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Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Happy Bucket. A Funny Commercial and Thoughts

 Hello Troops,

Last night I glanced up at the clock in the kitchen.  It was 7:20 P.M.

"What would I be doing at 7:20 P.M. if I was running an Overnight Camp at the Space Center," I thought to myself.

At 7:20 P.M. I'd probably be covering the Overnight Camp rules with the campers in the gym.  In fact, I'd be right in my Happy Bucket speech.

So, for old times sake, let's relisten to that traditional Happy Bucket speech, given to thousands and thousands of campers every week for the last 22 years.   Best to grab a tissue and prepare for happy memories of some really happy times.

Mr. Williamson's Happy Bucket Overnight Camp and Super Saturday Speech (as best as I can remember)

Occasionally people get sick during our camps.  Occasionally people explode.

Some people easily explode.  They see something they don't like - they vomit.  They smell something disgusting - they vomit.  Then there are people like me who rarely, if ever,  throw up.  I' threw up once in my entire life.  I was 8 years old; it was Valentine's Day.  My mother gave me a large bag of those gross, hard candy hearts with little sayings on them.   I was suppose to take them to school and pass them out to everyone in my class.

Well, what did the selfish little pig do?  I brought the full bag of candy home and secretly ate all of them right before going to bed.  The explosion was Earth shaking.  My bed was covered in partially digested candy Valentine's Day hearts.  Mother was furious that I'd eaten the entire bag at once.  She was even more furious I hadn't given them out to my classmates.  I was grounded from candy for a long time after that.     

I've seem some very nasty explosions in the 22 years I've run this Center.   During one camp I had a boy raise his hand and tell me that he had to throw up.  "Go!" I said pointing toward the restrooms.  I followed a minute behind to check on him.  When I got there, I saw that the bathroom sink was lined with  a gooey mixture of something I identified as having once been Top Ramen.  The boy had both hands on the sink.  His head was perfectly positioned to make another deposit.

"Wow, I guess you didn't like your supper very much," I said to lighten the mood.

"My mom was gone.  My Dad cooked the supper," the boy explained.  His face contorted to show me what he thought of his dad's cooking.

So, what do you do if you feel an explosion coming?   Tell a member of our staff that you're not feeling very good and you need a Happy Bucket.  We have small buckets called Happy Buckets we give to campers who think they might throw up.  They're called Happy Buckets because I'm the one who cleans up the vomit.  So when you get "It" in the bucket, it makes me HAPPY!

You keep the Happy Bucket with you all the time until the feeling is gone.  Just say this to anyone who makes fun of you for having a Happy Bucket,   "I either throw up in the bucket or on you, take your pick!"   

Let's say there isn't enough time to ask for a Happy Bucket.  You feel it coming.  It's Mount Vesuvius getting ready to erupt, its Old Faithful ready to spout.  Look for the nearest trash can if we can't get a Happy Bucket to you in time.  If you can't get to a trash can, then look around for some place on the floor that doesn't have carpet.  Cleaning up vomit from a hard floor is easy.  Cleaning a carpet means we have to close the ship, get everyone out, bring in the carpet cleaning machine etc etc.

Let's say there isn't enough time to get a Happy Bucket or a trash can and you can't find uncarpeted floor.  That's when we go to the nuclear option.  Grab the front of your uniform, hold it up from both corners and use it to contain the explosion.  It's going to get on the uniform anyway, so why not use the uniform to keep it off the carpet.  You get yourself cleaned up, the uniform goes to the laundry and all is well.

Now, don't get upset if you throw up.  It's no big deal even if it gets on the carpet.  I'm happy to cleaned it up.  I'm only telling you these things in case there is enough time to do something about it - like ask for a Happy Bucket.   

You're going to love this outstanding use of creativity and primitive special effects.  This commercial reminds me of some of the first missions we ran at the Space Center in 1990!  I cringe when I think of how crude they were (computer programming - mine.  special effects - mine.  Frightening, isn't it).  

And now, some thoughts to keep you going....... 

It's about that simple.
We all want to leave something lasting behind;
something that says, "I was here. I did that."

Imagine.  Believe.  Learn and Do.

A wise man once said, "The Truth will Set You Free."

Your parents and teachers are trying to do that for you.

They understand what lies ahead. 
Give them a break.

Before you quit, Try.
I wish I could convince some of my math students to do this.
A few like to shut down with every turn of the workbook page.

Every morning is a fresh start

 Ever feel like you're a permanent citizen?

A plea to disengage from the Matrix from time to time.  Just listen.

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