Numerous Washed Up Celebrities Killed In Space Explosion; Branson Plugs Next Project
Los Angeles (AP) Sir Richard Branson, the tireless self promoter and head of Virgin Group, faced reporters yesterday afternoon in California after the explosion of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo in low orbit over the Earth. The crew members and passengers aboard were all lost in an event that will likely trigger a long investigation. Branson seemed tired as he spoke. "It's a horrendous tragedy. Not only did we lose the flight crew, but we lost some of the brightest and true talent in the world. Let me tell you, the world is a little less bright now that they're gone. It's going to be a long, long investigation, and there's not much I can say about that process. All I can talk about are the people who were on that flight. The captain and co-pilot were truly the best of the best, both retired military pilots. Scott "Broken Mirror" Kowalski had fifteen years service as a pilot for the USAF before he came to work for me. Outstanding chap, had a wife and kids who loved him. Hard to believe he's gone. And Alan "Dead Meat" Winters was former RAF, a top pilot, just the kind of pilot you'd trust to get you home."
Branson paused a moment before continuing. "And how do we even begin to mourn the dead? So many wonderful limelight superstars wiped out all at once. I mean, Shia LaBeouf was truly at the top of his game, one of the most respected actors of all time. And sure, I mean, he'd had some trouble lately with people making fun of him, getting into fights for no reason, and taking to wearing paper bags as some kind of performance art, but that doesn't take away from just how stupendous and talented and charismatic an actor he was."
Branson shook his head. "You know, I heard earlier that Harrison Ford remarked upon hearing the news that he wished it had happened before Shia got cast in that last Indiana Jones movie. I don't understand how he could say that. Wasn't Shia just wonderful in that role? Didn't he make that film so much better just by being there? I think so, and I'll keep saying that no matter how many times Lucas and Spielberg say they made a horrible mistake casting him."
Branson paused again. He reached into a pocket, glancing at a small mirror. "Mirror mirror, who's the most suntanned of them.. oh, right, I'm still in a press conference." He cleared his throat. "Well then, Shia was not the only big time celebrity to perish in the great calamity over the earth. No. Simon Cowell also died on board SpaceShipTwo. Never again will we hear the condescending baritone of that great man. Never again will he roll his eyes or sneer. The world has lost one of its best when Simon was blown to smithereens. You know, I was speaking to his old antagonist Paula Abdul just a few minutes ago by phone. She sounded shattered. It was as if she couldn't believe it was actually true. She muttered something about it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person. I guess she was just proud that he made it to orbit."
Branson looked out over the crowd. "Unfortunately the Backstreet Boys met their maker too on that doomed flight. All five of them. They paid for their ticket and told me to get them into space so they could do a comeback special. It would have been over the moon. Well, not literally, since Virgin Galactic was never meant to go to the moon. But think about it... the Backstreet Boys are gone. Dead. All of them. It's a tragedy. It's the day the music died... and yes, I know, that expression belongs to the day Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in that whole plane crash fiasco, but when it really comes down to it... weren't the Backstreet Boys more important a musical legacy? We can at least be grateful for one thing. The boys were going to do a performance with Justin Bieber, but he couldn't make the flight. Too many legal problems, so he was grounded. He was kind enough to give Corey Feldman his ticket. Little did Corey know it would be the last flight he'd ever take. Think about it, people: Justin Bieber could have been on that flight. Wouldn't his loss have been such a monumental tragedy?"
Branson wiped away a tear. "And lest we forget the rest. You know, they were misunderstood in life. Hopefully in death we'll remember them better. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were the best of friends through their many reality shows, pub crawls, party crashes, and court appearances. They set the world on fire with their attitude and their elegance and their debating skills. I like to think that the two of them lent a certain dignified air among the passengers on that doomed flight. I'm sure they'll be missed by all who loved them. Particularly by the latest little lap dog to be part of Paris' life. I understand Trixie Tinkerbell will inherit whatever money Paris had left to her name."
Branson took a moment to compose himself. "Last of all... the sheer talent this young woman brought to the world, her grace and warmth, her radiant spirit, shall be missed. Yes, the last few years were not kind to Lindsay. It is true that she found herself in many, many court appearances, rehab facilities, and mug shots. Yes, it is true that her parents are even now fighting over who gets to orchestrate the memorial service. I like to think she was misunderstood by a Hollywood that hired directors who preferred working with someone who was more stable. How could they pass up Lindsay? Well, dear girl, you're at peace now. After being blown to bits in that explosion. I don't know... maybe it was a horrible way to go."
Branson shuddered. "You know, I'm reminded at this moment that it could have been even worse. I was supposed to go on that flight. It was supposed to be me up there... dying with those brave thirteen souls. Instead, I came down with the flu and had to stay home in my island paradise. Is that karma? Good luck? Or the fates of the cosmos saying, Richard Branson is too important to die? I don't know. I'm sure I'll have to figure that out in time. For now, I have to mothball Virgin Galactic. The investigation must play itself out so that we can figure out what happened. I'm moving onto other things for the next few months. I'll be offering kitesurfing trips with me to any lucky lady willing to consent to the dress code. She has to wear her birthday suit. I wonder if I can convince Paula Abdul to give that a try...