PIST- BPL's Phone Integrated Service Terminal

BPL Headquarters,
Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, USA
10 March, 2008


Notes: main menu numbered items 1-6.  Sub menus labeled 1.x, 1.x.x, etc. Audio portions generally between * and *; excluding items between < and > and indicating numbers.

*  Hello, and welcome to Brower Propulsion Laboratory's PIST system.  The Phone Integrated Service Terminal's Menu has changed so please listen carefully.  You can access the Main Menu at any time by pressing (1).  To get serviced even faster, you can find BPL on the Web at browerpropulsionlab.com.  *
1. <Main Menu>
    *  To hear a brief description of BPL's products, services, philosophy, history, purpose, background, provenance, credentials, legal peccadilloes, and prospects, press (2);

2.    *  To hear a list of current BPL Mission Descriptions, press (3);
3.    *  To access our VRCE System, our Voice Recognition Character Emulator, so that you may use your voice rather than your keypad to navigate the PIST System, press (4);

4.    *  For complaints and technical questions, press (5);

5.    *  To order replacement parts for any of BPL's spacecraft, or for other orders, press (6);

6.    *  To hear this Menu again, press (1)  *
1.1 <BPL History>
    *  BPL originates, develops, and prosecutes space missions with little or no money and very little know-how.  Its various departments, offices, positions, and assets are all represented by one person, for the sake of convenience.  BPL positions itself at the forefront of the aerospace industry in terms of its lack of resources and capabilities.  Founded late in the 20th century, Brower Propulsion Laboratory was created to fill a niche in the aerospace field.  While many large corporations and small companies have been formed to satisfy military, scientific, and prestige goals, none have yet been organized around the principal of disutility.  The missions that BPL creates and carries out are developed in spite of the lack of many elements that other organizations find indispensable.  For instance, the absence of a skill and knowledge base at BPL does not hinder its progress in the least.  Similarly, the fact that BPL possesses neither assets nor appreciable income does not prevent it from completing missions.  Having no staff or employees is not an impediment.  The reason these things don't matter in the case of BPL, but would cripple any normal company, is simply that BPL is only motivated by doing.  The basic goal of each mission at BPL is to do something.  While this goal hovers in the background of every exploratory or inquisitive endeavor undertaken by individual or corporation, rarely does it maintain its prominence when compared with other motivational options such as profit, prestige, dominance, sustenance, mating, etc.  BPL has become the leading innovator with this technique in the industry.  To date, BPL has executed numerous missions and tests, and has constructed a whole line of equipment of limited utility.  Our projects include: The complete reconstruction of a Lunar Excursion Module Ascent Stage, originally as employee housing, then as a public feasibility demonstration.  Our LEM is now hanging in the Museum Of Flight, in Seattle, Washington. We constructed a reiteration of the Apollo era A7lB space suit used on the moon in the 1970's.  Our Munin and Limper exploration missions are ongoing, and we recently completed BPL-001, Conrad Carpenter's Funeral Mission, which launched the deceased astronaut-handyman's remains into the atmosphere over his ancestral birthplace in Wales, UK.  Our future projects will include a docking mission, and several new balloon based experiments, as well as BPL-002, a manufacturing expansion to China.

1.2    *  To hear a list of current BPL Mission Descriptions, press (3);
1.3    *  To return to the Main Menu, press (1);

1.4    *  To hear a historical recording of the first BPL press conference, press (2);

1.5    *  To order stock in BPL, press (6)  *

2.1 <Current Missions>
    *  Currently BPL is working on MUNIN, LIMPER, BPL-002, a manufacturing mission in China, and BPL-003, a docking mission between a BPL spacecraft and various earthbound objects.  The LIMPER rover mission is an attempt to conduct an extraterrestrial exploration mission without leaving the Earth, which is much less expensive and dirty than going all the way to Mars.  With mathematics, we can extrapolate everything we need to know about other planets so that we never need to go anywhere.  We can just stay in our room if we want....  Munin is a lander based on the 1970's Viking project.  BPL's mission will use the science of the 1970's to prove that there is no life on Earth. As these missions are capital intensive, and BPL is still recovering from a financial scandal involving a high priced call-center ring, progress is slow.  See the website for details.  BPL-002 is a 'piggy back' mission to China.  An employee's partner was invited to China for legitimate purposes.  Seizing the opportunity, BPL has arranged to send our man along, equipped with a custom made AAS, or Art Application System, so that he may execute touristic sketch art paintings, which will be sold to our non existent clients upon his return.  This is an extremely economical way for BPL to expand its production base to China, just like every other American company, and we expect this process to add greatly to our legitimacy, if not our coffers.  In a single occupancy company like BPL, outsourcing and travel coincide.

