At breakfast today my boyfriend said, “Did I ever tell you about the special pen NASA developed so that astronauts could write in space?”
I told him I already knew about the Space Pen, ‘cuz I’d seen it advertised in the back of my dad’s Popular Mechanics magazines as a kid. (I also wanted a spy camera, and one of those hovercraft kits they advertised. I could easily imagine flying over the wheat fields behind our house in a hovercraft – so cool!)
“The Russians faced the same problem with their space program,” my boyfriend continued, unwittingly interrupting my wheat field hovercraft reveries.
“Writing in space.”
“Oh, yeah. Tough to keep ink flowing in micro-gravity,” I said, trying to save face by sounding knowledgeable. (Full disclosure: this is my go-to response when covering for daydreaming.)
“Right. Except that, instead of spending millions of dollars developing a Space Pen, the Russians approached the problem differently.”
“What do you mean?”
“They gave their astronauts pencils.”
So with that in mind, I tried not to spend my day building Space Pens when a pencil would suffice. Not sure if I succeeded, but I crossed a few things off the old to-do list – with a pencil!