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This just in from outer space
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This just in from outer space

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Scott Hollifield

“Hey, Scott, can you update us on the latest outer space news?” said absolutely no one. That’s not going to stop me from this special report called OUTER SPACE NEWS 2021: SPRING EDITION, a look at headlines that are out of this world.

First, let’s pour ourselves a big red plastic cup full of SPACE WINE.

Be forewarned: It’s going to be a tad expensive.

According to the website Mental Floss, a bottle of Pétrus 2000, described as a “pricey Merlot,” that spent a year on the International Space Station is for sale at Christie’s, an auction house that doesn’t deal in livestock or real estate foreclosures.

The article says space wine “promises to be both a unique conversation piece and an experiment on the effects of zero-gravity on the wine market.” And, as everyone knows, the most important part of space exploration is how it affects the wine market.

The asking price is $1 million for the bottle. (Note: It doesn’t have a screw-off cap.)

“This bottle of Pétrus 2000 marks a momentous step in the pursuit of developing and gaining a greater understanding of the maturation of wine,” Tim Triptree, international director of Christie’s wine and spirits department, said in a press release. “Christie’s is delighted to bring this first of its kind bottle to the market…”

I was reminded that Cousin Junior used to refer to Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill as “space wine” after he drank two bottles, tripped over a goat, hit his head on a concrete block and saw stars for two days.

“I didn’t quit drinking space wine,” said Cousin Junior, “but I did sell the goat.”

Moving along, NBC News reports those sneaky Russians are plotting to beat the great US of A in the race to produce a SPACE MOVIE.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos announced in early May it had selected actors to film a movie called “Challenge” aboard the International Space Station, which may or may not be about a smuggling ring dealing in outrageously expensive space wine.

It would be the first movie filmed in space, beating a previously announced collaboration between Tom Cruise and NASA.

Houston, we have a problem. As proud Americans, we need to spend all of our collective energy making sure our favorite hot-shot pretend jet pilot/bartender/lawyer/sports agent/secret agent/race car driver/vampire is the first actor to chew scenery — and maybe wash it down with space wine — in outer space.

Hopefully, the role will not be that of a whacked-out SPACE COMMANDER.

According to CBS News online, an officer in the fledging U.S. Space Force lost his command after spouting nonsense on a podcast, which is the second most popular way to ruin a career after tweeting something stupid.

Space Force, formed in 2019, has just over 4,800 personnel, 77 spacecraft and one giant death ray. The death ray is speculation on my part, but the other numbers are accurate.

Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, who was on a podcast plugging his new book that no one wants to read, said he didn’t care for the military’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. He blamed Marxism, and not the Groucho kind.

“Our diversity, inclusion and equity industry and the trainings we’re receiving in the military via that industry are rooted in critical race theory, which is rooted in Marxism,” Lohmeier said.

He had no comment on what he thought of Mr. Spock’s pointy ears.

Military higher-ups, figuring this guy was not who we wanted to beam down to other planets to negotiate intergalactic peace treaties, gave him the heave-ho.

Perhaps his ill-chosen words were fueled by an over indulgence in space wine or maybe he was auditioning for a villain role in the upcoming Tom Cruise feature “Hot-Shot Space Jockey,” but he is a former commander nonetheless.

And that is OUTER SPACE NEWS 2021: SPRING EDITION. Live long and prosper.

Scott Hollifield is editor and general manager of The McDowell News in Marion and a humor columnist. Email him at rhollifield@mcdowellnews.com.

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