This might be way out there

Mr. President, a listing of those suited for Mars

January 10, 2004|By Gerald P. Merrel

The Honorable George W. Bush

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. President:

We were thrilled to read you will announce plans next week for a permanent station on the moon that ultimately would be a steppingstone for sending humans to Mars.

You will be under intense pressure, we suspect, to choose key colonists for the moon station - doctors, scientists, engineers. While they are certainly important, there are so many others we believe worthy of being dispatched into the heavens.

We'd recommend the following:

Mark Burnett: This man is more deserving than any other to be thrust far, far away. In fact, it's too bad you didn't have this moon-Mars idea four years ago.

Burnett is the one who in 2000 foisted upon the public Survivor, the show that launched an endless stream of mind-numbing "reality" television.

What better challenge for him than having to survive on the moon or Mars? In fact, while you're at it, why not pack up and send off the producers of every Bachelor, Fear Factor and Big Brother clone?

Arnold Schwarzenegger: A female-fondling conservative who wants to be loved by Kennedy liberals, California's action hero/governor seems confused and in need of solitude to be able to think clearly. And in his movie Total Recall, he already went to Mars, so he'll feel right at home. As long as he can bring his fleet of Hummers with him.

Britney Spears: Mars needs entertaining women, and who is more entertaining than Britney? And there's far more to her than just grinding her hips and grasping her crotch, you know.

In fact, just last weekend she managed to singlehandledly bend the space-time continuum, having a wedding and - oops! - an annulment in a matter of hours.

Martin O'Malley: He's a Democrat, and we know you hate Democrats, but O'Malley deserves a chance in space.

Rocker, mayor of Baltimore, wannabe governor and, some think, a man who entertains fantasies about your job. But space is the perfect spot for him - he is nothing if not a dreamer. After four years as mayor, O'Malley is still talking about "empowering" people to "conquer our problems and reclaim and preserve Baltimore's place as a great city." Compared to that ideal, living on the moon might seem like a snap.

Elecia Battle: She's got nerve enough for the trip, no doubt about that.

Battle is the Ohio woman who claimed to have lost a lottery ticket worth $162 million. Turns out what was really missing was Battle's integrity, which explains why she now faces charges of filing a false police report.

A little time to ponder the difference between dreaming about winning the lottery and trying to con the lottery might do her some good.

Bill O'Reilly: As you know from watching him on the Factor on the Fox News Channel, depraved leftists are everywhere in the galaxy, plotting the overthrow of everything decent and American. O'Reilly is just the one to sort them out and shut them down.

There could be one problem. While no one on Earth seems to care that the Voice of Truth inflated his resume, inhabitants of the moon and Mars may not be so easily duped. And no doubt while there, he'll find another topic for a book to endlessly hawk on Fox Views, er, News.

Jayson Blair: Someone will need to document this mission, and Blair is just the guy to launch the first paper in space. He'd never miss a deadline, or get hung up on pesky facts; he could just fabricate things, as he did while reporting for The New York Times.

Putting out a paper is not easy, though, and even his fertile mind might not be enough. So you better give him a staff. How about fellow fabricators Mike Barnicle and Stephen Glass?

Sincerely,

Gerald P. Merrell

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