Monday, November 24, 2008

Celebrating the Real Gap

It's been 50 years now since a group of 20- and 30-somethings decided to leave the nest and plant a flag on previously inaccessible turf. Almost forty years since the excitement from that accomplishment started to wane. We'd say that's the real definition of the word "gap."

If you saw us grimacing Saturday night at the "Gap Party" a.k.a. 50th Anniversary Celebration in Galveston, it probably didn't take you long to figure out why. Only the minions who gave us a bloated Orion and a bladder busting ARES could possibly engineer a dysfunctional bash of this caliber.

Granted, Hurricane Ike foiled the original soiree and left the island worse for wear. In a show of unity, the minions waited until a party could again be accommodated there. While the infusion of cash from the overnight guests fearful of crossing back over the causeway in an inebriated state was a nice gift, the celebration didn't exactly help get one into the intended state(s) of mind.

Let's first take the inebriated part: it was almost impossible to end up that way. With a single bartender working a 40 minute line, one is not inclined to go back for seconds. And then there was the little problem of needing a ticket for that drink when Isaac finally was ready to pour one for you. Unfortunately, no warnings directing the required intermediate transaction were posted.

So after working one's way through the drink line twice, now with tickets in hand, appetite builds up. But, if you had a taste for some sweets, you were SOL Saturday night after the little hand pointed at nine. Not quite right for a bash that is running until midnight.

And so on...

We'll overlook the lack of any messaging beyond the posters with 50 year old pictorials. We'll even overlook having to pay more to shake a couple of astronauts hands before they climb into their coffins.

But the first (and last) rule of parties, is never, ever, run out of food and drink before the BroomHilda hour. It's no wonder the "other" gap continues to get wider with each passing day.


Ben the Space Brit said...

I have always thought that the Skylab to Shuttle gap is one of the big reasons that we are still playing around in LEO having scrapped our manned beyond-LEO capability. At the very least, they should have kept Apollos, launched by Saturn-IBs in LEO missions right up until the Shuttle was ready to fly, just to keep the expertese and momentum.

Don't get me started about my feelings over the cancellation of the Saturn-V family. It gets very, very expletive-filled and bitter very quickly.

Craig Russell said...

We have been working on a "gap filler" for some time.