We interrupt this blog to bring you a semi-not-quite-breaking news alert: the Mike Hughes rocket launch pulled a Wile E. Coyote.
For those of you who don’t know, Mike Hughes, a Californian with a bent towards the Flat Earth movement, announced in 2017 that he would launch a rocket into the sky, to which his mobile home would be attached, in the hopes of disproving the long-held factually based axiom of Copernicus that the Earth was not actually a ball orbited the sun, but instead a flat disc. Hughes showed off his “FLAT EARTH” rocket, painted red and looking much like something one would order from an ACME catalog, with the same sort of proud espoused by a cartoon cat ready to unload a can of overkill whoop-ass on a mouse who was destined to outsmart it. The different was, Hughes didn’t quite get the message about his lack of technical skill, nor the fact that writers like me would comma-splice the crap out of his exploits.
Okay, he got the message; he merely chose to ignore it.
According to the Washington Post (Motto: “We aren’t fake news…we swear, Mom!”), Hughes February 3 launch was all lined up and ready to go. News crews from around the world even arrived to cover the launch. He had become a social media celebrity, with pre-launch commentary battles being waged against trolls on a near daily basis. The 61 year old retiree was ready to make history and prove, once and for all, that the Earth was flatter than the Georgia Bulldogs fourth quarter defense against Alabama.
The rocket was all set and ready to go. From witness accounts, Hughes was all ready and set to launch into the heavens and prove, for all time, that the Earth was not round like Elon Musk’s orbital Tesla recently proved but, instead, that all science was merely based in guesses and that the moon landing was faked. Insiders even rumored Hughes to be toting a fondue pot in order to indulge himself a chunk of moon cheese on his hamburger. So the countdown begin, and everyone was ready to watch the Big Red Rocket thrust skyward.
Sadly, the candle never lit, and Hughes admitted he was tempted to going out and banging on the back of the rocket. That would actually been interesting to watch if, for no other reason, than the remote possibility of Hughes being attached to the rocket by a cable or rope and watching him being pulled along for the ride like out of some bizarre Chuck Jones cartoon come to life. Granted, THAT would have secured him a place in social media history for the most views ever – seriously, who WOULDN’T have watched a real live human be transformed into a living Warner Bros cartoon mess? At least Hughes understood that the reality-based results would have been catastrophic.
“I pulled the plunger five different times,” Hughes said. “I considered beating on the rocket nozzle from the underneath side. But you can’t get anyone under there. It’ll kill you. It’ll scald you to death. It’ll blow the skin and muscle off your bones.”
As the event wound down and people realized the launch was not to be, Hughes set about to doing what he does best, working on yet more wild ideas. According the Post, he went back to his home after being consoled by two female supporters, then explained “He was supposed to be in court on Tuesday, he told the crowd, because he was suing the governor of California for unspecified reasons. He was also trying to claim the legal right to Charles Manson’s guitar.”
Give the man credit – he still is taken to flights, of fancy, that is. I wonder if the Road Runner stopped by his house afterwards and stuck its tongue out at him. Maybe THEN the rocket would work.