Mad Men – Fly Me to the Moon (complete & unabridged)
It was a normal Thursday morning at the advertising firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The morning meeting was underway, and Don Draper handsomely addressed his creative team while his partners watched his usual display of machismo and handsomeness.
“Who in their right mind would eat ranch dressing on french fries?” he shouted, annoyed. “Ketchup has this market cornered, and it’s going to stay that way for a very long time. Besides, it’s disgusting! Go back and bring me something I can use!” Don’s creative team packed up their things and left the conference room. All except copywriter, Peggy Olsen.
“You know it wouldn’t hurt to have people try something new,” Peggy said. “I tried ranch dressing on a potato once, and it wasn’t that bad.”
“Go sell it to the Dutch, sister,” partner Roger Sterling said from behind a glass of scotch. It’s nine AM, so he was only on his second glass. Besides, he hadn’t made a sarcastic or offensive remark in over two entire minutes.
Peggy gave Don one her frequent dirty looks and stormed out of the room after the others. Don and Roger were left alone with partners Bertram Cooper, Pete Campbell, and Joan Harris.
“Well that was productive as always, Don,” Pete said sarcastically. “Do we have any new business or can we go?”
Cooper cleared his throat. “There’s one last item of new business,” he said. “We have the matter of assigning the Preparation H account.”
“That’s easy,” Sterling said. “I already told them Campbell will be handling their account.”
“And why is that?” Campbell said, pushing himself back in his chair and staring beady little daggers at Sterling.
“I figured it would take an asshole to know assholes,” Sterling said with a smile. The rest of the room tried to hide their smiles while Pete Campbell turned bright red.
Before Campbell could retaliate, Don’s black secretary, Dawn, came rushing into the room. “Some men are here to see you and Mr. Sterling, Mr. Draper,” she said.
“We’re in the middle of a meeting,” Don said. “Have them make an appointment and come back later.”
“It’s important,” Dawn said. “They’re waiting in your office. They have badges and everything.”
“Badges?” Sterling asked. “Who’d you piss off now, Don?”
Don sighed heavily. His smile was long gone now.
“You’d better go,” said Cooper. “We can take care of the rest of business here. Try not get our company in any trouble.”
“Not if I can help it,” Draper said, getting up from his chair and buttoning that one button on his shirt that he always buttons when he stands up.
“Come on,” Sterling said clapping, Don on the back. “It’ll be fun!”
“As a partner I demand to attend this meeting!” Campbell said as Draper left the room.
“Sit down, pipsqueak,” Sterling said. “We’ll call you if we have a flare-up.” Sterling left the meeting room behind Don and followed him to his office. “If Pete Campbell comes by, tell that little weasel to buzz off,” he said to Dawn before entering Don’s office and closing the door.
There were two men in black suits already sitting in Don’s office. “Good morning gentlemen,” Don said. “I’m Don Draper, and this is my associate Roger Sterling.”
“We know who you are, Mr. Draper,” one of the men said. He was tall and had gray hair. He wore a pair of thick black glasses.
“Call me Don,” he said, “Would either of you like a drink?” Don motions to his office drink cart and pops a cigarette in his mouth.
“No we’re strictly here on business,” the other black-suited man said. He was shorter with a slight gut. He had slicked back, black hair.
“I hope you don’t mind if I have one,” Sterling said, already pouring himself a glass of scotch.
“Not at all,” the grayed haired man said. “My name is Mr. White and my associate here is Mr. Black.”
“You guys get that from a Mad magazine?” Sterling asked, taking a sip of his scotch.
“Something like that,” Mr. Black said.
“You guys spooks?” Sterling asked.
“Something like that,” Mr. White said. “Have you ever heard of NASA?”
“Yeah,” Don replied. “You’re shooting rockets into outer space on the taxpayer’s dime.”
“Well it’s a bit more complicated than that at this point,” Mr. White said.
“How so?” Don asked.
“We’re going to be sending a man to the moon,” Mr. White said.
“So I’ve heard,” Sterling said. “What does that have to do with us?”
“At the rate the technology is developing, the Russians will be long there before we are,” Mr. Black said. “We want you to assist us in faking it, filming it, and eventually airing it for the general public.”
“Fake a moon landing?” Don asked, blowing a thick cloud of gray smoke from his lungs. “Are you serious?”
“We’re quite serious,” Mr. Black said. “We are prepared to send you and a team of your choosing to Nevada as early as tomorrow. You will stay there for a week and assist us.”
“Nevada?” Sterling asked. “Why all the way out there?”
“That’s classified,” Mr. White said. “You’ll find out if and when you accept. We are prepared to offer you and each member of your team ten thousand dollars each as well as a fee of fifty thousand to be paid to your firm.”
“Why us?” Don asked.
