THE VAULT

Astronuts
February 7, 2007 by The Colonel

You guys wanna be in a love triangle?

Sometimes, the lines between fact and fiction get a little fuzzy. The staff here at Slantmouth knows that better than most; trust us, we’re fluent in half-truths. That’s why when most people saw a crazy hose-beast in Astronaut Lisa Nowak, we saw a poor, confused woman. Sure, it looks bad. And true, rarely does a perfectly rational person decide to drive some 900 miles in a diaper to “talk” to a supposed love rival, but hey- love makes people do crazy things. It’s not every day a person gets caught up in a love triangle, let alone with a fellow astronaut and an Air force captain.

Although Nowak, dressed in a trench coat and wig, had a steel mallet, latex gloves, rubber tubing, garbage bags, a serrated knife with a 4-inch blade and a gas-powered BB gun, one can’t prove that she wanted to do anything more than talk to her rival. Well, except the whole thing about spraying said rival in the face with pepper spray.

Nowak claimed that she and her rival, Air Force Captain, Colleen Shipman were both “in a relationship” with Navy Commander Bill Oefelein. Nowak also stated that her relationship with Oefelein was “more than a working relationship and less than a romantic relationship.” Such relationships are oft referred to as “friendships” but apparently, that’s where the lines got a bit blurry.

I just messed my space diaper.

Obviously, Mrs. Nowak was confused, and we know how these things start. They’re floating in a weightless simulator; his simulated oxygen line gets wrapped around onto her leg, they scuffle to get in untwisted, bump heads, their eyes meet. Later, at the training shuttle’s robotic arm panel, an off-color remark about how she “really knows how to handle a joystick” and she begins to fantasize about a passionate, zero-gravity romance.

Of course, such fantasies have been grounded, much like Nowak, as NASA has grounded her “officially on 30-day leave.” Mrs. Nowak faces life in prison for attempted murder, but the real criminal here is Mr. Oefelein, for leading a poor, noble Astrolass to the brink of insanity. She just wanted to be like those creepy love-skeletons they just found, but he had to go and spoil all of her plans by being completely uninterested.

Perhaps the pressures of space travel, a crumbling marriage and Valentine’s Day’s imminent approach just became too much for Nowak. NASA is running tests to find out if “lessons can be learned,” but Slantmouth feels that one very important lesson has already been learned from all of this madness; love and space just don’t mix. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: please, nobody tell Shatner.

~The Colonel