidity, and I need your expertise. Let me know. If you help us, I’d be willing to do the launch in front of one of your classes or something (unless a bunch of Awesome Wonks From NASA can’t make it to ______). Also, I’d probably make you a t-shirt that says, “Dr. T and the Women,” or something appreciably better if I ever think of it.
Have you seen the PLAN?
Also, do you have any email addresses for NASA guys — probably ones you don’t like would be best. I need some more dudes to gently harass into building me a chicken rocket!
Thanks! Great to hear from you!
And then Dr. T responded:
I have seen the PLAN, and I appreciate the comments of your engineering department. Definitely easier said than drawn. Zuckerberg is a good lead, he’s a sucker for this kind of thing, probably – have you seen facebook?
I’d say 100′s of thousands is reasonable. Takes a lot of energy to get to orbit, even if it is just carting a rubber chicken. Also duct tape is very unlikely to survive the ride when applied to the outside of the rocket. You know, you could always start small with a hobby-store rocket kit, and work your way up!
You are welcome to refer to me as Dr. T, just so long as I don’t have to wear a mohawk. Though that might be pretty cool, now that I think of it.
I do have some NASA contacts, but no one I don’t like!
SO…that’s where we’re at, folks. WE HAVE AN ASTROPHYSICIST NAMED DR.T WHO THINKS IT WOULD BE COOL TO GET A MOHAWK!!!!! THIS PROJECT IS CLEARLY GOING…well, somewhere.