from February 1, 2004
In our last column, we briefly mentioned the ingenious business scheme of Space Services Inc., of Houston, to send a scattering of the ashes of a deceased friend or relative into orbit at a reasonable price. Our interest in these services, as our regular readers will recall, was stimulated by the practical problem of how to dispose of the remains of our dear friend and editor, Arthur Unknown (1938-2004).
Having solved that problem to the satisfaction of all concerned, including Mr. Unknown himself, we at Myles Junior Think Tank turned our attention to a business scheme that is as ingenious as that of Space Services Inc. In short, we have begun to consider the possibility of offering weddings in space.
Over our traditional glasses of afternoon port, we concluded that such an enterprise was doable. And doable, we concluded, in a comprehensive sense. That is, we came to agree, deep into our second glasses, that if astronauts could float through the empyrean in a state of reported bliss, so could a pair of lovers, a justice of the peace and/or rabbi, minister, priest, or imam—and even the entourage of ten or twelve attendants without which no reputable wedding can be properly performed.
Near the end of our second glasses, one of us (I will modestly refrain from identifying that person) pointed out with the use of his admirable forefinger that this species of matrimony is but an advanced form of the newly-popular destination wedding.
Moreover, by the end of our fourth glasses of the aforementioned potent potable, we had determined that such a service could be offered at the reasonable price of $100,000 per celebrant, a figure well within the range of the average contemporary wedding, with its limousines, flowers, tuxedos, rings, bridesmaids’ attire, country club receptions, and ensuing bankruptcies. (This figure assumes, of course, that the use of such appurtenances would be rendered unnecessary. For example, we assume that all members of the wedding party would participate in the ceremony “in the buff,” to use the vernacular.)
The next afternoon, the Myles Junior Think Tank had finished the planning stage of our ingenious—is there another word for it?—enterprise. We had determined, first of all, that Space Weddings Inc., a subsidiary of MJTT, would offer two options. 1) For those who choose permanent bliss, we will guarantee that the bride and groom, as well as the officiant(s) and members of the wedding, will sail into deep space and in the direction of the galaxy of the bride’s choice. (Fine print: the satellite to be used in this unique operation will be pre-owned, though we further guarantee that its previous owner and/or manager will not be a former member of the Soviet Union.)
2) For those of a realist bent, i.e., those who do not see either the point or the possibility of permanent bliss, the wedding satellite will go into orbit and encompass Earth only once, twice, or thrice, depending on the depth of the bride’s father’s pocket.
In these days we find it necessary to point out that Space Weddings Inc., like its parent company MJTT, is an equal-opportunity service. Though the wedding herein described is by many accounts typical, SWI offers this outstanding opportunity to all, regardless of the status of the principals, be they bride and groom, bride and bride, or groom and groom. In fact, at its next meeting MJTT will consider the possibility of permitting other combinations of principals—threesomes, foursomes, etc., up to and including a mass orgy.