Thursday, August 8, 2013


Editor’s Note: presented below is the first of the last 8 episodes in this series. There will be 1 or 2 new episodes published each day, with the shocking conclusion to be revealed on 13 August. In light of the intensity of the experience to follow, our staff recommends that you fasten your seat belt, keep both feet on the floor, and firmly grip your reading device with both hands. If you're reading this while driving your car, pull over immediately. Those with heart conditions may want to have a nurse and a defibrillator standing by. Madams. Monsieurs. Without further adieu, join me now as we return to mean rails of New Toronto.

I ran from the food court back to the escalator. I ran down the escalator back to the subway level. I ran the three blocks through the underground concourse back to the office tower elevators. I stopped at the sign in front of the express elevator that said, Out of Order. Shhh……! 

It was either the stairs or the regular elevator. Our office was thirty floors up and there was no way I could walk up those stairs, let alone run, without having a coronary at about the third floor. Looks like I was taking the milk run on the regular elevator. Shhhh……!

The doors opened. I squeezed in with a wave of people. Somebody punched 30 on the panel. I tried to look nonchalant and not gawk at all the beautiful women while I tried to calm my racing thoughts. Instead I feigned an intense interest in determining the exact number of holes in the ceiling tiles. That didn’t seem to make me appear less creepy, so I was relieved when the muzak segued into the daily episode of starDate and let me focus my mind on something interesting and blankly stare ahead at the elevator doors.
“starDate, June 15. Today on starDate: the El Camino Estrella.

Four years ago today in 19c2, the Gen-Chry-Fo-Mo Corporation released the El Camino Estrella. The Estrella was a stock 'c2 El Camino outfitted with a powerful refracting telescope mounted to its pickup bed by a patented Hooke-Whammo visco-elastic vibration isolation system. Five hundred units were initially built and offered for sale at selected dealerships throughout west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and parts of southern California. The Estrella was immensely popular and sold out within two weeks of hitting the market.

Unfortunately 19c2 was both the first and last year for the Estrella. It turns out that a mobile telescope that is great for examining the heavens is equally great for looking inside people's residences at inopportune moments. The Estrella was the most stolen car in the summer of 'c2, primarily by teenagers joy riding with peep-and-run on their minds. Concerned parents groups successfully lobbied for the cancelation of the Estrella.

Today only four examples remain. The most recent one was discovered two years ago in a cave in Carlsbad, New Mexico. It sold at a London auction house last year for a stellar $6.2 million.

For starDate, I'm Vin Air. starDate is an homage to the outstanding 'Star Date', produced by the University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory."

The next instalment can be found here.

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