I have six sisters...well, actually they are all my half-sisters. My older sister, Lyn is married to Dean, a rocket scientist. Honestly, he really is a rocket scientist. They live in the Los Angeles area, and are both employed by Rocketdyne, the division of Boeing that produces the SRB (Solid Rocket Booster) for the Space Shuttle. Dean is one of two lead engineers for the Boeing Space Shuttle program. And no, Dean was not involved in the Challenger disaster. I think the SRB contract was with Morton-Thiokol at that time.
In January 2000 I attended a work related training seminar in LA. Lyn and Dean picked me up at the airport, took me out to lunch, and then on a tour of their Boeing location in the valley. Highlights of the tour included their offices, some top secret stuff (cool top secret stuff, not bad top secret stuff), rocket fabrication and assembly, and the newly remodeled launch control room, or ROSC (Rocketdyne Operations Support Center)...it was all very, very cool! And way over my head!!!!! Dean gave me a music video filmed over two separate launches (finally, something I can understand!). The video, titled 'Boom' is distributed to all the LA area schools to spark children's interest in the sciences. Lyn and Dean decided to end my tour with a quick visit to the brand new, yet to be opened Visitor Center/Rocket Museum.
We arrived at the building which housed the museum, and Lyn asked me to wait out in the hall while she and Dean turned on the lights. Before she disappeared into the darkness, she told me if anyone saw me, I needed to hide because they weren't supposed to be showing me the museum since it wasn't open to the public yet. Okay. So, I'm patiently waiting in the hallway, and I can hear the two of them stumbling around in the darkness. A few minutes pass by, and still no lights. I'm on the lookout for human activity in the hall, while they continue their search. Finally, I stuck my head inside the room, and on the wall to my left I see a plate, which resembles a light switch panel.
I call out to them. "Hey, there's a plate over here by the door. Do you think this is it?"
From across the expansive room, Lyn responds, "No. It's over here by this door." So I wait a few more seconds. I can hear them talking to one another...questioning...searching.
Then I hear Dean's voice in the darkness. "Why don't you try that one by you, Dona." I took a couple of steps, and pushed the slide controls up. And behold. Lights! My sister is mumbling something, and above her voice I hear Dean laughing, as he declares, "I guess you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what a light switch looks like!"
And that, my friends, was the day I outsmarted a rocket scientist! But don't worry, I won't let it go to my head. It was, after all, just a light switch.
P. S. I do find it rather odd that my sister was more concerned about being caught showing me the public museum, when a half an hour earlier they were showing me a whole bunch of top secret stuff. But then again, I never could understand her.
P. S. S. The really funny thing about this is the fact that when I got my pass from security, Lyn told them I was a VIP. Yeah, sure. One look at my Walt Disney sweat shirt, my jeans and tennis shoes...I'm pretty sure security was convinced.