“We’ve been keeping tabs on you and your company,” Mr. Black said. “We think you and your staff would work very well in this endeavor. We trust you and Mr. Sterling to put together and lead a skilled team that could assist us in staging a believable and iconic trip to the moon.”
“Uncle Sam is very interested in getting to the moon before Mother Russia,” Mr. White said. “Or at least making everyone think we did. Think about it. We’ll have transportation available outside your building Friday at ten AM.” Mr. White opened the door and he walked out with Mr. Black. Don and Roger walked out as well and were greeted by an agitated Pete Campbell.
“What is wrong with your secretary, Don?” Campbell demanded. “I demand to know what when on in there!”
“Dawn, I’ll be leaving early today if anyone is looking for me,” Don said, ignoring Pete Campbell’s latest tantrum.
“Well there’s a surprise!” Campbell said, throwing his hands in the air.
“Don’t you have a chicken coop to go pillage or something?” Sterling asked.
“Mr. Cooper called while you were in your meeting,” Draper’s secretary, Dawn, said. “He wants to see you and Mr. Sterling right away.”
Don handed his coat and hat back to Dawn and started walking to Cooper’s office with Roger. “What do you suppose Cooper wants?” Roger asked.
“An explanation,” Don said.
“I’m still waiting for one myself,” Campbell said, trailing the two men down the hall.
“You’re still here?” Sterling said. “I thought a mosquito got in the building and wouldn’t get away from my ear.”
Draper and Sterling found Cooper waiting outside of his office for them. “Come in quickly,” Cooper said. “What are you doing, Pete? Don’t have you a call to make to the Preparation H people?”
Cooper shut the door on Pete, who huffed again before giving up and heading to his office to sulk and possibly cry a little before masturbating.
“I can’t stress the importance of you being asked onto this government project,” Cooper said. “I trust you’ll both be do everything you can to make sure this project is completed without a hitch.”
“I don’t even know if I’m going,” Don said, lighting a cigarette. “I’m supposed to have my kids up here for the week.”
“And I have bowling practice,” Sterling said, finishing the drink he’s nursed since his meeting with Mr. White and Mr. Black. “I don’t know if this is such a good idea.”
“You are going to go,” Cooper said. “For the good of the company and this country, you will take whoever you need from our staff. No questions asked. Godspeed, gentlemen.” Cooper opened the door and ushered the two men out and closed it once more. He sat back down at his desk and sighed heavily. He picked up the phone and dialed a number from memory. “This is Mr. Fuchsia,” he said once the call had gone through. “The canaries are in the cat bowl.”
It was a late thursday afternoon in Ossining, New York when Betty Francis and her husband, Henry, were finally finished packing for their week long trip to Connecticut. Betty’s ex-husband, Don, had agreed to take their three kids for the week so Betty and Henry could have a romantic week all to themselves. Or so they thought.
Henry was reading the newspaper and eating a tuna sandwich at the kitchen table when Betty came into the room fuming mad. “Well I just got off the phone with Dawn!” she said sitting down hard across from her husband.
“Your ex-husband?” Henry asked, dropping his pickle.
“No,” Betty said. “Not Don. Dawn. Don’s black secretary. Apparently Don has a top secret government project next week and can’t watch the kids.”
“It’s a top secret government project, and Don’s black secretary told you about it?” Henry asked.
“I don’t know,” Betty said. “I hung up in anger before she finished telling me just how top secret it is.”
“Well this is a kick in the pants,” Henry said. “In the front, no less! How can Don do this to us yet again? That guy only cares about himself! I’m steamed!”
“Aren’t you a senator or a governor or something?” Betty asked. “Why don’t you use your government connections to put an end to this project.”
“That’s a great idea,” Henry said. “I’m going to call the government right now and put an end to this! There’s no way Don’s dumping your annoying kids on us again!”
Henry left the room to go make his calls in his office. Betty lit a cigarette and it was only half gone when Henry came back and sat down in front of his sandwich. “Looks like we got the kids next week,” he said nonchalantly as he bit into his pickle and read the paper. “I’ll see if mom can come by and watch them.”
Betty watched him with no emotions whatsoever showing on her stoney face.
Don Draper and Roger Sterling met in Don’s office once again drinking, smoking, and attempting to put together a team for their top secret government mission.
“So we got Peggy Olsen on the team,” Don said. “We’re going to need Harry Crane out there too.”
“Why?” Roger asked. “So he can blow smoke up astronaut’s asses?”
“I’m sure they’re going to want to film this for television,” Don said, putting out his cigarette butt. “Nobody here knows TV like Crane. We can use him on the team.”
“OK. So Crane’s in,” Roger said. “How about Joan?”
“Joan?” Don asked. “What for?”
