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News | 24 février
4 mn
Communication with the President of the Moon:
I wrote a letter to the President of the Moon, asked him if they had towaway zones up there. The cops had towed away my Honda and I didn’t like it. Cost me seventy-five dollars to get it back, plus the mental health. You ever notice how the tow trucks pick on little tiny cars? You ever seen them hauling off a Chrysler Imperial? No, you haven’t.
The President of the Moon replied most courteously that the Moon had no towaway zones whatsoever. Mental health on the Moon, he added, cost only a dollar.
Well, I needed mental health real bad that week, so I wrote back saying I thought I could get there by the spring of ’81, if the space shuttle fulfilled its porcelain promise, and to keep some mental health warm for me who needed it, and could I interest him in a bucket of ribs in red sauce? Which I would gladly carry on up there to him if he wished?
The President of the Moon wrote back that he would be delighted to have a bucket of ribs in red sauce, and that his zip code, if I needed it, was 10011000000000.
I cabled him that I’d bring some six-packs of Rolling Rock beer to drink with the ribs in red sauce, and by the way, what was the apartment situation up there?
It was bad, he replied by platitudinum plate, apartments are running about a dollar a year, he knew that was high but what could he do? These were four-bedroom apartments, he said, with three baths, library, billiard room, root cellar, and terrace overlooking the Sea of Prosperity. Maybe he could get me a rent abatement, he said, ‘cause of me being a friend of the Moon.
The Moon began to sound like a pretty nice place. I sent a dollar to the Space Shuttle Hurry-Up Fund.

Drumming fiercely on a hollow log with a longitudinal slit tuned to Moon frequencies, I asked him about employment, medical coverage, retirement benefits, tax shelterage, Convenience Cards, and Christmas Club accounts.
That’s a roger, he moonbeamed back, a dollar covers it all, and if you don’t have a dollar we’ll lend you a dollar through the Greater Moon Development Mechanism.
What about war and peace? I inquired by means of curly little ALGOL circuits I had knitted myself on my Apple computer.
The President of the Moon answered (by MIRV’d metaphor) that ticktacktoe was about as far as they’d got in that direction, and about as far as they would go, if he had anything to say about it.
I told him via flights of angels with special instructions that it looked to me like he had things pretty well in hand up there and would he by any chance consider being President of us? Part-time if need be?
No, he said (in a shower of used-car asteroids with blue-and-green bumper stickers), our Presidential campaigns seemed to damage the candidates, hurt them. They began hitting each other over the head with pneumatic Russians, or saying terminally silly things about the trees. He wouldn’t mind being Dizzy Gillepsie, he said.
By Donald Barthelme
(Courtesy of The New Yorker)
Crédits photo :
Article paru dans le numéro #12 MOON
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