Reprinted from the Rambling Moron Column at the Platte County Landmark.
HEY IRAN, PARTY LIKE IT’S 1949
It was announced this week that Iran has sent its first monkey into space. The Iranian Ministry of Defense announced that a small grey monkey was strapped into a Kavoshgar rocket and blasted 75 miles into the air and landed safely to earth shortly thereafter.
Now, let’s put aside the obvious fact that this now escalates Iran’s status as a nuclear power. It should also remind the Western world that Iran is still approximately 60 years behind the rest of industrial society. No offense, Iran, but we were blasting Bubbles to the stars when you were still in diapers, mmmkay?
The first monkey in space was named Albert, a rhesus monkey, who rode 39 miles into the air and died of oxygen starvation during flight. That was June 11, 1948. The first US monkey to fly and live was June 14, 1949 and was Albert II. Well, when I say “live” I mean until he hit the ground because the parachutes didn’t work. There were actually five Alberts and they all perished during flight and went to that big banana tree in the sky. But in September of 1951, Albert VI and a bunch of mice survived. (Well, he survived two hours. But still.)
These brave monkeys made their historic flights in the shadow of World War II, during the golden age of radio and the dawn of television. Russia flew monkeys in their space program during the ’80’s when hair was loud and during the age of Cyndi Lauper and when it was still called the WWF.
But welcome to the party, Iran. There’s some dip over there from 1953. I don’t think it’s turned yet. It’s made from a TANG base.
If we assume Iran is 50 to 60 years behind the time, what else have they yet to witness? When will Saturday Night Live come to Iran? Those wacky coneheads will crack them up. Just wait until they get reality television sometime in the mid 2040’s. What will life be like for them the first time they see Survivor: Tehran or Iranian Idol?
There’s a ton of technical inventions they’ve yet to witness. The dawn of computing. The Internet. Online porn. Wow. They have so much to look forward to. I envy them in a way. If I could go back in time and download my first naked picture (which took about two hours), I sure would.
And wait until 2064 when you guys get the iPhone. It will change your life. Well, your lives will already be changed because you’ll be in your 90’s, probably. But still. Check out the iPhone. There will probably be an app for Kenya or New Zealand to send a monkey to space by then.
Until then, Iran, keep up the solid work. Like Casey Casem used to say, “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” Well, of course you don’t know who Casey Casem is. You will in about 30 years.
(Chris Kamler is active on Twitter, where he is known as @TheFakeNed. And you can catch him hosting a baseball-themed radio show ever Wednesday at 4 p.m. on KCTE-1510 AM. Reach him through his web site, ramblingmorons.com)