“Hello? Anybody Out There? . . . Speak Up!” by Dave Rosner

Jan 29th, 2020 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Given the right conditions, a single cell could mutate and then reproduce itself over and over, forming a new species, or something resembling a former colleague who was run over by a cement truck and survived, though he leaned to the right when walking. It is no wonder that this man—who spoke with a lisp, stuttered, and suffered from incurable hiccups—had trouble communicating, for aside from giving a lecture or a speech now and then, Vladimir Matzkvech’s chosen method of imparting his brilliance was to preserve his thoughts on paper. With his untimely death, (Matzkvech passed away at the age of 97), a collection of his papers are scheduled to be released this week in a book entitled To the Apogee.

For the folk of Vladishenk, Russia, Matzkvech’s death served as an opportunity to honor one of their compatriots. After all, his achievements helped put Vladishenk on the map, though it ended up in the wrong place and no one could find their way home.

Following the footsteps of his idol, Albert Einstein, Matzkvech spent most of his early years studying quantum physics, while developing his own theories as he sought to quiet his detractors. In contrast to Einstein’s Relativity Theory, which states the speed of light is constant relative to the observer, Matzkvech believed the speed of light would fluctuate when encountering a man wearing corduroy pants.

Matzkvech wrote three books in his lifetime. The first, a theoretical dissertation on string theory, did little to solidify his position as an international scholar. Written in Russian, the publication suffered from mistakes in the translation to English and became a children’s book about fairies. In his second book, Primordial Chaos—The Birth of the Universe, Matzkvech attempted to throw light on a complicated subject. In simple terms, he described primordial chaos as being similar to the chaos that occurs when an elderly man walks into the DMV wearing only his slippers. His final book, To the Apogee, examines the search for life in the vast universe.

The cosmos consists of over 70 sextillion stars. Each star belongs to one of a multitude of galaxies, including a galaxy discovered by Matzkvech and his colleague, a German scientist named Vilhelm Verner, (pronounced Wilhelm Werner). Designated as a cluster of stars, Verner has convinced scientists to re-classify their discovery as a solar system, a move which now entitles each occupant to a free carwash.

Scientists can only speculate if life exists outside of our galaxy. None of the planets in our solar system, apart from Earth, have shown signs of life. Living on Venus is out of the question; the temperatures are too hot for living organisms. Jupiter offers its inhabitants a cooler climate, but the planet’s rapid rotation makes it difficult to plan a dinner party as the dishes are constantly sliding off the table. Uranus and Saturn are too far from the sun; Mercury is too close. And Pluto, the outermost sphere in our solar system, lost its status as a planet after falling behind on its payments.

Mars is like Earth in many respects (they are both approximately the same size, they both have the same rate of rotation), but its atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, making the planet unsuitable for life to flourish. On the other hand, because of Mars’ low force of gravity, a 300-pound man would weigh only 115 pounds and would not have to worry about losing the fat he gained over the holidays.

The evidence suggests that life exists nowhere in our solar system other than Earth, and a voyage to another galaxy would take hundreds of years to complete. Given the limitations of our present technology, a flight to one of these galaxies is beyond the realm of possibilities. It is not feasible. It can not be done.

Or can it?

Imagine a journey to the stars: a cosmic trip towards the vast, unknown regions of interstellar space, then around the corner of Market and 32nd Street, over to Burt’s Deli to pick up sandwiches, and finally, to the outer limits of the universe. Sound impossible? The word impossible did not exist in the vocabulary of most scientists of yesteryear. Matzkvech used the word once, but only after an attempt to make love to Mrs. Matzkvech.

The key to achieving interplanetary space travel lies in an hypothesis that, according to Matzkvech, alters the space-time continuum. He writes, “The human aging process can be arrested, and even stopped, by applying my theoretical principles to the laws of physics. I have formulated a theory, an unproven yet highly plausible argument that, when implemented, will make interstellar flights viable. This theory involves using inversion/reaction principles, x and y factors, exponential formulas, and a large styrofoam ice chest.” It should be noted that Matzkvech never published his theory. A key formula was lost when Matzkvech left a document in his shirt pocket, and it went through the wash.

While many of his ideas sound far-fetched—it’s easy to discredit a man who once measured the speed of subatomic particles with a stopwatch—Matzkvech’s theories hold merit. Nonetheless, a trip to the nearest solar system will take centuries, even while traveling at the speed of light. The question then becomes, “Can man survive a journey of several hundred years or more when the average life span is less than one hundred? And if so, where do we send his social security checks?”

Matzkvech’s writings should provide the groundwork for future explorers who wish to carve their initials in the nether regions of the universe, though it may take centuries to develop the technology to make the journey possible. But can we wait that long? One day, our sun will run out of hydrogen and cool down. The planets will then collapse, creating a torpid wasteland of high density that is dark and barren and lifeless. Residents of Buffalo may not notice the difference, however, the rest of us will see some changes, and all dental appointments will have to be rescheduled. No doubt the experts will plan for this eventuality, after which the search for interplanetary life can continue and we can all go back to work.


Born and raised in a Detroit suburb, Dave Rosner moved to California in his mid-twenties and eventually became a successful Wienerschnitzel franchisee. He took a losing location and turned it into a profitable venture in less than a year, earning many accolades along the way. He would have made his older sister proud of him; that is, if he had an older sister. Dave is now semi-retired and is working on becoming a fledgling writer. He has no misgivings about spending the last two years learning to walk on stilts.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.