Having already taken care of the Shuttle Schweitzer’s monthly report for June, I volunteered to write the July report as well. Not having learned from the previous month’s experience, Matt decided to take me up on it. The Monty Python gags continued.
Having been tossed into the Gorge of Infinite Peril at the end of last month’s MSR, Matt drew a deep breath for what he was certain would be a long drawn out “Noooooooooooooooooooooo!” worthy of Wile E. Coyote falling off the cliff for the fifth time in three minutes. Much to his surprise though, he’d barely started drawing his breath, much less yelling, when he was quite startled to hit bottom, letting out a deep “WHUMPF!” instead.
After regaining his breath, Matt sat up, looked around, and muttered under his breath, “Gorge of Infinite Peril indeed! The contractor really cut some corners on this one! Why this barely qualifies as a shallow trench and peril? Oh, I suppose all the dust ground into my uniform will upset my wife, but infinite peril? Give me a break!”
Just then Matt spotted a piece of paper the wind had apparently blown up against the trench wall. Curious, he picked it up and turned it over. His blood froze in his veins as he read the words inscribed on the paper’s reverse:
Dropping the paper as though it had stung him, Matt backpedaled furiously. When his back hit the trench wall he jumped up and scrambled out.
Getting his bearings, Matt realized he was now on the opposite side of the trench from Area 51 and that the guards had indeed succeeded in throwing him out. Finding a road, he arbitrarily decided to turn left and started walking toward what he hoped would be civilization.
As he strode down the road, Matt found reflected on how closely the previous MSR had resembled something from Monty Python. As the day wore on, his stomach started to rumble just as a town came into view. His spirits lifting, Matt began to whistle. His stomach rumbled again, as if to ask why he was whistling instead of looking for food just as his eyes fell on a nearby storefront. “Hey! It’s a cheese shop! That’s perfect! And look! Right next door is a pet shop! I wonder if they have any Norwegian Blue parrots? I hear they have magnificent plumage.”
Meanwhile, back on Space Station Schweitzer, the crew began preparing for Shore Leave. It would only be a three-day event, but all hands were looking forward to rubbing shoulders with a variety of friends from throughout the galaxy.