Ms. Winfrey’s tearful goodbye was not just for her viewers, but to the planet Earth, as she announced her plans to leave for her own planet, GO-GRL-12954, which will be known as O: The Planet, located in a system near the constellation Orion that was also rechristened the O-lar System.
“I would like to thank all of humanity for being so very, very malleable,” Ms.Winfrey said. “I will miss my ability to influence you, from the books you read to the food you eat to the presidents you elect. And I would like to thank the Earth itself, for being so hospitable, for providing air to breathe, water to drink, soil to grow delicious food, and an atmosphere that is so warm and friendly to television broadcasting.”
Not only did the studio audience weep at the announcement, but so did the heavens, as massive thunderstorms unleashed sheets of sad, sad rain across the Chicagoland area.
However, the frowns of her studio audience soon turned upside down as Oprah unleashed one last surprise.
“The void of space is a lonely place,” she said, in a rhyme penned by her close friend, Maya Angelou. “So as I go far away starting today, I’d be honored if you’d colonize my new base.
“That’s right! You’re going to outer space!” Ms. Winfrey exclaimed, pointing her finger at the crowd. “And you’re going to outer space!” She repeated the phrase and finger pointing several more times before taking out her iPhone and entering a secret code.
The sets in the studio immediately reclined and turned into hyperbolic sleep chambers, used to keep the audience in stasis during the trip. The stage flipped over and became a command center, complete with a reclining leather captain’s chair provided by La-Z-Boy. Within minutes, the entire studio had been transformed into an interplanetary starship, the U.S.S. Harpo.
“Now let’s meet your crew!” Oprah said. She introduced Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Oz, First Mate Dr. Phil, and the captain of the Harpo, Gavin MacLeod, adorned in his costume from The Love Boat. “We blast off in T-minus five minutes,” Captain MacLeod announced, “so please use this time to visit the restroom or say a final farewell to your loved ones.”
Nearly all of the studio audience were thrilled. “I can’t believe I’m going to space with Oprah!” said Fern Rabinski of Northbrook, Illinois. “It’s like a dream come true.” When asked if she had any friends or family she was leaving behind, she replied, “None as cool as Oprah!”
Jennifer Drummond of Chicago was also ecstatic to go. “I was trapped in a loveless marriage with a couple of kids who took me for granted. Now I get to start all over on a brand new planet. My horoscope was totally right!”
A few audience members/colonists were not so gung ho. “Not that I would ever say no to Oprah,” said Laurie Wilson of Columbus, Ohio. “But I would have liked to have hugged my kids goodbye, you know? And I left my iPad in my hotel room.”
Another, LaVerne LaRoux of Gary, Indiana, brought up a practical point. “I love Oprah and all, but there are no men in this room, at least not straight ones. A girl’s got needs, and while I love my Oprah sisters, I don’t love my Oprah sisters, know what I’m saying?”
No sooner had Ms. LaRoux brought up the point of companionship than Oprah made one final announcement. “Ladies, there’s one final thing. I know you are leaving behind husbands and boyfriends, but I’d like to introduce you to something better. Say hello to the STED-MAN 3000!”
A fleet of humanoid robots emerged from behind a door, one for every member of the audience, and marched toward the seated members. “They are yours to keep and do what you like with!” Oprah said. According to the flyers that came with the STED-MAN, it was an advanced service/pleasure bot with a wide range of domestic, romantic, and communication skills, including confectionary, housekeeping, insect killing, “vibrational massage,” and listening. A cheer rose from the crowd as the STED-MAN models immediately began administering foot rubs and asking the audience how there day was going.
When asked about the nature of the planet and the starship, a U.S.S. Harpo spokesperson was not very forthcoming. The planet had been purchased from NASA for an undisclosed sum, and the starship’s means of propulsion was “proprietary information that we do not wish to give to our competitors, lest there be other talk-show planets springing up all over the universe.” Sources who wished to remain anonymous said that the White House had given Oprah top-secret documents on faster-than-light travel as a “favor for 2008,” but the U.S. government would neither confirm or deny that report.
As takeoff time neared, Oprah told her audience to strap themselves in. “Dr. Oz, take us out!” she cried.
“Darn it, Oprah, I’m a doctor, not a captain!” he replied.
All media and non-passengers were escorted to the launch area, as the starship rumbled to life and blasted high into the air, but not before writing “Thanks!” in a plume of white smoke.
In an unrelated story, hundreds of non-celebrities were killed due to severe burns caused by intense heat and flame.