“You know,” Roger said. “Take notes. Get coffee. We can throw ideas off her. She’s pretty smart, and I’d rather have something other than Crane’s ample bottom to eyeball.”
“OK. We can bring Joan,” Don said, finishing off his drink and pouring another. “Anyone else?”
“None that I can think of,” Roger said. “Keep this group small. Keep it simple. If I have to sit in the desert with those creative guys I may just end up burying one of them out there.”
“Sounds good to me,” Don said. “Let’s go rally them up before they go home.” Don poured the rest of his drink down his throat and left the office with Roger.
Don and Sterling went and enlisted Peggy, Harry, and Joan for their trip to Nevada they would be leaving for the following morning. There was a little protest, and they all had to make very quick arrangements to be away, but the three of them ended up very eager to be off on this trip and prove themselves to the Partners.
The next morning, the five of them met outside the building where the office of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce was located with a suitcase each. They looked at each other, but nobody said a word. Before anyone could break the silence a limo pulled up to the curb and Mr. White stepped out. “It’s so good you decided to join us,” he said. “We should be going soon. It’s a long flight to Area 51.”
Henry and Betty Francis were getting ready to go on their big trip to Connecticut to see the fall foliage a day later than expected. They had to postpone their trip slightly due to Betty’s handsome ex-husband, Don Draper, having been sent away by his company on some top-secret government project. This is usually unheard of in the advertising business (advertising being the business of which Don is in), but when Betty’s government connected husband Henry called his government overloads (government being the business of which Henry is in) he quickly clammed up and refused to speak on the subject.
“Where is your mother?” Betty asked behind her cloud of cigarette smoke. “We should have been on the road an hour ago.”
“I’m sure she’ll be here soon,” Henry said from his warm spot at the kitchen table.
“I still don’t understand why you couldn’t find out about Don’s top-secret government project,” Betty said, even more stone-faced than before.
“What are you talking about, Mom?” Henry asks.
“KIDS!” Pauline shouted. “GET YOUR RUMPS IN HERE BEFORE I DRAG YOU BY YOUR EARS! WE’RE LATE!”
“Late for what, mom?” Henry asked, getting annoyed at being ignored.
“Our trip,” she said.
“Our trip?” Betty asked. “You are watching the kids here for us.”
“Oh no,” Pauline said as the kids ran into the kitchen. “I thought we were all going to take a lovely trip to Connecticut to see the leaves.”
“We have leaves here,” young Sally Draper said in a monotone voice.
“But we’re all going to Connecticut!” Pauline shouted as the kids begin to cheer.
Henry shares a look with his wife, who is more stone-faced than he had ever seen her before.
Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Harry Crane, Peggy Olsen, and Joan Harris entered a large round room with five comfortable seats in the the center and a large mirror on one side. Each one took their seat and waited. It was a short trip in a private jet all the way out the outpost the men in black suits called “Area 51”. They mentioned it was in Nevada, but that was all. Once inside, their bags were brought into the private quarters they would be sharing for the week’s time they would be consulting the United States government. Don and Roger were clear on the task, but the rest of the small group were still unclear on why they were chosen and what they would be working on.
“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Area 51,” Mr. White said enthusiastically. He was standing in front of the large white mirror and reflected the group in their round white room. Next to him stood a tall brunette woman somewhere in her lower forties. She wore a white lab coat and black stockings and heels. “Some of you know why you are here. Others do not. Let me introduce you to the NASA scientist who will be in charge of your team. She will help you with everything you want and need. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Dr. Holly Goodhead.”
“Ha ha. Goodhead,” Roger whispered to Don.
“Good morning,” Dr. Goodhead said. “As you probably know, before President Kennedy was killed in November of 1963, he made a promise that man would walk on the moon. Not to be outdone by America, the Russians vowed they would get there before us. Since then, a so-called ‘Space Race’ had begun.”
“What does this have to do with us?” Peggy asked.
“I am glad you asked, Ms. Olsen,” Dr. Goodhead answered. “As of right now we are losing the Space Race. NASA scientists formulate that Russia will get their cosmonauts to the moon by 1970. All American unmanned missions to the moon have,thus far, resulted in failure.”
“So you’re saying man will never walk on the moon,” Harry Crane said, adjusting his glasses.
“No, I did not say that,” Dr. Goodhead snapped back. “Technologically speaking, we are not there yet. There is a radiation belt around the earth to consider, and NASA scientists are coming up short with ideas how to pass through this, while Russian scientists are making great strides in getting their cosmonauts radiation proofed.”
“We can’t afford to lose the Space Race to the Russians,” Mr. Black said from his corner. “Kennedy and his advisors agreed that whoever wins the Space Race wins the world, and President Johnson agrees as well. Once President Nixon is inaugurated, he will continue this to the end as well. I don’t know about you lot, but I for sure am not teaching my grandchildren to speak Russian. Will you?”
