Sunday, February 11, 2007

Trying to be serious about Lisa/Nasa

The other day—when I pounced upon the weird story of the Lisa Nowak mess, only to learn later on that the poor girl was charged with attempted murder—I was perfectly sincere when I added a line or two to my post stating that I would refrain from joking about Lisa's case... which would be best handled conjointly by her family and friends, her employer and legal folk. My initial reflections are surely those of a responsible citizen. But I've seen an avalanche of healthy Lisa/Nasa humor, and I conclude that there's no sense in trying to be more Catholic than the Pope.

Clearly, the aspect of the sordid tale that fascinates every observer is the fact that this crazed woman decided to wear diapers during her long trip across America so that—as journalists put it euphemistically—she wouldn't need to "go to the bathroom"... which can be translated in earthly non-American terms as "stop to piss" or "stop to shit". And the nation's media people took up instantly this aspect of Lisa's odyssey as if it symbolized the unhappy asshole ending of her road movie.

Personally, I often use my ancient automobile to cross France in a north-westerly direction in order to meet up with my dear ex-wife... who happens to be "ex", above all, in the sense that we lead rich independent lives. Before undertaking such a journey from the Dauphiné to Bretagne, I always perform a count-down of vital operations. I verify the state of my old Citroën. I check the pressure of tires. I prepare a plastic box of delicious sandwiches to be consumed during the trip... since I consider that the availability of good food and drink is a positive safety factor. It goes without saying, since I never travel without my dear dog Sophia, that I make sure that everything is taken care of at that level: comfortable sleeping quarters in the rear of the vehicle, ample dog food and water. The only thing I've never thought of is diapers... not to mention pepper spray or a hammer [but there, I'm diverging].

The reason why all America is fascinated by Lisa Nowak's diapers is that they bring this whole crazy astronautic story down to the surface of the planet Earth. She may be [or rather may have been] a Nasa heroine but, like everybody else on the planet, Lisa pees and shits, and she had to take account of these necessities within the context of her romantic cross-country mission.

There's no apparent reason why I have to be serious about Lisa Nowak. But she happens to be one of the most serious people on Earth... if not in the Heavens. Lisa's an ecological angel. From time to time, she might guzzle rocket fuel, or even automobile fuel, but don't imagine for an instant that she's going to piss or shit haphazardly upon her lovely land of America. Nasa Amazons such as Lisa Nowak don't do that.

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