I was sitting in my favorite diner having a coffee. It was too early for the tavern and the green padded stools! The curvy waitress served me my coffee and said:
“Did you see that cartoon in the paper today?
“No, I didn’t, was it funny?”
“Oh Yes, it was on the moon, you see, and this red Indian comes out of his teepee and sees in the distance an astronaut sticking an American flag into the dusty rock and he says:
“Oh no, not again!”
I smiled, but the fella next to me said sourly:
“The moon landing was a conspiracy, it never happened!”
“What makes you believe such dribble?” I said seriously.
The waitress disappeared and left us to it.
“I’m a member of “Conspiracy Ltd.”, and we believe in many conspiracies. We believe the “powers that be” are trying to hoodwink us.”
“I remember the moon landing well, that day back in July of 1969, when my whole family watched it on TV, and we were incredibly proud of the achievement. Why would it be faked?”
“We know it was all done because of the Cold War and The Space Race with the Soviets. It was deemed easier and less expensive for NASA to fake the moon landing and thereby guaranteeing success, than to really go there. Our technology was also probably lacking. So, faking it was easier with less risk.”
I shook my head.
“But all the evidence points to a real moon landing. It was probably the best documented event in human history. There were thousands of pictures, hours of video, and many moon rocks. Scientists do not doubt, for a moment, that it was not real.”
My diner companion eyed me suspiciously.
“You people are ready to believe things because you are very gullible.”
“On the contrary, I am a skeptic! I question and analyze ideas and events with the concept of fallibility in mind. But when reason, logic and evidence prevail, as in the case of the moon landing, it becomes fact.”
“We conspiracy believers don’t believe what the “authorities” tell us. We believe the theories because we see the world full of conspiracies!”
This guy was getting under my skin. The curvy waitress re-appeared.
“Yes please, and I’ll take a piece of the cherry pie.”
I thought if I indulge myself, I might be able to take this guy with a grain of salt.”
She returned with my pie and said:
“I have another moon joke.”
“Go ahead, darling, it might lighten this conversation up.”
“Well, after the Americans went to the moon, the Russians said they will send a man to the Sun! The engineers said, if he goes to the Sun, he will burn up!
“What do you think we are stupid?” The Soviets replied, “We’ll send him at night!”
The diner erupted with laughter, except the guy next to me.
“Do you realize it would be virtually impossible to fake the moon landing? The conspiracy would have to involve about 400,000 people who worked on the project. Governments are not known for keeping secrets! So, with the number of people that would have had to be involved, someone would have leaked the hoax.”
“People like you believe science is the absolute truth.”
“No, you’re wrong there, science, like everything, can at times, be fallible, but its strength is self-correction. If something is wrong, it will be flushed out by lack of external verification. In the case of the moon landing there was plenty of external verification.”
I had enough of this guy and as I got up to leave, the waitress hurried over and said: “How many aerospace engineers does it take to change a light bulb on the moon?”
Walking out the door, I said:
“None! It’s not rocket science, you know.”