Pet Peeves

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Moment of Silence

by Mark D. Crantz

A moment of silence, please. NASA’s Mars rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, have died. Since 2003, both exploring machines have sent information back about the planet Mars.  It was Opportunity that found and rescued Matt Damon. The transmission went, “Hey, you forgot to take Matt Damon with you. Come back, he needs medical attention. He’s concussed. He thinks he’s Jason Bourne.”

Who cares? Mars is far away. Why write about it? It has nothing to do with life in Laguna. But it does affect you. Mars is predicted to become the new must-go-to vacation mecca. So the question we have to ask ourselves is, “How many of the six million annual visitors will prefer to go to Mars instead of Laguna?’

The rovers discovered a lot about Mars. The outside planet is covered in chocolate and the inside is a creamy nougat center. This information was relayed to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It will take several weeks to analyze the ingredients to confirm if it’s safe enough to eat.

At the very beginning, the rovers landed at the planet’s village entrance. This should concern city council. Our village entrance is still not ready. Many of our six million visitors will prefer a vacation place with a discernible entrance. Nobody wants to take a chance that the place they visit ends up being Uranus. It’s not even a planet. The Department of State will soon issue travel advisories on destinations without demarcated village entrances.

Another immeasurable discovery was evidence that Mars had water on it at one time. Scientists are hopeful that this finding will result in locating the cache of Stella Artois.  Meanwhile, Stella’s charity,, is preparing to send bottled water to the planet.

The rovers solved another Mars mystery. Why is Mars red? The machines discovered that the planet has high blood pressure. Doctors Without Borders plan to send a physician team to get the planet’s pressure under control. Mars has been added to UnitedHealthcare’s list of PPO planets.

The rovers’ deaths have been ruled accidental. They were caught in raging dust storms that blotted out the sun. Their batteries could not properly recharge. In the future, NASA has agreed to contract with Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Musk will install a new charging station by 2025. Rest in pieces Opportunity and Spirit. You did us well. Maybe too well, according to a recent Laguna merchants survey concerned with future visitors.


Crantz tells the Indy that he will not go to Mars until he can be assured that the space ship drink carts can be adequately stocked for the long journey.     

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