Over Think The
by Phil Temples
hate this job, declared Sam. He and his
partner, Jimmy were both wedged headfirst inside
of a tiny maintenance shaft.
Sam was older
than Jimmy by a dozen years. He was beginning to
sport grey hair along his temples. Sams
pudgy frame revealed both a lack of physical
exercise, and an excessive sweet tooth at
mealtimes. In contrast, the younger Jimmy was
lean and trim. Not a day went by that Jimmy
failed to visit the ships gym.
maintenance shaft was hot and uncomfortable.
There were also annoyingly loud noises that
alternated between clanking sounds and a shrill
whistling note. The latter seemed to be
resonating within the small confines of the
readily smell each others body odor.
stink, Jimmy. When did you shower last?
and gimme the five-eighths centimeter ratchet,
Sammy shouted over the noise.
complex the plumbing..."
the words under his breath to no one in
you babbling about? asked Sam.
nothing--a line from an old sci-fi movie, I think
it was Star Trek. The chief engineer,
Scotty, says, the more they over think the
plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.
they were working kept making its terrible racket.
To an untrained ear, it sounded as though the
thing were some prehistoric, wounded animal.
Put it out of its misery! Sam joked.
He continued on with his Star Trek
line of thought.
of morality in those shows. Hey, remember the one
where there are two guys--one is white on the
left side, and black on the right--and his
nemesis is black on the left, and white on the
right. Anyway, theyre sworn enemies and
theyre tryin to kack one another on
the Enterprise. But Kirk hasnt the foggiest
think I remember it, Sam scratched his
balls for a moment, and then he made a minor
adjustment with the ratchet wrench.
it? Jimmy asked.
dont think so. Look at this conduction
gauge. Sam flicked his finger a couple of
times against a tiny test gauge that they had
inserted into the flow. It registered less than
made space travel seem so exciting, Jimmy
continued. Exploring strange new worlds, to
seek out new life and new civilizations. To
all that happy horse shit. Sam finished
Ill take the good old-fashioned classics
any day, said Sam. Klaatu
barada nikto. The Day The Earth Stood Still.
You know? Michael Rennie. Now there was a science
were supposed to be out of here hours ago.
The Man aint gonna be too happy.
Better call upstairs and see what she wants to do.
said Sam. We might just be able to save the
day yet. Did you check that cross-induction valve?
Maybe its sticking.
a long-shot, replied Jimmy. But what
the hell, I aint got nuthin better to
lucky this piece a shit holds together, let
alone goes anywhere.
replied, Jimmy. Anytime you want out, you
know where the door is.
Real funny, Sam replied.
Jimmy and Sam
took the panel off. Sam gingerly probed the
device in question with a small screwdriver. When
nothing happened, he poked it a little harder.
emanated from the valve. Miraculously, the
clanking sounds and high-pitched whistling ceased.
They looked at each other in amazement.
Jimmy, Sam yelled. Am I a genus, or
goddamn lucky, thats what you are, Jimmy,
he replied while giving him a high
this is Con--Over. They both heard the
voice simultaneously in their headsets.
a small button on his vest and said, Con,
this is Work One. Go ahead.
the hold up? asked an impatient,
fixed the problem. It was a sticky cross-induction
valve at panel Echo-Five-Three-Bravo.
voice responded. Roger that, Work One. Log
it, later. Get your asses back upstairs, pronto--
Break! --All stations, prepare for immediate jump.
voice ceased. Jimmy shrugged at Sam. He quickly
secured the panel. Sam whacked it with his
shoulder to ensure it was secure. Then they both
grabbed their tool kits and departed the
was strapped in, the Captain gave the thumbs-up
to the Navigator. She pushed two buttons on her
control panel. Everyone on board felt a moment of
nausea and blurred vision, as the fabric of space
folded in on itself. An instant later, they were
fifty-two light-years further into their journey.
The next jump would involve five hours of careful
calculations and crosschecks.
breathed a sigh of relief. She turned her
attention back to the crossword puzzle.
whats a six letter word for