The Footrace in Space

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By Trevor Parrish and Quin Asselin An excerpt from our issue Nonsense Goes To Space!

Times were tense. Russia had a bomb, we had a bomb. We are the USA, Russia was Cuba a little bit. Our governments pleading to show GROWTH. Lusting for dominance. The long awaited Space Race was about to start. You know, THE Space Race. I’m talkin’ ships, and moondust, and cocaine filled Hollywood basements, baby! Yeah, that Space Race. Each of the three competitors: The Dessicated Corpse of Jesse Owens, Usain Bolt, and Looney Tunes’ own “Speedy Gonzales” had been training for 113 days in preparation for this historic event. Each of these really fast quicksters was lined up to run directly out of the Earth’s atmosphere and be the first to crash into the surface of, “the Mars.” James “The Space Jam” Carter stood at the starting spot on the summit of the snowy, stoic Mount Everest. Each competitor was gasping for air. Except for Speedy Gonzales who is animated and thus requires no live action oxygen. As well as the corpse of Jesse Owens who was simply a pile of bone scraps, dirt, and American triumph over Hitler. So really only Usain Bolt was making a scene.

Ya know, Usain Bolt really ruined the whole spirit of the event. What a spectacle. We were all waiting with bated breath for the long journey to that shitty rust orb known as “Mars” (to all those Barbara Walters types), but Mr. Bolt just kept complaining about how a mountain was an inappropriate starting position for a race to begin. Poor show, Usain.

Jiminy “Cricket” Carter fired the starting pistol, only to find that the gun, rather than being loaded with blanks, was filled with the sorrows of a lost generation of young Syrian refugees and the joy of hearing a puppy’s first words. The runners were off and the gun filled with God’s tears as bullets was safely returned to the nearest municipal library. For firing the weapon, Jimothy Cartright was imprisoned within two dimensional space for the remainder of this story.

Halfway through the stratosphere, it was clear that Bolt didn’t have his heart in this one. The wheezing husk of a man had all but given up on running 90° vertically out of the gravitational grasp of Big Mama Earth. As Usain continued to complain, his clothes began igniting due to friction from the ever increasing speed of his “Debbie Downerisms.”  However, Gonzales proved to be not only the fastest mouse in Mexico, but the fastest mouse charging to his inevitable finish on a cold lonely red planet. Meanwhile, the tenuously built frumple of bones that had once held Owens’ meat filling aloft had blown over. This was, no doubt, due to the great gust of air that accompanied the other racers as they began. They rested there atop the Himalayas and if they could, they’d have sang, a song, a hymn, or a melodious jaunt through the ages.

Burning through the upper layers of the atmosphere at an alarming rate, Bolt finally broke past the worldly trappings of gaseous surroundings. Subsequently, the fire that had all but engulfed him went out, and the Great Dirt Devil in the Sky began vacuuming the air out of that poor Jamaican sod’s lungs. The world-class sprinter slowly came to a halt, as the deep cold of space crept into his calcium sticks, like an inchworm slowly squeakin’ towards desire.

Only two competitors remained, Speedy Gonzales and the entirely inert debris of a true American patriot. Gonzales had pulled fast into the lead by quite a large margin, already halfway to that polar-capped desert otherworld, “Mars.” However, Owens seemed to have a few more tricks up his high jump champion sleeves.

Before Speedy, on the previously unmentioned space road, was a nigh impenetrable wall of White Owl brand cigarettes, piled so high that they blocked any rodent from passing. He knew what had to be done. Gonzales whipped out his lighter and started smoking faster than a slow cooker at a Louisiana Barbeque. The fastest mouse in all of Latin America descended into a deep smog of carcinogens, emphysema, and a 40% chance of poisoning the target.

At once, the mouse was gone in a puff of smoke and questionably racist exclamations. The fervent energy he’d contained had only been intensified by a humanly-insurmountable quantity of tobacco. Gonzales was making record time for the possible purgatory of Matt Damon after a certain 2015 summer blockbuster. Speedy began to vibrate through time on his approach towards this year’s most popular rouge rogue roving rover home, “Mars.” He knew to truly win this race he must end it with a bang.

Speedy glimpsed into the future and saw his destiny in the molten core of this dumb rock. He knew what he had to do. The mouse tugged on the brim of his banana colored hat and phased through space to the heart of the planet. As the ferrous rock collapsed onto him with the force of 70 Amy Winehouse singles at once, Speedy knew he had succeeded. His neatly animated form slowly began to crumble into a perfect Mexican diamond. Speedy glinted in the sky, and Jesse Owens smiled back, knowing that America had finally won the Space Race.