As I sat on the side of a hill with my wife watching the Ashland fireworks display, we saw a particular explosion that appeared to hit the moon. From behind us we heard a small child tell his mother that a firework hit the moon. After a long pause, the child spoke up again asking an oft asked question by young kids: “Mommie, what is the moon made of?”
It was then that I realized that we had been sitting in front of an expert in the field astronomy and physics as her answer was spoken with such authority and conviction. She replied: “Uh…gases. The moon is made of gas.” I couldn’t believe my ears! All I had been brought up to know regarding the moon came crashing down around me…I felt a tear stream down my face. As if to drive the message home to me, I heard her explain the gases in more detail to her once ignorant, now enlightened offspring. If this fact is true, I thought to myself, how on earth did man walk on the moon if it wasn’t solid matter?!
And then it hit me. I wasn’t sitting in front of a world renown scientist, but a very very misguided woman leading her child into a world of stupidity…I then realized that the tear streaming down my face was caused not by sadness but by laughing so hard at what she had just told her son.
What I want to know is how anyone could even think the moon could be made of anything other than dirt, dust, and rock in this day and age. Man has walked on the moon. Pictures of the surface have been in the media for decades. Heck, movies have been made and books have been written on the rock that rotates around our planet. I feel a great deal stupider having sat so close to such a person and pity her son when he walks into school and gleefully tells his peers about the composition of Earth’s satellite. Ooo boy.
That was a good 4th of July laugh. Whee.