President Biden, seated across the room and behind a desk, replies, "Elon Musk, huh? What does he want?"
"Apparently you won a Best President award courtesy of SpaceX, is what Elon is saying. Here, I'll put him on speaker." He pushes a button on the desktop phone. "Mr. Musk, I have you on speaker here with the President. Can you hear me, ok?"
"Yes I can," comes Elon's voice. "Thank you, Mr. President... You, Kamala and your chief advisors are the fantastic recipients of the first ever SpaceX Presidential award. In two weeks you will be flown into space on Starship Challenger -- a very luxurious and very safe spacecraft just for this occasion. It's the future of space tourism."
Biden beams a smile. "Wow -- I'm not sure what to say, Elon. Thank you... Hold on a second please."
He motions to the advisor. The advisor pushes a button on the phone to put the call on hold.
Biden says, "Sounds like he's trying to bury the hatchet and win some points with us. I knew that if we buried him in lawsuits he would finally break and come alongside the Democrats. Well, let's not let this offer pass us by. Please let everyone know about this flight we've won. I'm sure they'll be excited."
Biden pauses, then says, "Wow, I'll be the first President ever in space. This will get us headlines and possibly even get us votes from those Star Trek fans and that UFO crowd that goes to Burning Man every year. That's a large number isn't it?"
"We already have the Star Trek vote," says his assistant. "And we're crushing it with UFO crowd and Burning Man --"
Biden says abruptly, "Two weeks until this flight? I need to start packing."
The advisor says, "Actually Elon says you don't need to bring anything. He says everything will be provided. He says don't worry about bringing a suitcase, the flight will be at capacity, every seat taken, and there's limited space. They have to stay within weight limits. You don't even need a toothbrush. He says it's a trip you're never going to forget! Just be sure to get every person in your cabinet on board."
"I'll start making preparations," Biden says. "This is the chance of a lifetime. The first President ever to go into space. I'll be in the history books. Maybe a 60 Minutes documentary. I might even make it on Dateline."
"You don't want to be featured on Dateline, Mr. President. That's mostly murders and people who disappear nowadays..." The advisor chuckles. "Let's get you on 60 Minutes, how 'bout that?"
Biden stares off, then says, "Considering the history I have with Elon Musk, why do you think he's suddenly being buddy buddy with us?"
"Not just Elon Musk," replies the advisor. "But the majority of the population as well. Apparently 70 percent of the population has donated to this event -- #SendBidenIntoSpace -- In fact it's the most successful charitable drive ever conducted on social media in history."
"70 percent?" Biden exclaims. "If I'm that popular, how come I'm so low in the polls?"
"We don't know sir," came the reply. "Like a lot of stuff it's just one more thing we don't know... But this is a great opportunity for us to get a lot more votes and for you to get some good press. Elon Musk is a respected personality by a lot of people, including Conservatives. T-shirts and posters are everywhere, even coffee mugs -- #SendBidenIntoSpace is showing up everywhere."
"Any safety concerns?" asks Biden.
"Elon assures us that the self-destruct glitch has been fixed. That's what grounded Starship last year. Plus they've raised so much money for the launch that it's sure to be a success. His best engineers are on the project. They're working around the clock, 20 hour shifts, to make sure this goes right."
Biden stares off, kicks his feet up on the desk and looks up toward the ceiling, clearly rellishing the idea of being the first President ever sent into space.
Across the room the advisor starts humming a tune to the song of David Bowie's, Major Tom.
Biden can't remember the words. He tries humming right alongside the advisor, struggles a bit, finally gets it right.
"Ground control to Major Tom..."
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