Neil Armstrong And Buzz Aldrin Discuss Who’s Going To Get Out First

By: Jen Spyra

Apollo 11’s control panel beeps: Distance to moon: 10,000 feet.



BUZZ: I can’t believe this is really happening!

NEIL: Buzz, we are seriously going to be the first two people to walk on the moon. Do you know what that means? We’ll probably meet the president. On color TV! How amazing is that?

BUZZ: Unbelievable. It’s like looking out a window!

NEIL: No, I mean landing on the moon.

BUZZ: Oh. Right.

NEIL: Have you thought of anything to say? You know, post-landing?

BUZZ: Are you kidding? I’m gonna say, “I’m on the moon, baby!”

NEIL: That’s…that’s good.

BUZZ: Why, what were you gonna say?

NEIL: Well, I’ve been toying with something along the lines of, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

BUZZ: Someone’s fancy.

Control panel: Distance to moon: 8,000 feet.

NEIL: Just think about all the time we’ve spent preparing for this. Practicing landing module repairs in simulated weightlessness, the grueling physical training — all in preparation for this moment. It’s almost overwhelming…

BUZZ: But there’s no stopping us now. We’re gonna be in the history books! “Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong!”

NEIL: Right. Or, “Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin!”

BUZZ: I just figured it would be alphabetical.

NEIL: Yeah…it’ll probably be whoever steps on the moon first.

Control Panel: Distance to moon: 7,000 feet.

BUZZ: You know, that thing you said about feeling overwhelmed…If you want to just lie down for a little, I can poke around by myself when we get to the moon while you relax.

NEIL: Thanks, buddy, but I’m not that tired. No need to lie down.

BUZZ: No shame in taking a breather.

NEIL: I’m fine, honestly. You’re looking a little pale yourself.

BUZZ: Really? I’ve never felt more vigorous and able.

NEIL: You don’t want to take a few minutes while I’m out there to do some circulation exercises? Never hurts to promote healthy blood flow.

BUZZ: Nah.

Control Panel: Distance to moon: 6,000 feet.

BUZZ: You know, we never really talked about logistics.

NEIL: True. Before we do, though, I just want to take a moment now to let you know that working with you has been the rarest privilege. You’re hard-working, disciplined, and an exemplary copilot and friend. I’ll remember these days as the highlight of my life. And you know, now that I think about it, I feel really strongly that you should go first.

BUZZ: Thanks, Neil. That means a lot. But you should go first.

NEIL: Okay.

BUZZ: Uh — well — why don’t we do, first one who gets their gear on goes first?

Buzz starts to suit up. Neil pats around, looking for something.

NEIL: Buzz, where’s my retroflector?

BUZZ: You’re retro-wha?

NEIL: My retroflector. The thing that lets me walk on the moon.

BUZZ: Oh yeah. I think I saw it in the TV room.

Neil floats away to check.

Control Panel: Distance to moon: 5,000 feet.

NEIL: It’s not in there! I always put it back in the cubbyhole when I get in from space. Were you using it?


MICHAEL COLLINS: I just had this weird premonition that no one will remember me.

BUZZ: That’s crazy. You’re our Command Module Pilot. Everyone will know that Neil and I went to the moon with a third guy who was responsible for orbiting the moon while we walked on it.

Neil floats back in.

NEIL: Hey. I just found my retroflector. It was taped to the outside of the module. Buzz — are you trying to sabotage me?

BUZZ (mimicking in a high-pitched voice): Are you trying to sabotage me? Not any more than you’ve been trying to sabotage me from jump street!

NEIL: Excuse me?

BUZZ: You told NASA I had a heart murmur. You told NASA that I was bad at climbing steps and that, specifically, I would trip on the stepladder bridging the landing module and the moon.

NEIL: Whatever. You’re a moron, Buzz! You wanted say, “I’m on the moon, baby!”

Control Panel: Distance to moon: 1,000 feet.

Neil starts to push Buzz into a closet.

NEIL: Just…get…in…

BUZZ: Hey! Come on —

NEIL: You’ve always been there, between me and the moon…buzzing between us…

BUZZ: Neil, you’re eyes are like, crazy.

NEIL: It’s in your name…Buzzzz…but it’s over now…I’m making history…I’ll be a national icon…

BUZZ: Get off me!

NEIL: No lines…free appetizers…consequence-free sex…

BUZZ: Are you just naming things you’ll get if you’re the first person on the moon?

NEIL: Free upgrades…color TV…my face on a quarter…

MICHAEL: Do you think we’ll still hang out on Earth? I really hope so, guys.


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