Apollo 19 – The Casting Session

The blob of pap snoek was moulded to the hook which was then attached to a good few kilometers of light blue SeaMaster high-grade fishing line, careened out over the Sea of Tranquility. On it went, over some craters past the far shore, the line whizzing out of Navigator Jaantjies`s Penn 45 reel.  One sixth gravity seemed to have an odd effect on the whole casting process.

First of all, as Jaantjies pulled back to cast he`d almost fallen over. The sinker he had on the end carried a little more momentum in the weak gravity of the moon.

Secondly, there is a tendency to follow through the down stroke of the cast with an action much like a feeble man being pulled down the road, at the end of a lead attached to a Rottweiler.

After recovering his balance, Navigator Jaantjies adjusted the seal on his helmet and lurched forwards a fraction. *seals were often placed on space suit helmets back in the old days. It was thought that they`d bring luck to a mission. Hence the naming of the top US marine squad The Navy Seals.

The rapper, who by this stage had quitened down the rapping, was prodding the pootjie cooking pot that was bubbling merrily away under his boot. He was keeping a gentle downward pressure on the lid with his large boot. Every now and again he would lift the lid, poke at the abalone and sea-snail chunks bubbling away and sprinkle a little salt (he had to place the grains on the stew one by one since they didn`t fall gently down like on Earth.)

Commander Pilletjie Plaatjies caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye. It was difficult to catch anything out of his eye whilst dressed in the cumbersome space suit and the even more cumbersome helmet. If he tried to look behind him to see if it was all clear to allow him to quietly pass wind in his suit, it was nigh on impossible. His head would turn but the helmet would just stay there, looking ahead. The weight of the seal didn`t help at all.

What the Commander had seen was in fact the blob of pap snoek that was, after circumnavigating the moon via the Sea of Tranquility, now on its way back to its rightful owner. Although the commander was in the way. Pilletjie lifted up a copy of the National Geographic that he kept in an inner flap of his suit (near the underarm area) ((he would sometimes accidentally tickle himself while retrieving the magazine)) and swatted hard at the blob as it whistled past his helmet, narrowly missing his small plastic duck that he`d selotaped to the front as a good luck charm.

The snoek landed in a mushy spatter close to the base of the pootjie. SuperNova the rapper dude looked inquiringly at the mess and lamely tried to poke at it with his large boot. After not succeeding, he gave up and started strumming the opening chords to My Sharona.

Pilletjie turned to Stilletjie and signaled that it was probably time to return to the capsule and brew some proper moer coffee. Saffrican style. Pilletjie giggled quietly to himself inside his uncomfortable space suit helmet. He was remembering the time when during training back at the `Department For People Who Are Not Of This Country – D.F.P.W.A.N.O.T.C for short. In Cape Canaveral Florida, Stilletjie had forgotten to tighten the seal on his helmet and it had nearly bitten him.

The couple waved goodbye to SuperNova and lurched off towards Apollo 19, feeling as if a powerful elastic band was attached to parts of them. One sixth gravity can be quite irksome on occasion.

This Short Story entitled “Apollo 19 – The Casting Session” is copyrighted to the author, Simon J Tatt. No persons may reproduce any part of the story in any way for the purposes of financial gain or for any other reasons without the express permission of Simon J Tatt. Law 6785/67 of the Intrinsic Writers Code of 2010 protects the above mentioned work and any infringement thereof will result in a fine of $20 000 and/or a jail term of between 5 and 7 years. Additionally,anyone who his charged with infringing the above mentioned conditions will be forced to read the full version of Gone With The Wind backwards whilst being filmed by a nude Norwegian named Ludwig Thornston-Haegelvlakt.


~ by Simon Tatt on August 31, 2010.

4 Responses to “Apollo 19 – The Casting Session”

  1. He he he… navy seals…. A good read with the morning coffee!! A good laugh to start the day.

  2. Pilletjie Plaatjies is off the hook
    This kwaai navigator who loves pap snoek
    Worktime blues are a hasbeen
    When I read his stories
    with my morning caffeine

  3. Oh crap! Clearly need more caffeine!

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