ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY, AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE_VOL XVI: THE MARTIAN EDITION

Back in the mid-60s, when I was still a mere lad, spending my days learning to play the drums, trying to keep my head above the sucking quagmire that was an all-boys Catholic high school, pursuing carnally any number of nubile young ladies with little (no) success, much like a dog chasing a car, knowing that if I caught one, I wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway, somewhere along the line I stumbled onto the wide, diverse and fascinating world of science-fiction, specifically in the person of author Robert Heinlein and his opus, Stranger In A Strange Land.

This brilliant, wonderful, incredible book told the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human being born of human parents while they were enroute onboard the torchship Envoy with three other married couples to the planet Mars, to start and populate history’s first Earth colony on the Red Planet. Smith’s mother dies in childbirth and his father is killed soon after his birth (no, I’m not going to give you details…read the book) and VMS was subsequently raised by Martians, in the Martian tradition and in Martian customs, and believe me, according to Heinlein, the Martians didn’t do ANYTHING like Earth people do. Hell, they didn’t even have sex, although if a celibate life was the only criteria, I would have been declared an extraterrestrial years ago. (Life indeed seems to come full circle…I wasn’t getting any back then, and I’m still not.)

My all-time favorite fictional character came from SIASL, Dr. Jubal Harshaw, who was at once a medical doctor, a lawyer, a best-selling author of “pulp fiction”, a bon vivant, an “old-fashioned gentleman, which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-bitch when it suits me”, and one of the most logical persons to ever draw imaginary breath. The lessons I learned from Heinlien via the good Doctor are manifest, and after all these many years, still abide with me today.

This was my intro into the fictional world of the our next-store neighbor in the solar system, the fourth planet from the Sun, and in subsequent years, Planet Mars managed to come up on my ”art” radar with some frequency. Edgar Rice Burroughs and his brilliant if rather overwrought Barsoom series of Captain John Carter, the Warlord of Mars. Issac Asimov’s The Martian Way, Ray Bradbury and his Martian Chronicles, an earlier Heinlein novella called Double Star, which was amazing, a page-turner and way too short in my opinion. In the movies Flash Gordon went to Mars to fight the evil Emperor, Ming the Merciless (which was how I referred to my mother any time she was on my case for whatever stupid shit I was up to), Arnold Schwarzenpoopen had a fantasy trip to the Red Planet go ALL sideways on him, Matt Damon was stranded and lonely there, the lone survivor of the first manned mission to Mars returned to Earth with IT! The Terror From Beyond Space secretly stowed away onboard the rescue ship and John Carter befriended an eight-foot tall green guy with six arms, tusks and a very poor attitude and they proceed to clout the bejeezus out of the alien bad guys who were Republicans and trying to take over the planet. I thought the Warner Brothers cartoon character Marvin the Martian and the “ack-ack” leader of the Martian hordes in Mars Attacks were hilarious and that Mars: Bringer of War from Gustav Holst’s jaw-dropping suite The Planets was dark, foreboding, martial in the extreme and beautiful (listening as I’m writing this).

I’ve been up to my gunwales (armed crustaceans) with Mars and its referents for lo these many years, and now, for the second time in my life, humans have done the unbelievable and have landed a vehicle on Mars. Like the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, the light bulb, the microchip, pizza and apple fritters, our first manned trip to the moon and Viagra, getting to Mars is one of those events in human history that is really too large, too impactful and just too mind-boggling to comprehend completely.

It is earth-shaking (or Mars-shaking if you rather), astounding, awe-inspiring and as amazing as, to quote the imminent Dr. Harshaw again, “the time my two-headed uncle came out in favor of the gold standard and then refuted himself”.

Mars rover Perseverance (which I learned just now was nicknamed by the NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab folks “Percy”) landed on the 4th Planet on February 18th of this year, the second rover to do so, after its predecessor Curiosity blazed the trail back in 2012, and the resulting photographs and videos from the surface of Mars are some of the most fantastic images I have ever seen…think of it: those photos and movies came to us from ANOTHER PLANET. I keep trying to wrap my mind around this fact and I struggle. (All comments about that being a function of a feeble brain rather than the enormity of the event will not be tolerated by management.)

