At some point in his life nearly every boy wishes he were an astronaut. I assume this is the male version of the "I want a pony" gene that most girls possess, twisted and perverted from a girl's honest urges to groom a mane into something sick and vile. Gone are the hooves and green pastures. In their place you will find creepy white suits and the cold emptiness of the beyond. As a child even I imagined waving to the crowds in the reviewing stands as I climbed into the capsule fixed to the nosecone of a building-sized controlled bomb.
Some boys imagine this sort of thing. Some grow up and turn it into a reality. Still others, like 17-year-old Saurabh Singh, use their imagination to turn the dream into a reality that earns them a lot of money from a gullible government.
In a country hungry for international recognition, 17-year-old Saurabh Singh was feted as a national hero after announcing he had won NASA's International Scientist Discovery examination, which he said he took at Oxford University.
The certificate, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, declared "You are the member of NASA" (sic) and is signed by Singh and "Chief of NASA, Cin K. Kif" -- NASA's former administrator was Sean O'Keefe. It also lists the name of Singh's father, common practice in Indian documents.
Saurabh used the gullibility of his government to extort tens of thousands of dollars from the leaders of India. He has been caught in his clever ruse and will probably end up going to some horrible Indian version of jail where he has to disassemble rusted out Russian freighters with a sledgehammer. Those of us who are a bit more clever with our certificates have yet to be caught in our lies. By "those of us" I of course mean myself. As something of an amateur forgery expert I have faked many certificates and documents ranging from passports for shady looking Saudi Arabians to handicapped automobile stickers for lazy soccer moms. I could spend all day regaling you with tales of my greatest fakes, but for purposes of brevity I will limit myself to several of my best.
Eat this Saurabh Singh!
Certificate from the Village of Hartford, MI Honoring My Military Service
When I was in Junior High School my mom was really busting my hump telling me to get a job around the neighborhood mowing lawns or something. Still unfamiliar with the concept of income outside of an allowance I set to work devising a scheme in which I could put my formative talents for forgery to use earning money. The answer was simple for me. I would fake being a decorated veteran of the Second World War from Michigan and receive massive cash payouts from the Veteran's Benefits Association. Considering it was my first bit of forgery I think it turned out quite well. Three weeks after I showed up at the VA bursars with my certificate I was receiving a pension of $97.84 per month. I still get that money to this day and use it mostly to buy candy and Transformers toys as a sort of liquid asset memorial to my legacy. It's not like some real veteran is missing out. Those guys are treated like kings!
Certificate for Completion of Level 1 Crystal Healing Training
Last year I wanted to cure my friend's brain cancer with crystal healing but you don't get to learn that until you get to level 2. I forged my level 1 certification flawlessly. Unfortunately, you need the fundamentals of crystal healing you pick up during level 1 to really be able to use what you learn in the level 2 course. I couldn't actually cure my friend's brain cancer, I could just sort of move it around to his lymphatic system.
National Policy Board for Educational Administration Recognition Certificate
About two years ago I was running an extremely successful school for the blind out of a tent at a camp ground. Basically I would teach college-age girls how to read faces and I had this great line where after they had learned everything I could teach them I would tell them to feel my face and then I would squirt saline solution on my cheeks. Then the blind babe would say "oh my God, why are you crying sensei?" and then I would say "I am crying because you have surpassed my abilities to teach you." Then she would hug me to comfort me and I would start feeling her up, sometimes "with release." Anyway, these education cop types started poking around my tent and to ward them off I whipped up this little bad boy. It kept them away until the court filed a subpoena forcing me to appear in court for sexual assault. I produced a Female Body Inspector Certified Specialist ID for that one, but that's another story.
Certificate of Participation in the Federal Duck Stamp Program
I was drunk at bar with a couple of friends and I boasted that I could "design the shit out of a duck stamp." When one of my friends bet me that I wouldn't even try to enter the Federal Duck Stamp Program I took him up on that bet. When I sobered up I realized I couldn't possibly design a duck stamp in time for the deadline. Instead of giving up like most duck stamp wannabes I put my finely honed skills to use and forged a certificate of participation for the Federal Duck Stamp Program. When I dropped that bitch on Walter's desk the next morning he practically shit his pants. He coughed up the twenty bucks and no one was ever the wiser about my trickery.
Black Knights Parachute Centre Jump Certificate
When you're impersonating a paratrooper and the jump instructor for the 101st Airborne asks you how many "drops" you've been on don't produce a Black Knights Parachute Centre Jump Certificate from your pocket. It is not what he wants to see. Either that or military jump instructors just like punching people in the mouth. A lot.
Official Mars Colonist Certificate
When the landing bay opens on the first Mars colony ship I want to be able to claim what is mine for the future of my family. These prized Colonist Certificates ensure that you are guaranteed first pick of seating on board the Mars colony ship. Since they are prohibitively expensive to acquire through normal means ($9.95 or $5.95 with the purchase of a star name) I decided to secure my birthright through any means necessary. As usual those means included and were limited to forgery. The downside to all of this is that even though I now have a first class ticket on the Mars Express it is tentatively scheduled to depart Freedom One moon base in 2096.
Tsing Hua Science Institute Teaching Certificate
I have always wanted to teach college-level physics to a classroom full of bright young students who do not speak a language I can comprehend. Thanks to my forgery skills this dream became a reality when I was 19 years old. I brilliantly forged a teaching certificate from the Tsing Hua Science Institute in Wuhan. Then I flew to Wuhan. Then I was arrested at Wuhan airport for not having a valid passport. Whoops! My forgery skills might be top notch but my memory is a little shaky. After several days of aggressive questioning that involved a spinning wooden pole, thirty seven gallons of pig's blood, a sock full of batteries, my nose, and my anus in no particular order I was deported back to the United States. But hey, on the bright side at least I have a good story about the Chinese Security Police to tell to all of the illegitimate children I somehow managed to father from my jail cell.
Before you go off half-cocked and attempt to imitate my incredible achievements as a forgery artist I would like for you to stop and think whether this is really the life that you want. Sure, I may fly regular missions to space. Yeah, I might bag all of the hot babes I want. Okay, I am the third richest man in the world. But think about what this sort of passion can do to your fingers. I'll answer that for you; mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. Is it worth it? Is sacrificing your health really worth it to have your balls juggled by Liv Tyler and Salma Hayek onboard your personal super yacht? I can't answer that question for you. Search deep within your heart.
Transgressive author Chuck Palahniuk is here to help with tips and tricks to hacking your life.
Not what I had in mind when I ordered an Italian gondolier. This is literally just a tiny toy. Needless to say, the Italian businessmen were not impressed and I looked like a damn fool. We lost the pizza pie account and will have to lay off half our factory.
Time to applaud the man who applauds in a loop until the end of time.
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