“Hell no!” Sterling blurted out.
“Did he just say Nixon will be president?” Crane asked, looking around.
“Good,” Mr. Black said. “I like your enthusiasm. It was one of the reasons you were chosen.”
“Since we aren’t ready for a moon landing, you’d fake it and have the Russians believe we actually did land on the moon?” Don asked.
“Not just Russia, Mr. Draper,” Dr. Goodhead said. “The entire world.”
“If I have this right,” Don said. “You want us to advertise to the world, ‘We were on the moon! USA got there first!’ In theory it’s a great concept. But where to begin?”
“There’s plenty of time for that,” Mr. White chimed in. “For now get used to your surroundings. Get a hot meal. Take a shower. Meet some of our lovely staff. Tomorrow you’ll begin your work.”
“What do you think of all this, Red?” Roger asked turning to Joan.
“I want to know why I’m here, Roger,” she said. “What do I know about astronauts and space races?”
“About as much as I do,” Roger said. “You’re all-American, Joan. You’re input will make or break this mission. Don’t hold back on me now.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Joan said, blushing.
Back in the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, partner Pete Campbell is fuming in a rage at his missing coworkers. Not only did they all run off on a top-secret mission without letting him, a partner!, know what the big secret was, but he was handling all their clients as well.
Trying to get to his office for another round of sulking and possibly angrily masturbating into his bottom desk drawer, he ran into Ken Cosgrove. “What’s eating you, Pete?” he asked.
“Nothing,” Campbell answered. “Nothing’s eating me.”
“Well I looked into that Preparation H account for you,” Cosgrove said. “But they were really looking forward to speaking with you directly on this. Sterling must have put in a really good word for you.”
“Oh yes,” Campbell said, grinding his beady little teeth. “I’m sure he did.”
“Most people would jump at the chance to handle an account like this,” Cosgrove said getting Campbell’s door.
“I’m sure there’s a lot of people who would love to handle hemorrhoids and ass cream, Ken,” Campbell said, slamming his door in Cosgrove’s face.
What’s Roger up to? Campbell thought in his office. I’ll find out, and so help me God, I’ll bury him.
A smirk lit up Campbell’s pouty face as he opened his bottom desk drawer.
Don and Peggy finished up their dinner of Chinese food in the Area 51 lounge and talked about their task at hand.
“How did I let you talk me into this?” she asked.
“Please,” Don said. “I couldn’t keep you away if I tried.”
“And what that supposed to mean?” Peggy said with her hands on her hips.
“I don’t even know,” Don said, exasperated. “At this point, it’s tension for the sake of having tension. Just so you know, I do respect you, and I will surprisingly show you how much during the course of this sentence.”
“Oh,” Peggy said, taken aback by Don’s unexpected display of respect. “I hope we don’t get in an argument at the end of our conversation like usual.”
“Any ideas yet?” Don asked.
“A few,” Peggy said. “How does baseball on the moon sound? It’s America’s pastime after all.”
“Complicated,” Don said. “How about football? Less equipment.”
“Football,” Peggy said, clearly annoyed. “How is that any different?”
“I just don’t see an astronaut lugging a baseball bat onto the moon!” Don said getting loud.
“Oh, and I’m sure they’d bring a football and a helmet,” Peggy said.
“They’d already be wearing helmets!” Don said.
“Fine,” Peggy said, leaving. “Football. Present it tomorrow. I’m sure they’ll love your great idea.”
“Bitch,” Don said under his breath while lighting a cigarette. It clearly wasn’t Don’s fault he was annoyed. He thought back to the last night he saw his wife, Megan.
“Megan,” Don said. “I’m going to be going away for a week on business.”
“Really?” Megan asked. “When do you leave?”
“Tomorrow,” Don replied.
“Tomorrow? That’s awfully fast, isn’t it? Where are you going?”
“I don’t know.”
“What will you be doing there?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“OK,” Megan said, disrobing. Her finely sculpted side-boob shone in the light. “Coming to bed after you finish your scotch and cigarette? I’m horny.”
It was so like Megan to be so cold towards him when Don does what he does to keep her in their nice apartment and pretty clothes. Don snuffed out his butt and finished the last of his scotch when Dr. Goodhead appeared in the small lounge.
“Hello, Mr. Draper,” she said. “How are you enjoying your stay at Area 51?”
“No complaints so far,” Don said, standing up so Dr. Goodhead could sit down. She helped herself to one of Don’s cigarettes from the pack on the table, and Don took another cigarette for himself. He lit Dr. Goodhead’s cigarette and then his own cigarette, dragging deep on the cigarette and blowing out a mighty cloud of cigarette smoke. Cigarettes.
