About Having To Work On Christmas Eve
by Roger Freed
having to install a coolant pump outside NASA's
International Space Station on Christmas Eve had
a few choice words about their employers.
thought once you had a government job you never
had to work on holidays again. Bull%&$#!!!
griped Rick Mastracchio, one of the two space
walkers who had to don suits and venture out into
the brisk thin air of outer space.
damn well better be getting time and a half for
this crap! quipped Mike Hopkins exiting the
station to begin the long delayed repair work.
Both men were in foul moods after having to get
out of their nice warm bunks on a day when many
Americans were staying snug in beds with visions
of sugar plums dancing in their heads.
irritability showed as they tried to work
together to get the job done as quickly as
possible so that they could get back inside to
warmth, cups of hot apple cider secretly laced
with smuggled in rum and a simulated fireplace on
the computer monitors.
out, you oaf! snarled Mastracchio as the
other bumped into him from behind due to the
weightlessness of space.
yourself. shot back Hopkins, furtively
trying to give the finger with a heavily suited
you imbecile! You just dropped the wrench!
shrieked Mastracchio, clumsily trying to grab at
the rotating piece of metal before it wandered
out of their reach. Now look! We've lost it!
jerk, you go get it! You're the one who dropped
the one who is wetting his pants about it!
This sort of
exchange went on and became even more heated as
it was realized that the job was becoming an all
day event. It caused NASA communications workers
to shut off contact with the station just to
relieve their ears. I just can't listen to
the constant bitching all day. I don't get paid
for this. stated one worker. The use of
unusually vile profanity by the frustrated
astronauts caused NASA to also cut off all audio
feed to news agencies.
By the seventh
hour the astronauts tempers had disintegrated to
the point where they made history with the first
ever space fist fight. It was actually more of a
wrestling match as they discovered that punching
the other astronaut only resulted in yourself
being pushed backwards due to non-gravity. The
technicians at NASA have recorded the fight with
the intention of releasing it on DVD entitled 'Astronauts
NASA astronauts are not represented by any union
protection. They can be worked as much as their
employer wants and on any day, be it a holiday or
The two men
considered doing a walk out strike, then decided
that they had been outside enough already that