“3-2-1 liftoff! We have liftoff and Astronaut John Glenn is on his way to save our country from the evil Soviet monsters who want to take us over and make us drive ugly cars and wear big fur hats made from our own dogs!” OK, that may not be exactly how it went, but that’s the way I remember feeling as we listened to the historic mission on the radio in elementary school. We knew it was an historic event because nothing less than that would convince the nuns to skip arithmetic and let us listen to the radio in class. Oh, there was a promise once that we could listen if the Indians were in the world series but we know how that ended.
The celebration of the 50th anniversary of Glenn’s flight and how it truly changed our country and our town got me thinking about a more recent event – Newt Gingrich’s promise to establish a base on the moon if he’s elected president. I know this was more likely Newt’s way of distracting us from his two ex-wives and his current standing in the polls, but if it really was a possibility, it could be key to returning Cleveland to glory. And no, I’m not high on Tang. Hear me out.
What if Cleveland volunteered to move to the moon? Everything – lock, stock and beer barrel polka packed up and shipped to the lunar surface. Think of the jobs, think of the excitement, think of the chance to lose weight without dieting! We have the skilled labor force to build the ships and we’re used to holding our breath for long periods of time – have you watched the Cavs play lately? We know how to rejuvenate neighborhoods. That half of the moon that never sees the sun? We’ll get people to go there by putting a fresh food emporium there – the Dark Side Market. We can do this!
The benefits to becoming the Lunar City (Clevemoon? Lunarland? We’ll need to hold a contest) are enormous. Let’s start with the money we’ll save. If we leave now, we won’t have to finish the Innerbelt bridge. Better yet, we can start over and leave behind all of those things that have haunted us and taunted us – Pittsburgh, LeBron, the burning river, Dimora, Pittsburgh, the Fumble, Michigan, 10-cent beer night, Pittsburgh, Art Modell, did I mention Pittsburgh? Oh, and don’t forget the weather. The moon is covered with lakes and not one of them has a “lake effect.” The lunar rovers have been parked there for decades and there’s not a speck of rust on them. You’ll be able to take the kids to Lunar Point all year round.
If that’s not enough, here’s the ultimate incentive. By moving Cleveland to the moon, we guarantee championships for the Browns, the Indians and the Cavs. Our teams will win every game by forfeit, thus giving us new sports traditions, highlights and records we can be proud of. Thousand yard field goals! Four-hundred-foot-high alley-oops! No, LeBron, you can’t come back!
In honor of the men who inspired this idea, I propose we make John Glenn the first and oldest mayor on the moon and Newt Gingrich the first former House Speaker on the moon. Sorry, John Boehner, maybe you can get the Tang endorsement.
It’s time for Cleveland to take the title that’s rightfully ours … the best location in the universe. We can do this!