I’d love to chat, but I have to land this space shuttle

Hello, Commander Ryan speaking. Steve? What’s up, guy?! Been a long time — how you doing?

Yeah, Steve, you do sound a bit stuffed up. Have you tried NyQuil LiquiCaps? They really work.

I’m doing well, Steve! It’s so good to hear from you. I think the last time I saw you was that night in Ottawa in August. Lord, that was epic — the late-night yoga with the university students. I didn’t think we’d get out alive!

I still have scratches on my scapula too! Listen, Steve, can you hold on a sec? I’m co-piloting a space shuttle and Mission Control just gave me the go-ahead for Ops 3 and they are going to freak if I don’t close the payload bay doors, like, immediately.

Okay, all good, Steve. On another note, what’s the last steakhouse you hit up in Phoenix? I’m headed there with Simone next week and in need of a hot tip.

Oh god, that’s awful — and you clearly said “medium rare”?

Well, I sure won’t be going there. For me, if it’s not bleeding all over my asparagus, I send it back. Anyway, don’t sweat it, I’ll check Yelp. Hey, could you sit tight for a half-minute? The flight crew is popping on our orange launch-and-entry jumpsuits and getting strapped in for the next phase of our journey back to Earth.

I’m back, all suited up. Say, how’s Lucy?

How much weight are we talking?

Have you put her on the low-cal kibble? It’s worked wonders for Pepper. He’s moving like he’s eight years younger —

Cat years, of course! Say, could you hang on a sec? We’re about to initiate de-orbit burn — we’re flying tail first here and I need to fire the orbital maneuvering system engines to slow down or else I’m going to get a frigging earful from Cape Canaveral.

Okay, all good. Dude, you’re coming in a bit muffled — are you talking directly into your receiver? Normally my audio is crystal clear, even at this stage of the descent, where we’re entering the Earth’s atmosphere, known as “entry interface,” roughly 5,000 miles from our landing site.

Yeah, pretty sure it’s on your end.

Much better.

Hey, I’m going to hit mute now because we’re going faster than the speed of sound and you might hear a couple sonic booms on your end. You do the talking for a bit.

I’m back. Dude, that sounded like one hell of a bake sale! Hey, I can see the runway and I’m about to take manual control of the shuttle, so I’m going to go hands-free. You’re on speaker, so keep it PG.

Okay, the shuttle is aligned with the runway and coming in at a nice glide slope, angled at about 19 degrees down from horizontal. I’m raising the nose slightly, landing gear is operational, and — touchdown!

Anyhoo, Steve, it’s been great talking to you. Sorry I was landing this space shuttle for the whole entire call. I just deployed the drag chute so I can chat for another 15 seconds or so as the shuttle coasts to a stop. Tell me, since you cancelled your cable subscription, how do you watch live sports?

I know, it’s the challenge of our time! That and cataloguing digital photos. Are you on Flickr or what’s your strategy?

Lord, bro, that’s brilliant! Anyway, we’ve stopped and we’re about to start powering down the spacecraft. The noxious gases that formed from the friction of re-entry are blowing away and the shuttle is cooling down. I have a checklist the size of the Panhandle to go through and Mission Control is going to have my nuts for breakfast if I don’t tick every damn box. But guy, it has been great chatting. Hope your cold goes away soon — I’m serious about those LiquiCaps!

Okay sweet, talk to you later!

No, you hang up!

Okay, love you too, bro.

Bye for real. ♦

If you liked this, like our Facebook page!