2.2    *  To hear Mission Control Live, press (2);

2.3    *  To hear the thought of the day, press (3)  *

3.1 <VRCE System>
    *  Welcome to the VRCE System, BPL's voice recognition Character Emulator, part of the PIST System, the Phone Integrated Service Terminal of Brower Propulsion Laboratory.  To initiate the system, without pressing any buttons, and we can't emphasize this enough - you wouldn't believe how many people push buttons at this point, so please, just speak without your hands, and say "Knickers and Cheesy Fries"...<pause> You said "Bumper Sticker", is that right?...<pause>Please say "Knickers and Cheesy Fries" directly into the part of the phone that is not pressed against your ear...<pause> I'm sorry, you said "parsley with a hint of butter and a six pack of wine coolers".  To initiate the system we will need to get a sample of your voice so that our patented software can adjust to your particular speaking patterns.  Please speak slowly and clearly and say "I guess it depends on what the definition of is is, and if is is not what you say it is, then what is it?"...<pause> You said "truck it", is that right?  I'll return you to the main menu while you decide whether or not you want to cooperate.  Thanks!  * <call is routed back to (1)>

4.1 <Complaints>
    *  Welcome to the Troubleshooting Department.  Please find someplace comfortable to ensconce yourself, maybe go to the bathroom first and call back if you have a cord on your phone, as this may take a while, due, needless to say, to Brower Propulsion Laboratory's unrelenting commitment to service, divided by prodigious call volume.  We wouldn't want you to be distracted while we take your very important information, and we wouldn't want you somehow to be tempted to lash out at innocent phone operators, just because you are not prepared to go through the Troubleshooting process. 

4.2    *  If you have a question about installation or adjustment of a BPL Spacecraft, press (2);

4.3    *  If you have found a BPL product on your property or what used to be your property, press (3);

4.4    *  Please note that while the PIST system is functioning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we are closed for Easter <Andrew, this is an Easter Egg clue; ps advise>.  To complain about this, press (...)

4.5    *  If you have a complaint not covered so far by this menu, please reduce your level of expectation and try again.  If you still have a problem, push buttons at random.  Remember, you can't reduce your score by guessing.  *

5.1 <Ordering> <pushing (2) or (3) here does nothing>
    *  Thank you for ordering genuine Brower Propulsion Laboratory replacement parts.  Our products are unconditionally guaranteed to last the lifetime of the product.  And sometimes even longer.  Each BPL spacecraft is composed entirely of custom made components generated in our manufacturing section, excepting in other instances.  All parts are in stock and many are interchangeable.  Many parts have something to do with computers.  To efficiently direct your call, please answer the following questions using your touchtone keypad.  Is the part you want long and skinny, or short and fat?  Press (2) or (3) respectively.  Is the part you want bumpy or smooth? again with the (2) or (3).  Can you fit the part you want in your pocket or is it a little too big? Press (2) for pocket sized, and (3) for over pocket sized.  Finally, is the part you're looking for particularly smelly, or does it have no discernible odor?  (2) or (3)...<pause> We don't have that part, sorry.

5.2    *  If you would like to purchase stock in Brower Propulsion Laboratory, press (4).  Buying stock in BPL is a good idea, because you always know your stock is of the same high quality as all BPL's other great products - and each share in the company comes with a guarantee.  So press (4).

5.3    *  If you'd like to order some other BPL product, such as our 'Pill To Give Astronauts The Sensation Of Shopping', press (5)  *

5.4    *  Brower Propulsion Laboratory also offers a number of products you can order for your own space program, or to reduce your surplus resources.  These include selections from the "Space Bodega", vacuum dried, salted and compressed prepared snack food products in sealed '5G' containers; a device to allow astronauts to smoke cigarettes in low pressure environments; a nose beacon for hip but lost astronauts, 'Squeet', squeezable meat, in a host of flavors with condiment compartments, so that astronauts may create sandwiches without utensils, or for direct ingestion from the tube; a line of 'Prantiques', or pre-antiques, which, briefly, are anticipatory products that are not yet made in expectation of their appearance in the nostalgia market, at which point they are actually created in small numbers to increase their value.  These include future space films about the past which has not yet occurred, and post preretro jewelry found in tombs launched into space on future BPL Missions.  Other products include a test space suit for vacuum chamber work with a chimp or precocious orphan; a space rated watercolor set, called an AAS, or Art Application System, various aluminum geology tools, working but funny digital cameras, surplus electronic equipment, paintings and drawings, posters, paraphernalia, advice, and a dog walking service.  Also you can order a BPL t shirt, or one of the Art Tourist China Manufacturing Mission Painting Sketches, to be created during BPL-002. Oh, press (6).  *
    *  S1.Press Conference...

    *  S2.Mission Control Live...

    *  S3.Thought of the day...

    *  S4.Final message:
        *  Please leave a brief message for the Team at BPL, or press (1) to return to the main menu.  Please be succinct and detailed.  If you fail to satisfy these simple conditions, you may not be called back.  These lines are not monitored for quality assurance.  Too much trouble, frankly.  You may only leave one message per four hour period, which should be about four times as many as necessary.  *

1.2.1        = 2.1        <current missions>

1.3.1        = 1        <main menu>

1.4.1        =        <audio recording S1, press conf., 10 sec., then = S4(message)>

1.5.1        = 5.1        <ordering>
2.2.1        =        <mission control live- maybe calls me at (347) 223-8877?>

2.3.1        =        <audio recording S2, thought/day, 5 sec., then = S4(message)>
3.1.1        = 1        <main menu>
4.2.1        = S4        <message>

4.3.1        = S4        <message>

4.4.1        =        <easter egg?>

4.5.1        = S4        <message>
5.2.1        = S4        <message>

5.3.1        = S4        <message>

5.4.1        = S4        <message>