Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Two stories that deserve to be true. And provide a smile among all the bad news

It was a pleasure to read about Buzz Aldrin’s expenses claim for a trip to the moon ($33.31 using a “government spacecraft”). A pleasure and also a relief, in a week dominated by news that is dull (the fabricated crisis over migrants at Calais), depressing (the death of Cilla Black) or both (Calais migrants again).

it also reminded me of the story I heard years ago about Neil Armstrong, according to which he was heard to have said, while on the surface of the moon, “good luck, Mr Gorsky.” The story claims that he refused to explain what he meant for more than twenty years until, following the death of Mr Gorsky, he decided he could at last come clean.

It seemed that when he and his brother were kids, they were playing in their backyard when one of them sent a ball into the Gorskys garden next door and Neil went after it. It was lying under the Gorskys’ bedroom window and as he went over to pick it up, he heard a voice from inside. It was Mrs Gorsky’s.

“Oral sex? Oral sex?” she was protesting, “you can have oral sex when the boy next door walks on the moon.”

Hence the “good luck, Mr Gorsky” comment from the moon’s surface.

"Good luck, Mr Gorsky"
May not have happened, but should have
Sadly, it seems that this story may not be entirely true. At least, not true in the sense of corresponding to any kind of historical record. That being said, it’s probably not true that there was ever a British king called Arthur who drew a sword from a stone, but there are even kids who know that story, with cartoons from a reputable company to back them up, so in some sense, it is true. I like to think the Armstrong-Gorsky story is true in that sense – true because it’s too good a story not to be.

At least with Buzz Aldrin, it seems unlikely that his story is wholly made up. Why, he’s even posted images of the documentation on line – on Twitter, indeed, so it’s hard to imagine it could be false. He also included a US customs declaration for samples of moon rocks which the astronauts brought back with them.

What he hasn’t said is whether he was reimbursed for the travel expenses, or how much duty was payable on the rock samples.

Still, it’s fun that he’s made the papers available.

Of course, if you don't believe that the Apollo 11 astronauts ever actually made it to the moon, that it was all a massive conspiracy, somehow kept secret by the thousands involved, then you’ll probably give no credit to either Buzz Aldrin’s story or Neil Armstrong’s. But then you probably wouldn’t have a sense of humour either, and would miss the joke. In which case I can only leave you with the stories about migrants at Calais and Cilla Black’s death.

And my commiserations, of course.

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