Wednesday, November 24, 2010
1) A very long spool of kite string.
2) Two kites, unassembled, with adjustable tails in festive colors.
3) One large, industrial strength weather balloon.
4) One TSA full body scanner
5) One carryon bag with a dozen 3oz bottles of water
After gathering the necessary materials for his experiment, Mr. Slug stopped by the public library to read about other brave balloon aviators who have made the journey, so he could get an idea of what to expect. Mr. Slug found that there had been many balloon pilots in the past who had made the mistake of flying too high, where the air is too thin and has no oxygen. One can only imagine what happened to those hapless souls. Mr. Slug promised Mrs. Slug that he would be careful as his insurance will not cover this type of thing should he miscalculate the finer details of the flight.
Mr. Slug took off from the launch pad with the help of his three assistants at precisely 5:00pm. The aircraft went straight up and caught the breeze, which was moving him in a South Easterly direction at 4 miles per hour. At about 6:30 pm, Mr. Slug was famished and landed his contraption in a cow pasture, much to the delight and amazement of the wide-eyed and mooing heifers. Mr. Slug released the helium from the balloon and folded the kites for storage in his backpack. Mr. Slug was proud of himself for his excellent preparation, and wagged his tail as he smiled broadly at the cows. Just then, the farmer who owns the cows came running up to the scene and said, "What's going on over here? I thought I saw a UFO!" Mr. Slug kindly introduced himself and announced that he was not an unidentified flying object, he has his identification card right here if anyone needs to see it. The farmer shrugged and said, "Long as you ain't no alien, I reckon I won't hav'ta shoot 'ya." Mr. Slugs tummy growled audibly. The farmer asked him, "Didja eat?" Mr. Slug said no. "Well, I got me some nice collards down yonder, make yerself at home." When Mr. Slug was finished nibbling, the farmer offered him a ride back to Slug's Rest. They climbed aboard the tractor and headed home at a speed of 10 miles per hour. Cars were lined up and honking behind them. The tractor continued without increasing speed, at 10 miles per hour. Mr. Slug was happy with his progress and was blissfully unaffected by the rude waves and gestures and yelling from the passing vehicles. By the time Mr. Slug got home, it was exactly 7:00 pm. Mr. Slug had spent so much time with his new friend, he started to get a new accent. "Here we are Mr. Farmer, much obliged fer the lift! I promise to bring the missus on over fer supper sometime!" He tipped his optical tentacle forward as if it were a Stetson hat and headed indoors to his loving slimy mate. Mrs. Slug was so happy to have Mr. Slug back, safe and sound.
For future excursions, Mr. Slug needs to know what his total travel miles were so that he may write it in his logbook. Therefore, I present my fellow slugs with the following conundrum:
How far away is the launchpad from Slug's Rest?
How far away is the farm with the delicious collard greens?
Please help Mr. Slug with his calculations before he is forced to send himself back through the TSA scanner and get frisked by someone other than Mrs. Slug!!!!