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The Essay
Show #64
Goddard and Roswell
David Gunn
Beholden as we are to the mighty collegiate forces whose giant radiophonic transmitter sits atop our sesquistudio like a crown of briars on the fevered brow of an idiot savant, we are happy to be able to burn a little time today celebrating the worldly exit of the man who singlehandedly turned a liquid-propellant rocket into this very liberal arts school. Robert Goddard was born in October 1,214 months ago, the son of a sharecropper and a Guggenheim Foundation. As a young stud, Robert pawned religious artifacts for the Smithsonian Institution, studied physics, and later moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where he, like everybody else in town, was abducted by aliens. In a letter to his sister dated only last year, he claims he learned more English grammar from them during his brief close encounter than he did in 12 years in the New Mexican public school system. To prove it, he wrote le flambeau oriange, a lengthy essay on theoretical absquatulism, entirely in the pluperfect tense. It was never published because typewriters of that era didn't have the capability to print so many elipses.

A water skiing accident in 1939 forced Robert to curtail his rocketry experiments. To this day, no one is entirely sure why, because the accident occurred in Roswell at the same time Robert was visiting Mrs. Fennish Zeidleman in Nebraska. He soon fell in with a band of grammatically colorful ruffians who taught him the down-and-dirty side of whiskers six-draw, a card game of inestimably absurd rules. Using abstruse astrophysic constructs distilled from liquid-propellant rocket science, however, he was able to accrue huge under-the-table fortunes in unsanctioned tournaments. His fame, liver, and desire for melon all grew in equal proportions, and on a Saturday much like this one in 1942 -- minus today's consumer's predilection for Pop Tarts -- ol Bob checked back into that Alien Nation in the Sky, endowing his sizable winnings to the very college whose flanks radioate from these microphonal chat tubes like panada-on-toast from the Guadalajara chamber of Commerce. (Panada: a gruel-like substance held in high esteem, if not in the naked hand, by at least one member of the staff of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, the program which offers no apologies, but does come with a melody-back guarantee.)

Thanks to -- or indeed in spite of -- modern technology and its antithetical energy flow, this portion of episode 64 of the New Music Bazaar will be rebroadcast in a retrograde inverse format later in the program to comply with new radiophonic zoning regulations that require at least 15 minutes of teological Portuguesian programming per shift.

While we are decidedly uncompromising in our approach to 20th century music except when impolitic, it would be remiss for me not to mention that, on this date in history, the normally resolute territory of Missouri did compromise with its sister state of Zacatecas in Mexico, severing all cultural ties in order to become the 24th United State. As compensation, Missouri ceded Zacatecas a chain of hosiery mills as well as the villages of Zanoni, Tightwad and, of course, Mexico, which was subsequently returned. This information is courtesy of "The Unadulterated History of the New World, chapter 4," whose depths we are inclined to plumb no more often than necessary.

More often than necessary is also the number of musical plums we have for your auditory entertainment today, just in case anyone is keeping track. And who better to track the development of subsequent program subsets than Kal?