Dear Dr Tinman: Help! How do I avoid eyeball mice?
Welcome to the third edition of Dr Tinman’s Ignorant Remedies for the Aching Soul.
I am Dr Tinman, life-doctor and former yoghurt manufacturer.
Today’s question comes from a person who is - from what I can deduce from the handwriting - either left-handed, right-handed or ambidextrous.
Dear Dr Tinman,
I am happy with my job. But it was never my dream. Ever since I was a child, I have dreamed of being an astronaut and venturing into space. Over the years, I’ve managed to bury this desire, but recent events have brought it back to the surface. All this talk on the news about mining asteroids has made me long for space again. Please help!
Allow me to begin by noting that your ailment is rather common. Each week, I receive hundreds of letters from people concerned that they will never achieve their “dreams”.
“I always wanted to be a veterinarian/brain surgeon/famous boxer/poet/successful white-collar fraudster,” they cry. “Don’t worry,” I tell them. “Perhaps one day you will have the privilege of meeting a person who has excelled in your ideal profession. You can then assume their identity through a complex system of document theft and surgery.”
Have you considered this option, Star-Struck? I would recommend stealing the identity of billionaire adventurer Sir Richard Branson. A diligent barber will ensure you have the requisite rich-person facial hair while a daring break-and-enter will allow you to steal and copy passports, spaceship licenses and receipts for sandals. Be sure, also, to constantly surround yourself with random women in bikinis. It will reinforce the fact that you are very rich because there are beautiful women in bikinis within a 10m radius of you. You should be piloting a Virgin Galactic flight and accidentally drifting towards the Sun in no time.
But this doesn’t get to the heart of your problem - which is your belief that space, like that weird cousin who always asks your mother for money because of his gaming habit - is worth visiting at all.
Your childhood obsession with what’s beyond the edges of our world is completely natural. In fact, it’s normal for small children to watch Star Wars and dream of one day traveling to distant lands and hunting exotic game like Ewoks and those large Chewbacca animals for unimaginable profit and prestige.
It all seems so much fun - zipping around in shiny rocketships, sneaking around space stations, firing deadly lasers at a whiny Mark Hamill.
Then, the cold, hard reality sinks in - that space is cold and hard.
That endless blackness dotted by tiny balls of hellish burning isn’t romantic and mysterious - it’s cruel and twisted and hazard-filled.
To begin with, there is no air. “Never trust a place with no air,” my senile great-aunt used to say. Secondly, it is probably full of diseases we are yet to discover. Whenever my nieces and nephews ask me what’s in space, I reply: “Communicable fleshing-eating diseases that are passed on through skin-to-skin contact.” I have also told them that ice-cream cake causes cataracts - because you never know.
Your inner-child is a fool. All it sees is coloured lights, suits with subtle shoulder pads that accentuate the masculine form and a young William Shatner who doesn’t yet have to resort to hosting “Weird or What”.
I recommend you throw away your current DVD collection of space exploration films and stop filling your head with such fantastical rubbish. I remember seeing a movie about space once, starring pleasant actor Sam Neil. Space was so horrible that even Sam Neil - the gentle admirer of dinosaurs and vision-based movement - plucked out his own eyeballs and started menacing Morpheus from The Matrix.
Does that sound like “fun”? Instead of mining asteroids, dear boy, you will be mining pure terror. There are no luxury cruisers or sexy cabin crew. It will be like living inside a submarine. But instead of icy water storming through gaps in the hull, air will race out, leaving you to suffocate and scream for mercy as your eyeballs float out of your head, grow tiny legs and scamper around the cabin like some horrific new breed of spherical mice. That, my friend, is what space is really about - eyeball mice and Sam Neil butchering co-stars.
I hope that helps, Star-Struck. If you do ever make it to space, please send me a postcard so I can analyse the traces of the fleshing-eating disease that caused your lonely and agonising death.
Kindest of warm regards,
Find me on Twitter (@dr_tinman_) to learn more about life, love and communicable flesh-eating diseases.
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