September 10, 2012
OFFICIAL SUBMISSION: Metro’s “Race to Space” Contest
I am writing to tell you why I should be named the winner of your global competition to send one lucky reader into outer space. When I first read about your contest I knew it was meant to be. You see, I’ve been dreaming of blasting off ever since I was a little girl. My father was an eccentric scientist who taught me Einstein’s theory of relativity when I was just five years old. When I was thirteen, he constructed a space shuttle in our barn. The local authorities wanted to shut the project down, saying he was crazy and a danger to local wildlife, but boy did he ever show them. One dusky evening in August my father launched himself into the earth’s atmosphere for what was intended to be a brief twenty-minute round-trip to outer-space. Sadly, I never saw my father again.
Bullies in the school yard would later try to convince me that my father’s rocket-launch was actually a “meth-lab explosion” and that he was on the run from the law. But I know better. I know that my father’s disappearance can only mean that his mission succeeded but somehow he is being prevented from returning to Earth. Yep, I know he’s up there, orbiting the Earth as we speak, desperately searching for a way to return to his family. So you see, it is my destiny to win this contest. I must travel to outer space to rescue my father and bring him home after all these years.
Ever since that day, I’ve been preparing myself mentally and physically for my grand rescue attempt. I started by doing extensive research on space travel by reading the works of Douglas Adams and watching countless episodes of The X-files, Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica. Through this research I have familiarized myself with technical terms such as “tractor beam” and “DRADIS control” and I am currently working on telling the difference between “light-speed” and “warp-speed”.
I also am prepared for the grueling physical effects of space on the human body. I was on the rowing team in high school so I’m pretty sure I could easily return to that level of fitness for the space mission, as long as I start training now… The only problem is that I’ve been avoiding the YMCA after my credit card expired in April and I really don’t want to pay for the last six months that I haven’t been to the gym.
I am aware that the life of an astronaut is far from glamourous and I believe I have what it takes to endure the endless stream of dehydrated nutrition. The summer after my third year of university, I decided to experience the life of a starving artist by refusing to get a full time job in order to devote my time to filmmaking. I spent all of my savings on rental equipment and food for the cast and crew, meanwhile sustaining myself on a diet of microwaved hotdogs and manzanilla olives for an entire summer. I think it’s safe to say that after that experience, an astronaut’s diet will be a cake walk. (Mmmm…cake..).
As a natural communicator and problem solver, I am confident that I would be an appropriate candidate for first contact should our crew encounter a fleet of hostile alien species. I find that most species would describe me as friendly and approachable or at the very least, a source of comic relief when tensions get a high. I pride myself on my ability to collaborate with others so I’m sure with my help we’d all be drinking galactic cocktails within the hour and laughing about that time they thought our fleshy earthling bodies looked cyber chicken wings.
If nothing else, I would be an asset to the mission for the purpose of entertaining the crew on our long, boring flight to space with my extensive library of Broadway show tunes. I will dazzle my fellow astronauts with my zero-gravity one-woman rendition of everybody’s favourite musical, Cats.
By now I hope the choice is obvious. Sure, some people say I’m crazy, that I’m chasing an impossible dream. Some say I just want to win this trip for the fame, or the hot astronauts and the zero gravity sex. Some may even say that this whole thing sounds vaguely like the plot of the 2006 film “Astronaut Farmer” starring Billy Bob Thornton. But I hope you look into your hearts, and see that deep down, I’m just a girl trying to find her father after all these years.