Some interesting facts about pole socking:
The accountants of the Cislunar Pole Socking League (or CPL, the largest pole socking league this side of the moon) claim that the expendetures for the pole socking tournament account for the largest numerical values ever recorded in an accounting log. In fact, the last 20% of last years tournament was a front for a series of skirmishes which were an attempt to gain controll over vast tracts of the Amazon Rain Forest, Disguised as a sudden death overtime round of 'Guerilla Paintball'. This was an attempt to secure enough lumber for the production of our accounting log books. This fact may also go a long way towards explaining the unusually high number of snake bites recorded at last years tournament.
As you may remember from the delightful human interest story, covered extensively by Bob Costas in his 'Behind the Poles' series, an amateur native Alaskan pole socking squad qualified for the 2nd battalion of Red Team. Of course, the majority of last years tournament was held in arid climates, leading many to jest that this arctic group would melt in the scorching hot sun. In an ironic twist of fate, one of blue teams plasma batteries, cleverly disguised as a thicket of Saguaro cacti, simultaneously incenerated all the members of this squad into a fine silty ash.
None of the administrators of the Pole Socking tournament have ever been successfully convicted of a war crime.
Some people say that flying into space aboard a rocket is like birth. There is the long wait, the claustrophobia, the darkness, the distantly heard noises -- the gurgle of fuel pumps, the hum and tick of power units, the whisper of half-heard voices from the world without -- and then the trauma, the pain of g-forces, the terrible vibration and sudden noise, followed by the entry into light and the cosmos. Others say it is like sex. There is the long anticipation -- sometimes so much more exciting than the real event. The foreplay -- the endless, frustrating simulations. Then the preparation on the pad. The lying down on the form-fitting couches. The tease of the countdown. The pulse accelerating, the senses finely tuned. Then the explosion of release. An ejaculation of energy. After the release and the straining and the cries aloud there is the silence and the cool embrace of space. And then, as soon as it is finished, one wants it to start all over again. Still others say that it is like dying. Ignition is the casting free from the body, the separation of spirit from matter. We claw toward the fringes of atmosphere like a drowning man fighting his way to the surface of the sea, like a soul flying free from its burden of flesh. But once to this surface, we find only vacuum. Everything and everyone we know and have known or ever could know is left behind. All of like is abandoned for the cold, silent sterility of the cosmos beyond. When the engines shut down, the ordeal and pain over, the barrier between life and death has been breached, the spirit is become one with the cosmos, but lonely... oh, so lonely.