* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are over the moon to have the latest piece by Meg Favreau.

RE: Your Recent MOON BABY

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Dear NASA,

I am FRUSTRATED!!!!! Why did you put a BABY on the MOON? The baby WILL NOT REMEMBER it. As a taxpayer and moon enthusiast, I insist that this is a WASTE OF MONEY and a LOW-GRAVITY SITUATION.

The adult astronauts said that the baby cried a lot. I WOULD NOT HAVE CRIED if I went to the moon, unless it was because the EARTH LOOKED SO BEAUTIFUL or because I GOT CUT, like if I used part of the space-ship wrong. To be fair, I am not entirely sure that the baby did NOT use the space-ship wrong. If this is why the baby was crying, I APOLOGIZE. However, if the baby was crying because of HUNGER, COLIC, or INTENSE G-FORCE PRESSURE, I remain angry!!! Continue reading

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where the food is fast and so are the wisecracks. This week please say hello to Chason Gordon, who clearly is not quite right in the head but who sounds just fine in prose.

Observing The Construction Of A McDonald’s

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The construction of a new McDonald’s near where I live began with the destruction of the old McDonald’s. The reasons are not clear. It may have been an odd tactic in rebuilding sales, or because the employees were tired of sharing a locker with Ronald McDonald, or perhaps because the burgers, like the Clippers, needed a new building. Any of these could have been the reason when a few months ago they powered down the fryer, smashed all the ketchup packets, overturned the stools, and pushed in every button on the plastic lids. McDonald’s was closed.

This was not a renovation but a complete rebirth. The ground was flattened, and save for a few stray Big Mac cartons any sign a burger was served there was gone. Construction then initiated unlike any other building process I had ever seen. There were no trucks, no piles of lumber, and not a single hard hat. On the first day the construction workers merely gathered in a circle of chairs to discuss the place of McDonald’s in the 21st century. Questions that were addressed included “Why build a McDonald’s?” and “What do the arches mean?” and “How will this affect the community?” One worker spoke of his time in the Korean War, and ended his monologue dramatically by stating, “I just hope people know why we were here.”

The next day the outline of the entire restaurant was drawn in chalk, and workers pantomimed handing burgers over the counter, bussing their trays, and playing in the ball pit. One man, pretending to be in a car (“What kind of car am I driving?”), strode up to the drive-thru window where another simulated the act of giving change. It was like Dogville with burgers. While construction workers pretended to cook fries and use the soda fountain, a studious bespectacled man took measurements, drawing markings in the dirt, and occasionally tapping a worker when he had been eliminated. Continue reading

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we sometimes lie awake at night worrying about entropy. And we don't even know what entropy means. But David Martin does.

What Me Worry?

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Tens of billions of years from now…the sun will have shrunk to a white dwarf, giving little light and even less heat to whatever is left of Earth, and entered a long, lingering death that could last 100 trillion years…

— Time.com

I’m worried. Really worried.

Not about what we’ll have for dinner tonight. Or whether to lease or buy our next car. And I’m not talking about larger societal issues like pensions and healthcare. For all the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, these things will likely work themselves out to the extent I give a rat’s ass.

Even bigger issues like global warming or that much-anticipated cage match between Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin don’t cause me to lose sleep. Sure, we may end up causing calamitous changes to the planet that will displace billions of people and cost trillions of dollars. But even with all that, mankind will survive in one form or another…at least for now.

No. What’s got me worried, so worried I can barely get out of bed in the morning, is the ultimate, seemingly inevitable end of all life as we know it.

I’m not referring to the inexplicable popularity of Dancing with the Stars. I’m speaking, of course, of the ongoing expansion of the universe. While most of us blithely carry on as if we’ll be here forever, the universe keeps reaching further and further into space at a staggering clip. Continue reading

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel. When you have nowhere else to go, we have no way to stop you from coming here. This week our good friend Whitney Collins has created an outrageous tissue of lies about the Bermuda Triangle. In America, we call that journalism.

Underreported Bermuda Triangle Stories

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— Sandy K., Provo, UT

We were on a commuter flight from Fort Pierce, Florida to Nassau. Halfway there, the plane lost cabin pressure and from my vantage point in Seat 8C, the clouds outside appeared almost lilac in appearance. Not lavender, mind you. Lilac. A few minutes later, the flight attendant stopped in our aisle to ask us to put on our oxygen masks. It was then that I realized she was actually Cheryl Harmon — my freshman year roommate from Utah State! Talk about uncanny! We briefly hugged and cried and exchanged email addresses before the cabin regained pressure. When no one was looking, Cheryl gave me two extra packs of peanuts — which came in handy once we landed because our airport shuttle was late and my blood sugar dipped way low. Coincidence? I think not.

— Bill S., Chattanooga, TN

My wife Tanya and I were deep sea fishing near the Turks and Caicos when she, who HATES fishing, caught a record-breaking dusky grouper. I, on the other hand, caught a cold. Also, our fishing guide looked like Bigfoot.

— Frank W., Coral Gables, FL

As a Coast Guard officer, I see lots of strange things in the Bermuda Triangle. But nothing was as weird as that guy I rescued off the coast of Miami who had four nipples. Three? I could maybe handle that. But four? I can’t even talk about it.

— Josh G., Austin, TX

I was on a Carnival Cruise with a bunch of my bros en route to San Juan. I swear, one night by the upper deck pool, I was probed by aliens. It was definitely the same night my frat brothers and I took mescaline. Or maybe it was the Purple Hooch night. Whatever the case, the next morning, my butt hurt. I hate the Bermuda Triangle. But Puerto Rico was pretty cool. Continue reading

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