Astronaut: Hello. Tech Support?
Support Tech: Hello, Indian Moon Rocket technical support. This is Raj, uh, I mean Roger. How may I be assisting you today?
Astronaut: There is a problem with our moon rocket.
Support Tech: Okay. May I have your name please?
Support Tech: Okay, Buzz. What moon are you trying to reach?
Astronaut: What moon? The Moon.
Support Tech: I see. Typing sounds. I will be needing the serial number of the rocket.
Astronaut: Where's that located?
Support Tech: It should be on the box the rocket arrived in.
Astronaut: It didn't come in a box.
Support Tech: Let me check something. Please hold.
Operator: Hello. Mr. Buzz?
Support Tech: Have you found the box?
Astronaut: I told you. It didn't come in a box.
Support Tech: In that case, the serial number is etched onto the rocket.
Astronaut: Great. Where? I don't see it on the control panel.
Support Tech: You will need to look on the outside of the rocket by the engine.
Astronaut: You're kidding, right?
Support Tech: Please check the outside of the rocket by the engine.
Astronaut: We are in space, and the engine is on.
Support Tech: Are you unable to find the serial number?
Astronaut: No, we are unable to find the serial number.
Support Tech: Please keep looking.
Muffled in the background, the two astronauts have a conversation.
Astronaut: He wants me to find the serial number.
Astronaut #2: Where is it?
Astronaut: Outside, by the engine.
Astronaut #2: Is he nuts? Tell him you can't find it.
Astronaut: He says keep looking.
Astronaut #2: Tell him it's scratched off.
Astronaut: Good idea.
Astronaut picks up the phone.
Support Tech: Did you find the serial number?
Astronaut: Yes, but it's scratched off.
Support Tech: Oh, no. Read me what you can.
Astronaut: Okay. Um. TK421.
Support Tech: ZV421?
Astronaut: Yeah, ZV421.
Support Tech: That doesn't match any known records. Do you have a support contract number?
Astronaut: No, I don't.
Support Tech: One moment.
Support Tech: What version of rocket are you using?
Astronaut: I don't know. Listen, we are having trouble with the lithium hydroxide air scrubbers.
Support Tech: Have you tried rebooting?
Astronaut: Rebooting the scrubbers?
Support Tech: No, the rocket.
Astronaut: I don't want to reboot the rocket while I'm in it.
Support Tech: Okay. Do you see the green button at the top right corner of your screen?
Support Tech: Click that button.
Astronaut: What is that going to do?
Support Tech: It will be rebooting your rocket.
Astronaut: I just told you. I don't want to be rebooting my rocket. I want to fix the scrubbers.
Support Tech: Hold please.
Support Tech: Thank you for holding. Do you see the two blinking red buttons in the center of the control panel?
Support Tech: Please press both of them for five seconds.
Astronaut: Is this going to reboot the rocket?
Support Tech: No.
Astronaut: Are you sure?
Support Tech: Absolutely.
Astronaut: Okay. One...Two..Three...Four...Five.
Astronaut: What the heck was that?
Astronaut #2 in the background: You just ejected the air scrubbers into space!
Support Tech: You will be needing to remove the scrubbers from the external panel on the bottom quadrant of the rocket. Also, may I please have your postal code?
Astronaut yelling: Why do you want my postal code?
Support Tech: Your replacement lithium hydroxide scrubbers will arrive in 5-7 business days.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
India just launched its first moon mission. A manned mission is still years off, but Fear and Loathing in Georgetown, soothsayer extraordinaire, knows exactly what is going to happen.