“That’s a damn good cigarette,” Dr. Goodhead said, blowing out a cloud of her own. “I am very eager to hear your ideas.” Dr. Goodhead uncrossed and crossed her legs. The sound of her nylons rubbing against each other filled the lounge.
Don looked handsomely at the sexy Dr. Goodhead. They both looked sexy. Why not have lots of sexy sex in Area 51 with a hot NASA scientist? Don thought that made sense. “I tell you what,” he said. “I have an idea.” Don took the cigarette from Dr. Goodhead’s mouth and open-mouth kissed her.
Dr. Goodhead tried to back away from all the open-mouth kissing that Don was doing to her, but she could not resist his handsomeness and charm. And besides, he was really good at open-mouth kissing. Just the slightest bit of tongue. Not too much. No. Not too much at all. Her lab coat opened to reveal just the right amount of side-boob.
The next morning, the Francis family was finally ready to go on their family trip to Connecticut. It was no use explaining to the kids they couldn’t go after their step-grandmother had gotten them all excited. It took another full day to get the kids packed and ready to go. After two return trips home to pee, the Francises were finally on the road in late morning on Monday afternoon.
Hours into the car trip, Betty was checking her makeup in the mirror when she smelled something. “Oh dear,” she said. “I think little Eugene may have made a doody. Can you check him, Sally?”
Sally stuck two of her fingers way down the back of little Eugene’s diaper, brought them out, and held them under her nose. “Nope. He’s clean.”
“Then what is that awful stench?” Betty asked.
Just then Henry’s mother Pauline snorted and stirred. The smell became increasingly worse.
“Oh my God!” Bobby yelled. “It’s grandma!”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Henry said, looking in the rearview mirror at the three children and his plus-size mother in the back seat. “Don’t wake her up. I’m sure she did not doody herself.”
“Are you sure, Henry?” Betty asked. “I may be a horrible mother most of the time, but I know my kids have never excreted anything from their bottoms that smelled that horrid in all their painfully long existence on this planet.”
“Alright,” Henry said, pulling the car over to the side of the road. “Mom! Wake up!”
“Wha….” Pauline said drowsily. “Are we there yet?”
“Mom,” Henry said. “Did you make a doody?”
“Me?” Pauline said. “Oh no not me. Must have been one of the kids.”
“Was not!” Bobby yelled.
“Let me check,” Pauline said reaching behind her. She pulled her hand back to reveal a glob of brown disgustingness on it. “Or dear,” she said. “I guess it was me!”
“Oh, Pauline” Betty said. “You better head back home, Henry.”
“Oh for the love of…” Henry muttered, putting the car back into drive and turning around to start the long, stinky trip home.
“Does anybody have a tissue?” Pauline asked.
Don and his team worked throughout the morning and the afternoon, bouncing multiple ideas around.
“We need something iconic,” Harry Crane said. “We got the american flag already. That’s a must. How about we have it majestically waving in the breeze. That’s an image I can see on every television across the United States.”
“There’s no breeze on the moon,” Dr. Goodhead said. “The flag would just lay there still and unmoving.”
“Most Americans won’t know that,” Crane said.
“Have you been listening?” Sterling asked. “This is as much to fool the Russians as it is to fool Americans. We have to do better than that, Crane, you fat jerk. God I hate you, fatty.”
“OK, OK,” Crane said. “So no waving flag. I would just hate to think of our flag sitting on the moon hanging all limp like a wet noodle.”
“It doesn’t have to,” Don said with that handsome determined look on his face. Dr. Goodhead felt her lady parts moistening up again just watching Don at work. “We create the illusion of overcoming this obstacle.”
“I don’t understand,” Joan said.
“When we broadcast this we make it seem like NASA thought of this already,” Don said. “Dr. Goodhead, can you have your team build an apparatus of sorts that would display the flag as if it were fully erect?”
Dr. Goodhead tried her hardest to stifle her blush. “Yes,” she said. “It is entirely possible to build a stand with a flag pole that can display a flag so it appears to be erect under the low gravity situation on the moon. It should be fairy simple.”
“Ha ha. Erect,” Sterling whispered to a slightly amused Joan.
Meanwhile back at the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce:
“The two spooks, Mr. White and Mr. Black, came to visit Don Draper and myself this morning. They have urgent business for us. It seems they require our assistance to help fake a moon landing to pull the wool over Russia’s eyes. It appears that keeping democracy safe in America is once again Roger Sterling’s business.”
Campbell heard the unmistakable sound of Roger Sterling putting on sunglasses.
“Let’s get to work.”
So that’s what Don and Roger are up to, Pete thought, picking up his phone line to his secretary.
“Clara,” Campbell said. “Get me Russia.”
A beady little smile crept across Campbell’s face.
