The race was set up on Plum Street, the long, level block between Ash and Jackson. By the time they were ready, half the kids in the East End were there, from the tiniest pipsqueaks to high-school ers. The little kids ran races of their own from curb to curb. The bigger kids shouldered blasters and dug into their jeans for coins to bet with. For the first time since last fall, mothers opened windows and leaned out from second stories.
Traffic was detoured from both ends of the block. No one could find string for the finish, so a second-story mother dropped down a spool of bright pink thread. Another problem was the start. First, they had to find chalk to draw the starting line. When they did, nobody could seem to draw it straight. The result; a stack of starting lines creeping up the street, till someone brought out a yardstick and did it right.
The next problem came when the starter, Bump Gilliam, who was also Mars Bar’s best pal, called, “Get ready!” – and someone in the crowd yelled, “That ain’t what you say! You say, “Take your mark!” Well, everybody jumped into it, then. There was shoving and jawing and almost a fistfight over the proper way to start a race. Finally there was a compromise, and Bump called, “Get ready on your mark!” At which point someone else called, “Go, Mars!” and Bump turned and snarled, “Shut up! When the starter starts, there’s no noise!” So, naturally, someone else called, “Smoke ‘im, Mars!” and then came “Waste ‘im, Mars!” and “Do the honk, Bar Man!” And they might still be calling to this day had not a single voice separated itself from the others: “Burn ‘im, Magee!” It was Hands Down, laughing and pointing from his perch on the roof of a car. Bump jumped into the let-up: “Get set! — – Go!” And at long last, mossy from their wait at the starting line, they went.
... several pounds not ounces.Another plan for getting humans onto Mars is called Mars Direct. Scientists would use the same type of rocket ... used for the Apollo missions to get to Mars. It would take ... . This is because in 1989 President George Bush called for a manned mission to Mars (Sky & Telescope). This will cost a ...
Even as the race began – even after it began – Maniac wasn’t sure how to run it. Naturally he wanted to win, or at least to do his best. All his instincts told him that. But there were other considerations; whom he was racing against, and where, and what the consequences might be if he won. These were heavy considerations, heavy enough to slow him down – until the hysterical crowd and the sight of Mars Bar’s sneaker bottoms and the boiling of his own blood ignited his afterburners, and before you could say, “Burn ‘im, Magee!” he was ahead, the pink thread bobbing in his sights. But he never saw his body break the thread; he saw only the face of Mars Bar, straining, gasping, unbelieving, losing.
They went crazy. They went wild. They went totally bananas. “You see him? He turned a-round!”He ran backwards!”He did it backwards!”He beat ‘im go in’ backwards!” Mars Bar tried. He shoved Bump.
“You started too fast! I wasn’t ready!” He shoved the thread-holders. “You moved it up so’s he could win! I was gaining on ‘im!” He shoved Maniac. “You bumped me! You got a false start! You cheated!” But his protests drowned in the pandemonium. Why did I do it? was all Maniac could think. He hadn’t even realized it till he crossed the line, and he regretted it instantly. Wasn’t it enough just to win?.