Where Shucky Frazer, The First Man on the Moon, Ended Up
After I’d succeeded in picking my jaw up off the floor, Madam Twilge filled me in a little more about what happened to Shucky Frazer, the 19th-century cobbler, after his historic lawsuit victory over the possessed shoes that haunted him.
Shucky’s victory, it turned out, was a bittersweet one. While he was now set for life financially, the floating shoes never stopped following him around and kicking him in the ass. This made relaxation difficult, and his social life also suffered.
Unable to sleep, Shucky stayed busy, but not with mending shoes — he swore off helping shoes, which he’d begun to think of as “the enemy.” Instead, he turned his attention to astrophysics. He was firm in his belief that space had zero gravity, and he felt this would give him an advantage in the ongoing battle against his floating footwear. He set his sights on the moon, which he estimated to be 238,900 miles away. Many of Shucky’s theories of space would prove to be correct, minus the one that it was filled with squid-like entities to whom he could teach the art of breadmaking.
And although his shoes had ultimately turned on him, they’d also prove to be his salvation from his home planet (Earth). After years of trail runs, Shucky managed to harness the pungent foot odor from leftover shoes in his shop to develop a rocket fuel powerful enough to propel him into the stratosphere.
In the process, Shucky became the first person to liquify stench, a discovery that would fundamentally alter scientific research and ultimately be responsible for several birth abnormalities in the area, where a generation of children were born holding their noses.
Shucky’s first test flight took place on August 9, 1814, and resulted in the following headline below the fold in the evening edition of the Daily Echo:
CRAZED COBBLER CRACKS CRANIUM IN CRASH
For his second attempt, Shucky resolved to send a chimpanzee as the pilot while he himself monitored safely from the station. But the chimp, Mr. Crackers, somehow ended up convincing Shucky to let him monitor from the station while Shucky piloted.
The next headline in the Echo made it above the fold:
COO-COO COBBLER CRASHES, CRIES; CHURLISH CHIMP CHUCKLES
For the third attempt, Shucky and Mr. Crackers came to an agreement that they would both monitor the launch from the station and send the rocket up on its own. This resulted in the final headline before the team’s liftoffs were closed to the press:
UNMANNED ROCKET CRASHES INTO MONITORING STATION; MAN, APE-MAN GET MANHOODS MANGLED
It took eight more attempts before the pair felt confident enough to climb aboard their vessel again. Their first successful flight occurred on March 11, 1833.
Since then, they’ve only been spotted back on earth twice: Once in 1890 to return a library book, and once in 1985 to try New Coke.
Their stance on visitations to their lunar abode is spelled out in a message they’ve scratched into the surface of the Albategnius crater: “STAY AWAY OR DIE.”
When Madam Twilge finished relating all this history to me, I stood up.
“I’d like one ticket to the moon, please,” I said.