Don Draper and his team had spent nearly all their time in Area 51. Harry Crane had busied himself working on the set where the actual landing would be filmed. The rest of the team had come up with some good ideas, but nothing, so far, had stuck with NASA brass other than the obvious American flag idea they came up with on the first day. In order to inspire the team to work harder, NASA’s large moon landing team decided to introduce the small team from the advertising firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to the men chosen act out the moon landing script.
“Allow me to introduce you to the three men who will be landing on the moon,” Mr. White said, addressing Don Draper and his team consisting of Roger Sterling, Peggy Olsen, Harry Crane, and Joan Harris. “I am pleased to introduce astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and the other guy.”
The three fit astronauts went around the room making their introductions. “The first men on the moon,” Crane mused. “That has a nice ring to it. This is going to be historic.”
“The first man on the moon,” Sterling added. “He’s the one everyone will be talking about for decades.”
“Well that will be none other than our own Buzz Aldrin here,” Mr. Black said, patting Aldrin on his muscular back.
“Buzz Aldrin?” Sterling asked. “I think Neil Armstrong has a much better ring to it. Neil Armstrong: Quarterback. All American. Lady’s man. First man on the moon. It rolls of the tongue much better than Buzz Aldrin. No offense, Buzzy, but your name sounds like a mosquito repellant.”
Buzz Aldrin stared in shocked disbelief at Sterling.
“Armstrong’s not too bad on the eyes either,” Joan said.
Dr. Holly Goodhead thought on it briefly. “Mr. Sterling has a point. I’ll pass that one upstairs. You’re beginning to pay off for NASA.”
“It seems to me we’re wasting a lot of time here,” Peggy said quietly to Don.
“It’s fine,” Don said. “This will be helpful. Get to know the men who we’ll be sending off to the moon.”
“The moon,” Peggy said with a sneer. “We’re sending these three men to a studio to bounce around and pretend they’re on the moon.”
“No,” Don said. “They’ll be on the moon. You have to believe it yourself if you are going to make something everyone will believe.”
“It’s preposterous,” Peggy said. “Who would actually believe this?”
“That depends on you,” Don said. “Do you know why I personally chose you for this mission? You’ve surprised me many times in the past. I think you could surprise yourself on this one.”
“Golf,” Peggy said.
“Golf?” Don asked, finally turning towards Peggy.
“I thought about it after we talked the other day,” Peggy said. “If we’re going to do a sport on the moon, I think golf would be the way to go.”
“Golf on the moon,” Don mused, handsomely. “I like it. Go with it.”
Betty Francis came downstairs in her nightgown. At this point on her romantic vacation with her husband Henry, she intended to be nestling in bed after a night of love making and side-boobs. Instead, they were home with her three kids and her mother-in-law Pauline (who was suffering from a bad stomach virus that spewed forth in the car at the half-way point to their destination… and twice more on the trip home). She looked in the garage for some extra trash bags so she can throw away all the white towels that Pauline had soiled in an attempt to clean her elephant-like buttocks after her many showers. She was surprised to find her daughter Sally sitting on the floor of the garage indian-style with no pants on and a small pair of scissors pressed up against her thigh.
“Young lady!” Betty said, startling her daughter as a small drop of blood oozed from the puncture she had just made on her thigh. “I hope those aren’t my good coupon cutting scissors! You put them back where you found them when you’re done!” Betty grabbed the box of extra-strength trash bags and left the garage.
“Well I know where all my sharp objects have been going,” Betty said to Henry, who was sitting on the couch watching a news program on their black and white TV (because color tv hasn’t been invented yet…. Or at least I think it hasn’t. I’ll have to google that later).
“I’m sorry, Betty,” Henry said. “I should never have let my mother barge into our trip like that. Because of her, not only did we miss our romantic trip, but we can’t afford another one this year because I have to reupholster the car.”
“It’s OK, dear,” Betty said, cuddling up close to her grossly older husband (it’s seriously too obscenely gross to watch). “As long as I can be here with you like this it’s all that matters.”
“What did you do with all those soiled towels?” Henry asked.
“I threw them out of the car window on my way to the market,” she replied.
“Good,” Henry said.
“BETTY!” Pauline yells from upstairs. “I thought I was in the bathroom, but I just crapped in your son’s toy-box!”
“She ruined my Amazing Fantasy 15!” Bobby screamed. “I won it off Tommy, playing marbles!”
“I really hate your mother,” Betty said through her son and mother-in-law’s sobs.
“I know,” Henry said. “I hate her too.”
Betty kissed her husband gently. “Let’s kill her while she sleeps,” she whispered.
Joan Harris was busying herself with some paperwork and coffee making in the Area 51 offices where she’s staying for the week. She jumps in surprise when Buzz Aldrin comes up behind her and slaps her on the rump. “I’d like to land a lunar shuttle on that!” he says, chuckling.
