I miss the good old days, back up in space. What’s it been now, forty years since I went on that NASA mission which went horribly wrong? There were other missions after it, sure, but none had me as excited as Project Exodus. We were supposed to build a house on the moon, complete with everything needed to stay there indefinitely. Never in my long life have I been as excited as I was for that mission.

We had extensive plans for the moon-house and everything. It was going to have an artificial gravity water slide, a stair balustrade for the gold-plated steps that we brought with us, an automatic food factory run by the newly designed robots. I would have been happy to stay there forever.

So Billy Stronglegs just had to ruin the whole thing, didn’t he? Mission control had specifically told him not to bring the teddy bear he had been gifted by his Russian aunt, but he did so anyway. No surprise, the sneaky reds had snuck a camera into it so that they could determine the location of the moon-house. They always were jealous of our efforts in the Space Race. One or two missile strikes later and it’s all over.

My grandson, who works in glass repair near Melbourne, doesn’t believe that the whole thing ever happened. And not just Project Exodus, but the entire Space Race! One time, when visiting him, I asked if he thought I was lying. He just looked down at a sheet of glass he was working on and said, “Grandpa, I don’t think you’re lying, I just think you’re going crazy with old age.”

That was really upsetting, because the Space Race was such an important part of my country’s history. Australia hasn’t even managed to send one man into space yet. People like him are the reason I liked it so much better out in the stars. Stars don’t question your sanity. They’re good like that.