Written by Robert W. Armijo
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Sunday, 19 July 2009

image for Astronauts put the "Final" touches on ISS "Space Porch"
ISS adds fly screen, lawn chairs and BBQ gill to "space porch"

Earth Orbit - Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) could hardly wait to put the final touches of their new extended platform dubbed, the "space porch" by adding a fly screen, lawn chairs and BBQ grill. "It gives the ISS that homely touch that is often missed when your in a tin can miles above the earth in low gyro-synchronistic orbit traveling at thousands of miles per second in zero gravity," said the ISS commander, in a televised interview to mission control regarding the installation of the new module.

"However, form doesn't escape function. Even up here in space," continued the space station commander. "For instance, the fly screen we're installing isn't intended just to keep us from flying out into space when we're sitting out front on the space porch. But to keep out actual houseflies."

Dozens of the winged insects aboard the ISS have been buzzing around for months, propagating for several generations now.

"The Musca domestica (housefly) were apart of a Mrs. Crabtree's sixth grade experiment," said a NASA "Unfortunately they escaped from their container, the lab module and have been plaguing the ISS residents ever since."

"Their hiding now," said the ISS commander. "But as soon as we light up the BBQ and they get a whiff of the hot dogs, they'll be on us like flies on [BLEEPED]."

The lawn chairs surprisingly have proven the most difficult to install aboard the space station.

"It's not because they're made out of aluminum," said the astronaut in charge of setting up the lawn chairs. "As Mrs. Crabtree has taught you kids, everything in space is weightless no matter what its mass is on earth."

Rather, the difficulty the astronaut encountered was the same experienced by most earthmen with lawn chairs, unfolding them.

Once the space porch was set up, the crews of the ISS gathered there to gill up some hot dogs, have some potato salad and a few beers. All that is but their Japanese colleagues.

"Hey, where did all the beer go?" asked an ISS crewmember as he opened the cooler where the beer was supposed to be. Ice cubes slowly floating up.

"Yeah, and how come there are no flies around?" said another crewmember. "And where our new neighbors? Isn't this cookout to welcome them to the space station?"

With their beers believed stolen, the highly trained and technically proficient crew of the ISS quickly turned into an angry mob. Leaving the hot dogs on the gill unattended, they headed for the space module where their Japanese counterparts resided.

NASA cameras aboard recorded the ugly confrontation.

As ISS crewmember floated outside the module entrance, they encountered the missing houseflies swirling about their heads. Taking a crowbar, one of the astronauts began banging of the metallic module door.

"We know you're in there drinking our beer," said the astronaut with the crowbar. "You might as well come out."

Suddenly, just as the astronaut with the crowbar had his arm pulled back to strike the door again, he was flung back by the kinetic energy produced by the module door being kicked open by the hindquarter of a cow hoof. A stream of empty beer bottles followed, floating in zero gravity.

"Kobe beef!" all exclaimed.

Later, back out on the space porch...

"We wanted to see how long Wagyu cattle [Kobe beef] from Japan could survive in space before we ate them," explained an apologetic Japanese astronaut on behalf of his fellow countrymen as he held out his plate for another serving of BBQ Kobe beef on the space porch. "I beg your pardon. I meant to say how long Wagyu cattle could survive under both optimal artificial and the hostile conditions that is the riggers of outer space."

According to the Japanese, they were just about to conclude the optimal portion of the experiment by massaging the Wagyu cow in zero gravity and feeding it the ISS supply of beer when the other members of the ISS crew came knocking at their module door.

"This is the best BBQ ever! Good friends, spectacular view and Kobe beef," said an ISS crewmember as he put his hand through the holes in the fly screen that the empty beer bottles made. "Too bad we can't do anything about these flies though."

Just then the ISS crewmembers heard what sounded like the mating call of a Gray whale coming from the side of the space station that the Japanese module was attached.

"Hear it?" said the commander. "There it goes again."

"Beg your pardon, commander," said the Japanese astronauts again speaking for his comrades. "We hate to eat and run as you say in America. But we must get back to our module to for some sashimi - I sorry. I misspoke again. We have to get back to conduct another scientific experiment."

As the Japanese astronauts quickly retreated back to their module, the ISS commander asked the remaining crewmembers if anyone one in the mood for raw fish.

"Nah," an ISS crewmember replied jokingly. "You're hungry an hour later anyways."

"Wait. I thought was Chinese food," said the ISS commander as he lifted up the gill cover to serve himself another slice of Kobe beef. "Hey, they took the Kobe beef! Let's get them!"

Once again the cameras aboard the space station showed an angry mob floating outside the door front of the Japanese module with crowbar in hand. Only this time with the sound of the mating calls of a Gray whale emanating from the other side of the module door.

"Say, where did all the flies go?" said one astronaut, beads of water floating up.

"Yeah, and where did all these beads of water come from?" said the astronaut with crowbar as he pulled back his arm for another strike.

"Hey," said the commander, as he reached out to touch the beads of water. "Maybe we shouldn't --"

NASA lost all video and audio feed just about then and has reported they have been unable to reestablished communication with any on board as of yet.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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