My sister in law, Heather bought me a Rocket for Christmas. You know, one of those things from Natural World, where you assemble it yourself and then by some fancy physics, dynamics, luck, it manages to open up, deploy a parachute and then float safely back to Earth.
Come Boxing Day, I decided to have a shot. There were of course, minimal instructions, and being that the toy was aimed at the younger end of the market, rather than twenty eight year old nerds, I thought this would be easy.
An hour later, I have managed to stick the whole thing together, but my manly hands were just to dam big to get the parachute inside the rocket casing, and I was struggling, I needed some woman/child hands to help. Finally I admitted defeat and called Rose, she managed to put it together in a couple of minutes.
We went out to the
back garden launch site and posed for some final photos. The instructions claimed that you needed to fire it directly up and it would go up to a hundred metres high, parachute would open and it would float gracefully back to the garden, yeah, like that was going to happen.
I got myself into the launch position, looking directly into the pissing rain, the elastic of the "catapult" launch mechanism, straining in my hand. I didn’t want to pull it too tightly, and snap it into my face, nor did I want to f**k it up.
Rose counted down "3, 2, 1, Go!". Technically she never said "lift off", but I wasnt going to argue! I let go and it went hurtling into the air with a rather limp recoil. I was expecting a much better kick back than this. It soared higher and higher, my guess around fifty metres. Finally, after a couple of seconds, it reached its high point, here comes the parachute?
Two seconds later, I was running into the house as the rocket landed at great speed in next doors garden, the parachute failed to open and with the noise it made when it landed, it hit "something" that wasnt tree or grass.
Rose suggested I go round and ask for my rocket back, I don’t think I want to do that, can you imagine :-) The plus side is that no one saw the "launch", so they would never suspect a twenty eight year old man, would they?