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mcgrew's Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Thirty Seven

Journal by mcgrew

Couch
        I woke up about twenty after seven. I put on a robe and trudged bleary-eyed to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. Destiny woke up just as I was going to the head. I still think that's a stupid name for a bathroom.
        She had the robot make French toast and sausage and was in the living room drinking coffee and watching the news when I got dressed and went in there. "I wish we had some pork sausage," she said.
        "You should have brought some," I replied. "I wish we were on Mars!"
        "Yeah, I should have," she said. "Oh, well, I ought to be able to get it on Mars."
        "It's four times as expensive there," I said. "Shipping costs."
        She smiled. "That's okay, I can afford it even if it does make me feel guilty."
        "Why does it make you feel guilty? I could see it if you were spending the rent money on pork."
        "I don't know," she said.
        Huh? I don't know, we were gabbing and not paying attention to the news. We ate our breakfast in the living room, and the map lit up just as I was finishing eating. I went to the pilot room, mug in hand. It was about ten 'til so I'd be in there a while.
        The blip was a cargo ship from another shipping company. I wondered why other companies didn't have radar absorbing coatings and passive radar like ours did, our boats are easy to hide and hard to find, or Bill's goose would have been cooked when he ran across the pirates I rained on, and they would have had his boat.
        Eight o'clock finally came. Funny how long it takes ten minutes to pass when you have absolutely nothing to do. It looked like this was going to be a really easy day; no course corrections and the only red light was engine seventeen, and I didn't have to inspect upstairs today.
        I stopped by our quarters... yeah, our quarters, she was living with me and we're getting married. So shut the fuck up before I walk out of here, asshole. Anyway, I stopped by our quarters to fill my cup, kissed Destiny, and started my trek to my dungeon, with its torture equipment. Huh? The stairs, of course. I hate those God damned stairs.
        The German woman was, as usual, in the commons eating. Tammy walked past and said "hi".
        I went down the torture equipment, which is worse coming up, to inspect my "dungeon".
        Everything checked out, all lights were green and all readings normal and the only robot doing anything was on number seventeen. I hauled my aching back up the torturous stairs.
        The commons was just starting to fill with droppers and was still pretty empty, I must not have spent much time at all downstairs. Destiny wasn't home, probably in Tammy's quarters, I thought. "What time is it?" I asked the computer. Wow, only eleven! I was home really early today.
        I turned on the video and checked listings on my tablet. All right! A zero gravity football game was just starting so I switched it to that.
        About quarter after, Destiny came home. "Wow!" she said. "You're really early today!"
        "Yeah," I said. "I haven't had a day this light since the first week we were in space. Cross your fingers! Want to watch this game with me, or do you want to do something else?"
        "I like football," she said. "We'll watch the game." Right then the map lit, but only for a second.
        "I'll be right back," I said. I went to the pilot room to see what the light was, but it hadn't had a good enough signal to even tell what kind of vessel it was. I went back home. A robot was cooking hot dogs and french fries and making potato salad.
        Huh? How the hell should I know what the damned hot dogs were made of, except I know it wasn't pork.
        I missed a goal while I was checking out the blip, St. Louis had scored against Novosibirsk. One nothing, and it was really early in the game.
        We moved to the dining room when lunch was done cooking and turned the game on in there. By the time we got the video turned on and on the right channel, it was one up; Novosibirsk had scored. Wow, two goals this fast?
        The cookbot brought our lunch. When we finished eating we moved back into the living room. Two to one Novosibirsk. Damn, I'd missed all three goals.
        When the game ended it was still two to one. Novosibirsk had beaten St. Louis.
        We watched some old short gray movies; two episodes of Rawhide, part of a silly serial called "Buck Rogers," a different Untouchables movie that wasn't nearly as good as the long one that was in color we'd watched quite a while ago, and one in color called "Emergency!" about a fire department in the second half of the twentieth century.
        Destiny asked "How about burritos for supper?"
        "No way in hell," I said. "If I eat Mexican food my asshole is on fire the next day!" She had a burrito and I had beef stew.
        She put on Hardly Ever After, a new holo. I fell asleep on the couch, and she woke me up when it was really bedtime. You would think I'd have stayed awake after such an easy day.

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Mars, Ho! Chapter Thirty Seven

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What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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