“I’m only a man,” Buzz said with the stink of whiskey on his breath. “And besides, if I can’t be the first astronaut on the moon, I’d sure like to be the first Astronaut on you!”
“Thanks again for last night, Joan,” Neil Armstrong said with a wink, passing by to refill the coffee in his #1 ASTRONAUT mug.
“OH FOR GOD’S SAKE!” Buzz said, kicking over a water cooler and storming off.
“If I had to actually sit in a shuttle with that asshole, I’d fly it into the sun,” Neil said to Joan who refilled his coffee.
“I’d be surprised if I can sit anywhere after last night,” Joan said.
Elsewhere in Area 51, Don, Peggy, and Harry were busy making their pitch to the NASA brass regarding their presentation of the moon landing.
“So we thought big. We thought iconic,” Peggy said, pacing around her mock-ups she commissioned from NASA artists. “We come in peace,” she said motioning with her hands. “We’ve already had NASA jewelers make up a golden olive branch to leave on the moon as a symbol of pease to the world.”
“Very nice,” Dr. Goodhead said. “I like it. A peace offering like that to the world will show those Russians bastards that we mean business!”
“What else do you have?” Mr. White asked, not very impressed with the olive branch.
“As you can see, we have several drawings of photo ops you can use on the set,” Peggy said. She saw Don shoot her a dirty look from across the room. “On the moon. We have the astronauts saluting the flag, playing a little golf, and jumping around in the low gravity Dr. Goodhead had described for us.”
“The bouncing around will play really well on television,” Crane said. “I’ve also worked with the crews and setting up various shots from inside the ship, outside of it, and various options for astronauts working on the moon. It can’t all be fun out there.”
“Indeed,” Mr. White said. “Can someone explain the picture of the bottom of the shoe there?”
“That’s not a picture of a shoe,” Peggy said. “That’s a footprint.”
“What are we supposed to do with footprints?” Mr. White asked.
“Not footprints,” Don said, finally speaking up. “A footprint. The first footprint.”
“If you have to have one icon to hang your hat on, I think it should be this,” Peggy said.
“But it’s just one small step,” Mr. Black said.
“That’s just it,” Don said, handsomely lighting up. His eyes had glazed over in advertising wonderment. “One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”
The room went silent except for the quick scribbling of pens. Dr. Goodhead gave Don a look that said; I’m sitting on your face, big boy. Mr. White and Mr. Black shared a look. “It’s time,” Mr. White said.
“Time for what?” Don asked.
“Filming. We start tomorrow.”
Pete Campbell paced back and forth in his office. It had been days since he had Clara get Russia on the phone for him. They had been very interested to learn about Sterling and Don’s plot to fake the moon landing along with NASA. A man with a thick Russian accent promptly called him back and took down all the information he had. Now all he had to do was wait.
His phone rang startling him out of his beady little thoughts and he picked up right away. “Campbell,” he said.
“Yes,” a man with a Russian accent said. “How are you, comrade Pitor?”
“Very good,” Campbell said. “I hope you have good news for me. Were you able to verify the information?”
“Yes, tovarisch,” the mysterious Russian man said. “We found them in the desert. We’ll be exposing them shortly. Mother Russia thanks you for your assistance, Pitor. The humiliation of your feeble country will be it’s downfall.”
“Just make certain Roger Sterling is named,” Campbell said. “And Draper too.” There was a loud knock on Campbell’s door. “I have to go,” he said hanging up.
Campbell opened his door with cautious paranoia and found Cooper standing outside. “Can I have a word with you,” he said.
“Yes,” Campbell said, composing himself. “Come in.”
Cooper stepped in Campbell’s office. “Would you mind making me a drink. Scotch. Neat.”
“Sure,” Campbell said, turning around to his small bar. When he turned back to Cooper, three men in black suits had joined him in his office. The glass of scotch fell to the floor. “What’s this all about?” he said, trying not to wet himself.
“I think you know, tovarish,” Cooper said stepping back out of the room as the three men approached Campbell. “There’s a word in Japanese for people like you: Asshole.”
“What are we doing with him?” one of the men with Cooper asked.
“Just wipe his memory and dump him downtown somewhere,” Cooper said. “I still need him back at work in a couple of days. This is still a business. Wait. Make sure he gets a good cavity search for good measure.”
The men nodded and silently approached Campbell. One man took a syringe full of strange blue liquid out of his shirt pocket. Another man put on a pair of plastic gloves. “No,” he said. “It was a joke. A JOKE!” Campbell screamed, no longer able to hold back his urine.
Cooper closed the door behind him and heard the last of the commotion from Campbell’s office. He approached Clara, Campbell’s secretary. “Thank you for alerting me the moment he asked to speak to Russia,” he said.
