OOP: (making a face) Who, Lieutenant? Me, Lieutenant?
IOTA and OMEGA: (saluting) For the glory of Mars, Oop!
OOP: Yes, of course! (unhappily) Immediately. (He opens his mouth wide. Omega and Iota watch him breathlessly. He bites down on a corner of the book, and pantomimes chewing and swallowing, while making terrible faces.)
OMEGA: Well, Oop?
IOTA: Well, Oop? (Oop coughs. Omega and Iota pound him on the back.)
THINK-TANK: Was it not delicious, Sergeant Oop?
OOP: (saluting) That is correct, sir. It was not delicious. I don’t know how the Earthlings can get those sandwiches down without water. They’re dry as Martian dust.
Think-Tank's command fell on Sergeant Oop's shoulders while the other two crew members escaped from eating the sandwich (book). Iota and Omega saluted Think-tank and emphasised that it (eating the book) was for Mars' glory, to which Oop responded, "Yes," opened his big mouth, and began chewing and swallowing the book. According to the crew members, Oop would sacrifice or do anything for the glory of Mars. Iota and Omega were watching Oop chew the book with bated breath, looking at the difficult task he was performing.
Oop's facial expressions showed the difficulties consuming and swallowing the book pieces. When Omega and Iota attempted to communicate with Oop, he coughed, so they smacked him on the back.
When Think-Tank noticed Oop's hilarious facial expressions, he asked if the sandwich (book) was not tasty. Oop saluted Think-Tank and agreed with him and declared the sandwich (book) to be unappealing. He said the sandwich (book) was as dry as Martian dust.
Meaning of difficult words:
PantomimeRefers to exaggerating mime
Bound To beat
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Book That Saved The Earth - Claire Boiko (pp 63-73). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.