Well grab your moon boots, Commander Lazy Pants. Because you may be perfect for a job at NASA!
Our government space agency is looking for research subjects willing to stay in bed for 70 consecutive days, according to ABC News. Participants will receive $18,000 for completing the study. They’ll also have to pass a physical, psychological exams, and both drug and alcohol screenings. (So much for drinking your way to “mission accomplished.”)
The application is available online by visiting nasa.gov and searching for bed rest studies.
The purpose of the study is to reportedly research the long-term effects of weightlessness on astronauts. (Here, let me save you a study: They float.) NASA has already launched more than 100 manned space flights, so you’d think they could just study a real astronaut instead of test subjects sacked out in Snuggies and Cheeto dust.
Participants will lay in specially tilted beds with their head slightly lower than their feet “to keep fluid from traveling toward the tops of their bodies.” Because if there’s one thing even non-astronauts hate, it’s having fluids from your fuselage mix with your rocket boosters.
Over time participants will experience several physical effects, including muscle atrophy, a decrease in bone density and a serious case of bed head. And even though they will be confined to lying down, participants will be able to talk on phones, play on their laptops and steal more bases than the San Diego Padres.
Sure, NASA can say the purpose of the study is to research weightlessness. But I think NASA’s real reason is to see who exactly will volunteer to give up more than 2 months of their lives to essentially become coma patients.
My scientific guess? Pretty much everyone.
Forget paying me the 18 grand. I’ll do it right now for a glass of Tang. I just want 20 minutes to lean quietly against a cool wall. It doesn’t even have to be cool. Or a wall. Just everybody stop talking. Shhh. There we go. All better.
Our lives are so hectic and fast-paced. It’s almost impossible to find any down time. Sometimes I fantasize about elective surgery just so I can get the private room and adjustable bed.
I completely understand the allure of wanting to sign up for this study. You literally get to be as lazy as a dead person and you get to tell people you’re working for NASA. It’s guaranteed to drive your parents crazy!
You can even list it on a resume. And what special skills does it require? Simply the ability to wholly surrender all motivation, self-respect and even the desire to stand up when you pee.
“Tell me, Jeff, what vital role did you serve in our nation’s space program?”
“Not caring—for 70 straight, glorious days.”
“You, sir, are a real American hero. Ca-caw!” (That last part was a bald eagle flying overhead, as Captain America pins a medal of freedom to my atrophied chest.)
This NASA study is like the witness protection program for people who don’t give a crap. Just think of the possibilities. You could break up with somebody, borrow large sums of money, even punch a mime—then climb into a luxurious space bed with metallic sheets and be magically teleported 70 days into the future like it never happened.
Maybe that’s what astronauts really are: Just a bunch of dudes who flew to the moon to get away from some seriously regrettable bad juju they left back on Earth.
John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Elton John . . . maybe instead of celebrating these intergalactic cosmonauts with commemorative plates, we should take a closer look at their criminal pasts. What are they running from? Just why exactly did they do to want to go to outer space so badly? What was it back on earth that they literally defied gravity to escape?
These are the kinds of questions we should be answering with NASA’s next space study. Also, why can my DirecTV dish retrieve a satellite signal all the way from outer space, but it can’t see around a palm tree in my backyard?
Sleep on it, NASA. Get back to me.
Contact Jeff Girod firstname.lastname@example.org