In space no one can hear you scream, they say. That was actually the famous tagline on that awful science fiction movie, Alien.
You know the one.
The astronauts are round a table eating spaghetti and drinking. Suddenly John Hurt, who always played tortured souls, seems to have a bad attack of heartburn before being flung onto his back on the table.
A tiny blood-spattered long green whale-headed thing with spiky teeth rips his T-shirt – from the inside – and then clambers, nay slithers, out of his chest. The creature from the red cavity then slowly looks around at the crew before scuttling off – probably not to do the dishes either.
Apologies if you’re about to eat. You may wish to leave it until later.
Space travel is in the news and this is why it gives me the collywobbles.
Alien made me relieved Britain didn’t have a space programme
That movie is why I still go wobbly at the thought of being squeezed, encapsulated, entombed even, in a space capsule or even certain cabs, along with other people and whatever bugs they brought in.
Being in the RAF at the time, we were relieved Britain didn’t have a space programme to volunteer for. I became worried about social distancing in 1979 after I saw that chest wall part down the middle. Sorry, enough blood and guts.
We’re all scared of something. Walking home a few weeks ago, the guy round the corner asked me what I thought about him growing fruit trees. Me? Haven’t a scooby.
He said he was scared of failure and wasting time for nothing. I told him to do it. He asked which fruit tree he should try first and I said he should grow a pear. Do you know that man hasn’t spoken to me since.
Space travel isn’t for youngsters, apparently
Someone who’s not scared is Dave Mackay, from Helmsdale in Sutherland. Chief pilot for Richard Branson’s test mission at the weekend, he took the billionaire about 250,000 feet up in the sky, beyond the Armstrong limit. Go higher than that and you are officially an astronaut.
Go 55 miles up, and they call you an astronaut. Go 55 miles south, and they call you a tourist
That sounds like a long way up. It is, but in miles it’s just 55.
That’s the distance between Stornoway and Luskentyre Beach. I can do that in an hour and a half in a Qashqai, easy. Go 55 miles up, and they call you an astronaut. Go 55 miles south, and they call you a tourist. I wish it was the other way round.
Space travel isn’t for youngsters. Dave is 64, which is no age at all. Richard Branson is 71 this week. Jeff Bezos, boss of Amazon, is having a bash at the edge of space next week with his brother, a paying passenger and a crewwoman called Wally Funk who first trained in 1961. Ms Funk is a glorious 82.
We need strings of high-profile arrests and heavy penalties
What else was going on in the UK in the last week? Apart from football fans behaving like common criminals and, for the most part, getting away with it again, not much.
This is not a time either for Scots fans to crow about doing nothing wrong. There have been many other weekends where they have let Scotland down.
Though not a fan of what used to be a sport until it became tainted by criminals, the international tension meant I had to watch the last bit, the extra time and the penalties.
Abusing the footballers who missed penalties showed the actual intelligence of people who seem to believe they have perfect little lives and are so supremely talented themselves. And I don’t think.
The fact that most of the abuse was at the black players was horrific. We have a name for people who target others in that way. We need strings of high-profile arrests and heavy penalties before anything will change.
Oh, and while I’m at it – runners-up medals. Never offer them to the England team again. That rehearsed bout of childishness does not show anyone what winning meant to them.
Who cares if other lesser teams do it? That sheer lack of basic respect puts the perpetrators in a category almost close to the criminals who abused some of their number.
Not like the respect that Helmsdale Dave and Richard Branson in that space module had for each other.
Branson says: “Let’s have a cuppa. My chest is a bit itchy. Darn it. I can’t find any milk for our coffee.”
Dave says: “In space, no one can. Here, use cream.”