While some have sneered at girl-astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper (which is too long to ever type again so I'll just call her "Paris") losing a $100,000 tool kit in space last week, I say You. Go. Girl.
It was brilliant really. I mean there's poor Paris working with a (ick!) grease gun and, while she's cleaning up, the bag "slips" out of her grip, the tools fall away into the Final Frontier and back at Mission Control, they hear her mumble, "Oh, great."
Yes! Great! What a terrific way to make sure that, from now on, maybe they'll let you stay inside the cute capsule thingy and make muffins for the rest of the crew. Crazy like a fox, you!
I'm only slightly worried that one day in the distant future, some poor kid in an Oklahoma trailer park is going to get hit in the head by a grease gun falling from outer space.
And his daddy will say, "Son, I bet that's the grease gun that girl astronaut lost a few years back. Whoa. That's gonna leave a mark."
I decided Paris did it on purpose to get out of work because she wasn't nearly as contrite as she should've been after losing the expensive tools needed to maintain the spacecraft. She said: "Despite my little hiccup, I think we did a great job out there!"
This is a slammin' new version of the old chestnut, "But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"
NASA, once again finding itself with powdered egg in a tube on its collective face, didn't have the exact reaction I would've predicted.
Something along the lines of "ARE YOU A @#$%^-ING MORON? IT'S NOT LIKE YOU GOT A HOME DEPOT UP THERE TO BUY NEW ONES!"
No, NASA took a kinder, gentler approach praising Paris and saying she "showed real character and great discipline" by continuing on and doing a fine job for the rest of the spacewalk, sharing her fellow astronaut's tools, which I'm sure pleased him no end. ("You think you can hold onto that caulking gun? It was my granddaddy's.")
So if she was trying to avoid work, it backfired.
NASA did say it was a bit odd that Paris lost the tool kit because normally it's tethered to a much larger bag. Maybe she just thought they didn't go together. That whole tandem bag thing is just so 1992.
The spin doctors at Mission Control have managed to make it seem almost laudable that there's a bag of taxpayer-paid-for parts floating out there in space.
"We really appreciate how hard you all are working," they said in a peppy little message to Paris and crew. Which just makes me wonder if NASA is, well, high.
Next up: Working on a $154 million machine that converts urine to drinking water.
Something tells me Paris's muffins are gonna taste funny.