Wax Volcanic - So tell me, what is your ideal travel destination?
The Wombats - Us three playing golf on the moon, hitting balls towards the earth. Glittery golf balls. The flag is situated in Sydney maybe. Or Liverpool or LA. Yeah probably.
Murph watched a banana’s refrigerated sweat slide down its left side. Constellations of purled moisture were collecting at its slowly rotating ends. The banana swung on a drunk horizontal axis into the boundless, cosmically irradiated vacuum of space, but not alone. With it rolled mottled spheres of cold-stored apples and stone fruit and chocolate bars pirouetting glacially alongside frozen bread rolls.
Open packets of instant coffee followed closely behind, swimming evenly with a small brigade of suspended cleaning products and disposable plates. In the field of the moon’s decelerated gravitational pull and electrostatic repulsion, the spilling contents of the coffee sachets flew in an even, clodded squadron, a slow exhibition flight into pure expanse.
“Shiiiit.” Murph’s arms hung slackly at his sides as Dan Haggis settled shakily beside him.
“Landing gear again Murph?” Dan’s smile was visible even through the tint of his polycarbonate visor.
“It’s a snack cart. Why does it even have a landing gear?”
Dan raised his hands, the astronautical equivalent of a shrug. “Liquid-fuel boosters? Gravitational abnormalities? Grab the tortilla chips.”
Murph made slow, sweeping arcs with his arms, catching some of the cart’s slowly escaping chocolate and wheeling packets of crisps. The tips of his fingers sent everything they touched (mostly stone fruit) spiraling at radical new trajectories and velocities into space.
The whole holiday had been on the cusp of full-scale tragedy until this morning. Now it was definitely sliding towards light disaster. It was meant to be a working holiday—a chance to roll the summer camp fun of Meatballs into the Galaxian comedy of Spaceballs. It wasn’t working. Dispensing snacks and rudimentary stroke advice on a lunar golf resort was about as far from a teen movie as conceivably possible. Each member of the Wombats had found the amount of youthful abandon present at the nexus point of recreational space travel and amateur golf to be small. Very small. Actually the only female they’d spotted south of the age of 60 worked in the pro shop and was attempting to privately date one of the resort’s physical therapists—unsuccessfully (the privacy, that is.) Murph stared at the contents of the food cart oozing noiselessly towards the general direction of the earth. All of which was stolen—promoted from the resort’s primary storeroom to their uncoupled snack cart. Tord had gotten the access code, but never said how. So this was their usual evening plan: ditch work, secure a food supply and fire golf balls towards the 18th hole. Known terrestrially as the Grand Canyon. Although rules were recently changed to allow ‘anywhere in LA’ as a permissible hole-in-one. The actual idea is, according to the resort’s digital literature, that you land at the Canyon, post orbital jaunt, and launch balls into a far more colourful and satisfying abyss than the cold regions of space. As Murph and Dan stood hitting balls towards North America, a haze begun to develop, as if the ground were shimmering and raising up in a cloud. It was the moon’s electrostatic repulsion, pushing surface dust up into a dense smog.
Dan and Murph galloped slowly around the dysfunctional snack cart.
“Jump into the fog!!” cheered Murph, launching himself towards a packet of hovering Oreos.
Tord was assisting a 73 year old Ms Argaline with her swing on hole 16 of the resort’s indoor range. He had overheard her talking about “the near end” and something being “all over now anyway” and had spent three solid days trying to embed himself into her will by being a golf-orientated answer to all her unanswered prayers. Her caddies took shifts, drinks leapt into her hand faster than any request could leave her mouth. Tord was, even by the Resort’s masochistic standards, “Quite good.”
But Ms Argaline wasn’t dying biologically— it was more a sort of a spiritual slackening. Once a great beauty, Selena Argaline was no longer feeling the “silk thread” of carnal impulse that she claimed to various (now-expired) glossy magazines would “draw her out of bed in the morning by her fingertips and remain woven through the unrolling day.” But, habit-forming as flirtation is, she still tried to slide liquidly around Tord, bat her eyelids and smile coyly. Which—while encased in a 73 kilogram, fully-pressured, heat-impervious Z1 spacesuit—resembled the daytime movements of a low-functioning drunk. What Tord did manage to glean from the sexually necrotic socialite however, was a working code to the resort’s primary storeroom.
Selena Argaline frowned as a small belt of apples and stone fruit floated past the course’s transparent dome, saying nothing. In case it was inspired by her meds and vodka lunch. She liked Tord but thinks she might have led him on too forcefully, even if out of habit alone. After almost every point of advice he’d say: “That’s it Selena, remember, your body is a weapon…” It seemed a little salacious. She made a mental note to dial down the coy smiles and eyelid flutterings. Space helmet or no.
Words and additional illustrations by Paul C. Cumming aka Wax Volcanic
Postcard illustration by Kelly Walsh