OG and I were lounging after a long day at Oktoberfest, watching Aliens for the 37th time, when the phone rang. Blocked caller. Reluctantly, OG answered her phone and immediately looked like she regretted it. She grimaced. Waved her free hand in the air.
Yes. Okay. Understood. Those were her one-word answers as she listened to the person on the other end talking at a staccato clip.
I didn’t understand a thing, but from the look on OG’s face, I knew it was serious. Deadly serious. Like, “In space, no one can hear you scream” serious.
“We have an assignment,” OG said as she tossed down the phone. “We have to go. Now.”
“Go where?” I asked. “We haven’t even gotten to the part where where the alien pops out of Kane’s chest. That’s the best part.” I pleaded. I was whining. And pouting a little.
“SCHNELL,” is all OG said. I hopped up. Pushed pause on the movie. And grabbed my coat.
“Where are we going?” I gasped as I ran to catch up. OG was already sprinting down the stairs and vaulting into an idling SUV. One of those official-looking government vehicles. You’ll see,” she said, mysteriously. “You’ll see.”
An hour later, OG and I are in spacesuits on top of a hot rocket. We’re strapped in and ready. And at the last second before the technicians close the cargo bay door, Hal, the lead technician, leans in and hands OG a large mechanical device. “You’ll need this up there,” he says as he backs out of the capsule. “Take good care of it. We’re counting on you.”
And an in instant, they lit that candle and OG and I were blazing at warp speed out to the Kuiper Belt.
Turns out, OG and I were tapped to vacuum space. We had become internet famous for our YouTube channel, This Sucks, where we tested all kinds of home and industrial vacuums. One of our most-watched videos included the time we went to the original Legoland in Denmark and I lost control of a giant industrial vacuum we were testing, accidentally sucking up a million Lego bricks that were being used to build a replica of The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen. The Danes were not amused. But you really can’t tell with Danes. They have a particular way about them. They don’t react much.
OG and I were also were internet famous for using a Dustbuster to vacuum a 100km stretch of the Autobahn. We cleaned the lint traps in all the clothes dryers in laundromats in Brooklyn. And in our most famous test, we tried out 43 types of vacuums to clean up after a crafter in Tierra del Fuego dropped a bottle of glitter on her desk. Nothing worked. We failed. (An Argentinian PhD student did her dissertation on The Mathematical Distribution of Micro-glitter from Tierra del Fuego to the South Pole and the Effects of a Glitter Bombs. Trust me, glitter goes everywhere. Her research shows we all are likely to encounter that glitter sometime in our life. It’s more pervasive than stardust.)
After OG and I got done vacuuming the Kuiper Belt (I could tell you why we had to do it, and why so quickly, but that’s classified), we were granted a little time off. And since it was still Oktoberfest, OG and I thought it would be fun to meld our love of Star Wars with our love of dirndls and polkas. Plus, in space, no one can hear anything. (It’s the vacuum of space!) So we could blast our music as loudly as we wanted. What? Were our neighbors on Neptune gonna complain?
The best part about that cleanup of the Kuiper Belt, besides the fact we had a killer YouTube video to show, was that we got to stop by Moonbase on the way home. And I mean, Vespas are fun, and so is driving trains, but look at OG and me as we zipped around on those Moonbase Patrol Scooters.
Well, all good things have to come to an end. But as a special thank you, the People-Who-Called-OG-and-Will-Remain-Nameless asked us what we’d like to do back on earth. OG said she always wanted a ride on the Concorde. So they got one of the SSTs out of mothballs and gave us a ride. OG sat in the same seat where David Bowie sat years earlier. We ate canapés. And flew from New York to London and back to New York. Because…why not?
I asked for a Dick Tracy watch. “Um, how about an Apple Watch?” said the head of People-Who-Called-OG-and-Will-Remain-Nameless. “More features than a Dick Tracy watch.”
I nodded. And OG looked over at me. “Wanna watch the end of Aliens?” I asked her. “Yeah, let’s do that,” OG said as she flipped on the video player in the Concorde. “In space no one can hear you scream.”