The neighborhood nominated me. To travel on the rocket to Mars. Old Man Beets had been tinkering for a while in his backyard and created a rocket that could rival NASA or any space organization.
“Just a bit more comfortable than the Russians would have created.” He screwed a screw.
“Are you sure it’s going to Mars?” I asked.
He wiped the sweat on his face with Mrs. Driscoll’s handkerchief. “Boy, of course, it is. Don’t you want to be the first man on Mars?”
“I’d like to be the first man in Chelsea’s panties, for sure.” I wasn’t lying. That’s what I wanted.
Beets waved his hand. “No need worrying about pussy. You’ll get plenty when you return from Mars.”
“Splendid,” I said. If an American had heard me they might think I was gay. I’m not. I just sound affected. Like a little boy about to wear a costume for a Shakespearean play. A Midsummer Night’s Eve. Perhaps.
I boarded the ship molded with too much tin foil and rocketed off. I waved back at the neighborhood. Splendid. I was rattling to outer space and they were about to make a cuppa and watch the East Enders.
The ride to Mars was bumpy and long. The food machine stopped spitting out fish and chips one year in. I was stuck with American food. Chicken crispers. Macaroni and cheese. Hamburgers minus the juice. Please have mercy.
Mars was cold. No one else was there. What was I to do? I planted a British flag. Strange. The rocket had run out of tea two years ago and now it was spitting out BBQ ribs and Starbucks coffee.
“For England, I claim,” I said. Really? Christ. I can’t even get a cuppa of tea. No beans and fried tomatoes. Fuck. Was this an American rocket? And then I remembered Old Man Beets was half and half. Half British and Half New York. “I’m heading back now.”
It took three years and endless cups of Starbucks and American food crap. Panda Express. Applebee’s. When I landed only Old Man Beets was there.
“Where’re the ladies?”
“Oh, you mean pussy? Long gone. Welcome home.”
I collapsed in tears until a girl appeared.
“You can have my pussy,” she said. And so I did. So I did. And that is my space travel story.