Thanks, Skylab, You're just what we needed: a Fun Disaster. No wonder newspapers are offering rewards for pieces of your hide, rock stars are serenading youn with dittties of praise, and people in Manhatten are lining up to buy T-shirts that say, "New York Welcomes Skylab."
We're surprised there haven't been more songs, really - say, a rewrite of Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylab" that went "Skylab, will you hit me on the head today?/Will I wake up feeling dead today?/Dum de dum de dum dum dum. . ."
If only the Chordettes of the '50s were still around in this age of garbage from space to sing, "Mr. Skylab, give up a charge/Bypass the rec room and hit the garage. . ."
If those sound awful, they're poetry compared to "When You Wish Upon a Piece of Falling Debris."
Of course, Mister Skylab may sound like a fun disaster today and not such a friendly klutz tomorrow, when the 154,000 pounds of space station are scheduled to begin their arrival on earth. If only we knew where those 500 pieces of Skylab were going to land.
And better still - oh much better still - if only we could get them to land where we want them to land.
Now 500 pieces of Skyland is a lot of pieces of Skylab, and parceling them out is not an easy job. It could all be done in one blow, however, that would save millions of people from a fate worse than nausea, or equal to it, anyway. It turns out there are 500 prints of the Paramount picture "Players," with Ali MacGraw, now playing at theaters through the United States.
Five hundered small splats for Skylab, one giant leap for the cinema.
But that would be a waste. Particularly with so many other irresitible targets. Consider that . . .
Just one piece of Skylab could successfully knock off and obliterate Karl Malden's hat.
Nine pieces of Skylab could destroy all nine Hollywood Squares, and one more piece could put an end to host Peter Marshall's nightclub act, surely a new landmark in showbiz euthanasia.
Only 25 pieces could wipe out the D.C. parking enforcement office's entire fleet of 25 tow trucks, those vicious and unquenchable avenging angels of prestilence, and the drivers whoi've been merrily towing all our cars away could go on toa more honorable line of work. Like gun running.
A few well-placed missiles from Skylab could wipe out not only the Adidas jog wear factory but also thespring from which bubbles the infamous Perrier. Zillions and jillions of people would have to change their so-called lifestyles overnight.
Gee, there are so many other places for pieces of Skylab to go . . .
One to knock off Princess lee Radwill's tiara.
One to put the kibosh on Jane Fonda's correspondence course in sign langauge.
There to raid the men's room at Studio 54 and leave it in ruins, even if that's the way they found it.
One to ignite and decimate the sitting room from which Alistair Cooke explains everything on public television unitl you have completely lost interest in living.
One for each hot tub in smartalecy Marin County, one for the Mud Club in little old New York, six or seven to give one final mouth whack to the Tic Tac factory, and three to burn Benji The Dog's split-level kennel right to the ground.
It is only a gesture of kindness and mercy all around to wish that one or two flaming chunks would land in Orson Welles' bag of tricks and put an end to his magic act once and for all.
Some places are just asking for trouble and if they get Skylab it will only be because they deserve it.
Like restaurants with such cutesywutesy names as the Jolly Bagle and the Wistful Waffle and the Existential Eggplant.
Like Steve Allen's "Meeting of Minds" where on a good night you could get Karl Marx, Genghis Kahn, Benito Mussolini and Jayne Meadows with one blow.
Like the recording machin that answers when you dial information and then, often as not, hangs up on you before a human being comes along.
Several of our most menacing nuisances could be dealt with were Skylab to fall on just the right night's taping of the "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." Certain conditions would have to be met, however.
Johnny would have to be off. David Letterman would be filling in for Johnny, Doc Severisen would be filling in for Ed, and Tommy Newsom would be filling in for Doc. And the guests would have to be Orson Bean, Elizabeth Ashley, Robert Blake, The Amazing Kreskin, Bert Convy, Charo, Dr. Joyce Brothers and Los Indios Tabajaras. A lot of us would stay up to the bitter end for that one.
Who can say where other pieces of Skylab may mercifully land - on Rod McKuen's publisher and Rod McKuen's cat, perchance? On the 2 billion, 999 million, 886 thousand, 448th Big Mac just as it is being served? On all men wearing seamless pants with no back pockets to disrupt their derriere profile at the disco? Or on James Sclesinger's brain trust - you'd only need a tiny piece for that one, of course.
And with all that there'd still be enough pieces left for: the very next doctor who decides to write a diet book; the typewriters and any other writing implements in the possession of Erma Bombeck, Sidney Sheldon and Henry Kissinger; the Bee Gees' sound system, light show and all their pairs of seamless pants with no back pockets to disrupt ther derriere profiles; an OPEC nation or two; Anson Williams; US magazine; Debby Noone's zit balm; the Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull; Tom Snyder's bottle of Grecian Formula No. 9; four of Reggie Jackson's five Rolls-Royces . . . and . . . Barry Manilow's nose.
And . . . David Brenner's nose.
"The Love Boat" could be sunk, "Fantasy Island" could be strafed, and the battery on Robert Conrad's shoulder could be not only knocked off, but fricasseed into ashes, heh heh heh.
Mister Skylab, we are expecting a lot of you. About 77 tons of you, as a matter of fact. And if by any chance you're thinking about landing on a newspaper office, make it one that runs "Doonesbury", okay? CAPTION: Picture 1, Dr. Joyce Brothers; Picture 2, Karl Malden; Picture 3, Debby Boone; Picture 4, Lee Radziwill; Picutre 5, Rod McKuen; Picture 6, Jane Fonda; Picture 7, Orson Wells; Picture 8, Tom Snyder.