“Are you sure my little brother will get out of Vietnam alive?” she asked.
“Oh yes,” Cooper said. “He’s already on his way home.”
Clara smiled and put her hands to her face as the tears started to flow. “Thank you so much, Mr. Cooper!” she said.
“For what?” Cooper said, walking away.
Don, Sterling, Peggy, Joan, and Harry watched in awe as the large NASA team finished the prepping of the moon landing studio. NASA had been working on it for years before the team from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce had even began working on the project, and were now finally ready to film this momentous occasion.
“So when will this air?” Sterling asked. “End of the month or so?”
“No,” Dr. Goodhead said. She was still flushed from having sex with Don fifteen minutes ago in the back of the dune buggy. “Right now we are shooting for sometime around 1969 to 1970.”
“Why so long?” Peggy asked.
“There is still much to do,” Dr. Goodhead said. “Fake tests. Fake train the astronauts. Fake a failed mission or two. It’s all very complex sciency stuff.”
“There seem to be an awful lot of people involved in this conspiracy,” Harry Crane said, watching all the men working. “How many people are involved in putting something like this together?”
“When it’s all said and done,” Dr. Goodhead said, thinking. “Around forty thousand or so.”
“And you don’t think any of them will talk?” Crane asked, dumbfounded.
“We made sure they weren’t gossips,” Dr. Goodhead said. “Besides, they’re union. They wouldn’t do anything that might compromise their NASA pensions.”
“Makes sense to me,” Sterling said.
“We still have some time ,” Mr. Black said. “Come on guys. I’ve been dying to show you the alien corpses we have in the basement.”
The rest of the group went to see the alien corpses, but Don stayed behind for a moment at Dr. Goohead’s urges. “Don,” she said. “When you have to go back to your life in New York, what will it mean for us?”
“Us?” Don said. “There is no us. My life isn’t here with you.”
“Do you have to be so cold about it, Don?” Dr. Goodhead asked.
“I’m married, and I have an ex-wife with three of my kids,” Don said. “I’m being realistic. It gets a little complicated for me.”
“But I’m a rocket scientist,” Dr. Goodhead said. “Complicated is what I do.”
“We’ll always have Area 51,” Don said.
“But Area 51 doesn’t technically exist,” Dr. Goodhead said.
“Exactly,” Don said, turning away from a teary-eyed Dr. Goodhead to catch up to the others. There was no way he was going to miss out on alien corpses.
“This is the first of many recordings we’ll have to do in the coming years,” Mr. Black said. “I’m glad you were able to see a piece of what you helped us accomplish.”
“It’s a shame we’ll have to wait so long to see the rest of it,” Sterling said, sharing his popcorn with Joan.
“Oh but it will be worth it,” Mr. Black said. “Trust me on that one. It will be.”
“God bless America!” Sterling said with a huge grin.
The three astronauts climbed into the lunar module and got ready. Don Draper felt a surge of excitement and Peggy held his arm no doubt feeling the same thing. Sterling put a hand on Don’s other shoulder and whispered in his ear. “We did it, Don,” he said. “We actually did it, you bastard. One giant leap…. Genius!” Don smiled. All their work had led up to this moment. One he would never forget and never ever talk about to anyone.
The director made some last minute changes to the lighting and wire harnesses and helium packs that would generate the “low gravity” of the moon. He put his hands up and the room went dead silent.
Don Draper and his team were happy to be back at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce after a week long hiatus at Area 51. It was back to business as usual at their Monday morning meeting (except for Campbell who still seemed a little out of it after a two day long drinking binge he went on while they were away). Peggy Olsen was back to pitching ideas to an unimpressed crowd.
“It’s a ridiculous idea!” Don said, demoralizing her. “Who in their right mind would want to work out by shaking a dumbbell in front of them? I don’t even know why your pitching ideas. That’s not even your job!”
“But it’s so easy,” Peggy said. “Any housewife would want to keep one in their closet and do a workout at any time during their busy day. It really works out those upper body muscles too!” Peggy demonstrated the work out.
“Sensible women of the sixties won’t use something like that!” Don said, getting louder. “Do you have any idea what it looks like you’re doing?!”
“Looks like what Campbell does every Friday night!” Sterling said, laughing and looking over at Joan who had a smirk spreading across her face.
“You know what, Sterling,” Campbell said coming out of his daze. “You can go right ahead and suck my left…”
Suddenly there is a flash of a weird glowing green light in the boardroom and a four foot tall green man in a bright silver outfit and dark glasses stood in the center of the boardroom table.
“Greetings, earth men,” the little green man said in a booming voice. “I come to you from the future! You are the only ones who can help save the people of your planet! Step with me through the time portal, and help me prevent…” the green man paused for dramatic effect and removed his dark glasses. “…9/11!”