I must impart a difficult truth: the true story of JFK’s “demise.”

While his rise to power is well-documented, the press, beholden as they were to the US Government during the dark and musty days of the cold war, has heretofore avoided retelling the particulars of JFK’s fate. Although it’s thought that he was shot in Texas, new research by Prof. Dr. Moliusisk van Porps at the University of the Most Esteemed Kentuckies suggests that the popular retelling of JFK’s end misses some key facts.

He was born a small Dutch boy in rural Mannahassaquahassethuset, on the banks of the Ol’ Stony. Some years later, after the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the US was desperate to gain the advantage in the “race to Neptune”. It was thought that zero-G habitation would grant astronauts eternal youth, and as such, government policy was to ensure that the Soviet Union would not be able to breed this new race of ageless supermen. Although NASA had prepared plans for a moon base to be fully stocked with undying paramilitary weirdos, this future seemed far-off – after Sputnik and Gagarin’s flight, the US was eager to catch up.

Alan Shepard was scheduled to be sealed into a Ford Semplador and launched into space only a month after, but top American scientists came to realize that the Soviet plan for eternal youth was not a moon base, but a space station, thought to be a more accessible (but more costly) goal. A dramatic re-think of NASA’s plans followed; using a space station, the Soviets could gain the secret of eternal youth much more quickly than the Americans had anticipated. It was decided that JFK himself would take Shepard’s place. As they were identical twins born only six years apart, it was thought that Soviet spies would not realize the switch. JFK was to be fired into space post-haste. And so he was. An earth-bound “assassination” was carried out using a cardboard dummy stuffed with red confetti, and the real JFK orbited silently in his bullet-proof Semplador, waiting to cause trouble when the Soviets managed to launch a station.

He waited for ten years, until the launch of the first Salyut station in 1971. JFK drove his Semplador into the Salyut’s orbit and disabled its docking latches, so that the crew of Soyuz 10, selected to be the USSR’s first immortal gods, was unable to dock. JFK caused more problems with Soyuz 11’s visit to Salyut 1. He performed so ideally that the USA sent up Skylab, to act as a lounge/laboratory/ball pit for JFK (it’s worth pointing out that, when said in the precise dialect of JFK’s Mannahassaquahasset birthplace, “Skylab” actually means “JFK’s Lab”). JFK caused more trouble for other Salyut and Almaz stations through the early ’70s — not always with perfect success, but always with powerful gusto and precise poetic meter.

Transmissions from JFK dried up as the Soviets’ station programs lulled — it was thought that JFK had begun taking his mission too seriously, and did not think of anything else. By the time Mir was launched in 1986, JFK was unreachable, and although Mir’s problems were directly linked to JFK’s activities by after-the-fact review, the station was an ultimate success. It’s thought that JFK eventually realized that Americans had begun to use Mir; whether he thought that the USA or the USSR had subsumed the other is unknown, although it is clear that most of Mir’s JFK-related problems occurred after Americans began to visit.

It’s unknown if JFK still orbits the Earth in his Ford Semplador, waiting to cause trouble for Russians who attempt to build a space station to gain the secret of immortal life. But the tradition remains; whenever anything goes wrong on the International Space Station, the American astronauts will immediately retreat to the station’s dark places and whisper “Please don’t kill me, Mr. President.” Someday, perhaps, we will know whether Kennedy is listening.