IN honor of the frenzied, desperate, and doomed attempts to cap that thing in the Gulf (oh, we don't mean the massive oil spill; we mean the massive libertarian PR spew and containment operation, which led celebrity polititainment figure Sarah Palin to twit that Drill, Baby, Drill! was the one environmentally sound approach; Rush Limbaugh to suggest that Liberals should love the spill since they believe it'll cause marine life to evolve; and David Brooks' argument that since The Free Market couldn't prevent the wholly natural, and sociologically-explained, tendency of people charged with maintaining the safety of cosmically risky profit-driven ventures to begin slacking off after 48 hours without a catastrophe there's no reason the Government should try) I bravely descended my basement stairs yesterday to initiate search efforts for the Esquire Dubious Achievement Awards issue with the Great Mir Cascade. And I succeeded where all those BP engineers and flacksters failed.
For entertainment purposes only! Don't go getting any notions that we should distrust Technology Herself, nor, especially, Her dedicated mouthpieces. © 1997. used without permission:
OF COURSE, AS SPACE STATIONS GO, THAT'S A LONG TIME WITHOUT A FIRE
In February, after eleven years and sixty thousand orbits around the earth, a fire broke out aboard Russia's Mir space station, filling the main cabin with smoke and forcing the crew members to wear gas masks.
A LITTLE FIRE? NO PROBLEM, WE'LL BE FINE AS LONG AS THE GENERATORS DON'T FAIL, LEAVING US WITH ONLY A TWO-MONTH SUPPLY OF OXYGEN
In March, the generators failed aboard the Mir space station, leaving the crew with a two-month supply of oxygen.
OXYGEN GLITCH, SURE. BUT WE'LL BE FINE AS LONG AS OUR COOLING SYSTEM DOESN'T START LEAKING DANGEROUS ETHYLENE-GLYCOL
In April, Mir's cooling system started leaking dangerous ethylene-glycol.
YES, THE FUMES ARE A PROBLEM, BUT WE'LL BE FINE AS LONG AS WE DON'T COLLIDE WITH A SEVEN-TON CARGO SHIP, PUNCTURING THE HULL OF THE SPEKTR MODULE AND KNOCKING OUT MOST OR ALL OF THE SOLAR PANELS
In June, Mir collided with a seven-ton cargo ship, puncturing the hull of the Spektr module and knocking out all the solar panels.
IN A PINCH, WE CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON LAZUTKIN
In July, during an onboard repair, Mir cosmonaut Alexander Lazutkin accidentally pulled the wrong plug, shutting off all power and sending the space station into a spin.
THERE'S ALWAYS THE MAIN COMPUTER
In August, the main computer failed.
WE WILL PERSEVERE. JUST GIVE US A FEW MORE WEEKS--
In August, the crew members were replaced and sent home.
AT LEAST WE'LL GET A HERO'S WELCOME AND OUR BONUS
The Mir cosmonauts did not get a hero's welcome. They did not get their bonuses.