Take me to your leader

Morning space cadets, here’s yesterday’s Sunday Times Column, hope you enjoy, and happy Monday.




Forget Thailand, Outer Space seems to be the hot new holiday destination for anyone who’s anyone. Gone are the days of packing up your Venter trailer and your padkos and climbing into your station wagon for a road trip. Then enduring the siblings in the back fighting over who’s going to sit on the middle bump for what feels like seven million hundred hours and fifteen thousand bottles of beer on the wall.

Historically space travel has mostly been the domain of the Americans and the Russians, with only the odd rich civilian like Mark Shuttleworth getting their space rocks off, for a price of course. But according to news reports, 2013 is going to be the year that sees citizen space exploration really take off in a big way.

We can soon expect private space taxis, with the kaartjie hanging his head out the door shouting, ‘Venus, Mars, Uranus,’ before the Hiace 9000 hits superdrive, no doubt without indicating.

But seriously, a number of Orbital Space Tourism companies have popped up over the last few years, hoping to dip their toes into the space tourism industry. So far only eight private citizens have paid the twenty million dollar price tag to go to the International Space Station. But these prices should drop radically soon, making the trip much more accessible and increasing the number of space travellers exponentially. Pluto is the new Ibiza.

As of last year Virgin Galactic had already sold over 500 tickets, at two hundred thousand bucks a pop, for a seat into space. And Axe men’s deodorant, have just run a competition where 22 entrants will win a trip to the edge of space and back in a private suborbital space plane. I’m glad to hear it’s a return flight, I’m not sure being dumped in space is such an epic prize.

Those Axe space competition boys are going to have some good company. An American Porn Star named Coco Brown, is soon to be the first-ever porn star astronaut. Watch this space, I’m sure she’ll be closely followed by the first-ever accountant in space, the first-ever plumber in space, and the first-ever podiatrist in space.

The adult movie actress says she’s always had a great interested in space, so when the opportunity came up, she jumped at it. The flight, which will be chartered by a Dutch company, will only set her back $100 000. Which doesn’t seem all that much if you think about it. For a porn star of her caliber that’s probably just a couple of blow jobs and a threesome.

It makes me wonder if the Dutch are getting ready to film the first-ever space porno? Although I’m not sure zero gravity sex is even possible. That might be the downside of space travel. However On the upside, Coco Brown probably won’t have to wear a bra up there. It’s the ultimate solution to remaining perky. In fact, if we ever figure out how to live in zero gravity, women between the ages of 40 and 60 will flock there. They’ve been trying to figure out how to defy gravity for decades.

This is certainly going to change the face of tourism forever. I wonder if you can stop and get out and stretch your legs en route. Maybe grab a coffee at the Wimpy One Stop on Xena. Or whether you simply leave the universe, take a left at the Helix Nebula, and keep going until you hit the Golden Arches of the first McDonald’s on Mars?

Meanwhile in other news the aliens are devastated. They had hoped it would take our minute brains at least fifty more decades to figure out how to get there. After all, we’re the species that put billions into inventing a special zero-gravity pen that could work in space, before realising that all we had to do was take a pencil.

I wonder how soon it will be before there’s a souvenir shop somewhere up there, where you can buy bits of space rock and those postcards that are all black and say ‘You are here’ on them.

And then next stop; casinos in space, safari parks in space, beaches in space, and adult movie theatres in space. All coming soon to a galaxy near you.

One response to “Take me to your leader”

  1. Got this mail yesterday, thought I definitely needed to share:

    Hello Paige
    This is your number one fan again. I’m still enjoying your articles. I live in Mitchells Plain and the word for the guy who collects the money in a taxi is the “Gaardtjie”. Comes from the word guard. Please don’t be offended that I pointed that out but I wouldn’t like people to criticise you. Keep up the great work

    She’s right, my apologies to gaardtjies everywhere. Thanks Janet, you rock.

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