Steaks, Mello Yello, and a telescope… just another evening at the Downey’s.

Just like any other night, I was over at the Downey’s drowning my worries in a coffee mug filled with Mello Yello and thinking about the steak working its way into my belly when Eddie blurted out, “Oh, have we told you about the telescope we got in the mail?”

Seeing as how Eddie has not yet confided in me any deep passion for charting the stars, I was quite intrigued when he walked over to show me a giant box with a $500 telescope inside. Eddie explained that it just showed up randomly a few days ago to his townhouse which is currently being rented out to some girls. The mailing label was addressed to them and even had his wife’s current cell phone number. They were about as confused my wife an I were. Was it a postal error? A generous secret Santa?

Further investigation of a secondary shipping invoice on the side only deepened the mystery, as the “ship to” portion of the second invoice was actually to completely different people up in the northeastern US. Since I’m a classy guy and respectful of other people’s privacy, I immediately went to Facebook and looked up the two people mentioned on the invoice as well as their immediate family, looking for any sort of clues as to whether they were the sort of people predisposed to astronomy. Besides their complete lack of Facebook privacy controls they seemed like legit folks so I closed their profiles and we went back to the business of figured out What Is This Box. Since the actual box itself was addressed to Eddie, we decided to bust it out and:

1. Look for clues.
2. Play around.
3. Search for alien life.
4. Lose feeling in our fingers while standing around in the cold waiting for the stupid device to fail at aligning itself.

We basically spent about a total of two hours putting it together, trying (and failing) to make it functional, watching some football, and then belatedly dragging it back inside to disassemble it and stuff it back into its ordinary looking cardboard box. I saw some bright stars but that was about it. Tomorrow it will most likely be back on some FedEx truck making its grand journey back up north. Who knows, maybe the people who actually ordered it will make do better than we did at this whole astronomy thing. I’ll stick to pointing at dim stars and making up constellations as I go along.

Who turned up the lights.
"See, that one? Right there? That is what we call Aristotle's Checkmark. No really man, he thought it was swell."

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