I mean, watching those guys from Apollo 11 take “giant steps” and prance around the surface of the Moon was a once-in-a-lifetime happening, but the Moon is a mere 237,000 miles away; I saw that monster outfielder from the Yankees, Aaron Judge, hit a home run outta’ Yankee Stadium last year that I’m pretty sure got real close to lunar orbit.

But this, this is MARS! No Aaron Judge homer, no chip-shot by Tiger Woods (hope he’s okay), no Washington throwing a rock across the Delaware River, no baby, this was 136,890,000 miles from Terra, and that’s no trip down to the corner 7-11 for a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and a six-pack of condoms, believe me.

FLASH! FLASH! FLASH!

We interrupt this blog post to bring you a Breaking! News! Story! from the RUKME News Desk…

~Dateline Mar-Ma-Lardo Resort, Palm Beach FL

In a stunning display of ineptitude and self-delusion, former and no longer President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump today signed and released a series of executive orders to the Vice Chief of Space Operations of the United States Space Farce, er, sorry, Force, General David S. Thompson, involving troop movements, strategic issues, contingency plans and how to properly use the Flash Gordon Secret Message Decoder Ring that is issued to all troops upon sign-up with the elite force, and further named Mr. Trump’s new BFF, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, as the Head Space Cadet. When asked via email by Sunshine State Correspondent Talla Hassee by what authority he took this action, ex-President Trump responded that since he had actually won the election back in November of 2020, a lie that only those persons with the IQ of room temperature still believe, he felt that it was his duty to act to protect the people of Earth from the eminent danger from invading hordes of native Martians. He further promised to build a wall around the planet and make the Martians pay for it. He then signed the massage as the Supreme Commander of the Universe and attached a photo of himself in his spiffy SCofU uniform (see above).

More on this breaking story as it becomes available.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled column.

As my devotees have increased from three to four and my fame as one of the most-followed humor bloggers on the Internet and lifelong Mars enthusiast spreads, I frequently receive letters, emails, texts, smoke signals and Flash Gordon Secret Message Decoder Ring messages from entities all over outer space, asking for advise on that solar system-wide problem of how to deal with the opposite sex, even when there’s more than one. I thought to share a number of the more pathetic, excuse me, interesting of them with you, my loyal readers…

“Rt5j TT 56{{hx RRRRRj:

                Cq<tftftf g57& wf**, oh sorry, I forgot, you don’t speak Martian. Anyway, I’m Commander of Flying Saucer X-2, and despite my lofty position in the Martian Air Force, I’m having trouble finding a suitable mate with whom I can cohabitate and ultimately have and hatch dozens of little Martianettes. The naggrets (that’s Martian for “female”) that I seek must be short, dark, possess no mouth as I do, be no more than 91.44 centimeters tall and have all the requisite naggrets parts arranged nicely, if you get my drift. I’ve tried interstellar singles bars, Church of Two Moons socialables, I even went to a banth roast that was thrown by my local Burroughs Society chapter, but nothing. Any ideas on where in the system the only guy in the MAF that has made the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs can find a Princess Leia?

                Marvin the Martian, Commander, FS X-2”

Dear “Marvin”:

                There’s a place called Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine that is supposed to have some hot action, or so I hear. I mean, I don’t know that personally, never been there…I’m still nursing a crush on Carrie Fisher in that curly metallic bikini thing she wore in Star Wars: Cosmic Beach.

“Dear Cap’n John:

                Captain John Carter here…need some man-to-Warlord advice; what the hell do I need to do to impress Princess Dejah Thoris that I’m the Earthling she needs? Geez, this woman is like a rock…I’ve fought the Tharkian hordes to save her butt not once, but TWICE, I’m devilishly handsome, I can leap 50 feet in the thin air of Barsoom and have the largest “sword” on the planet. I need some ideas on how to soften up Ms. Daddy Is The Ruler of the Planet and maybe become the Royal Consort; whatta’ think, Cap’n?

                Captain John Carter, CSA”

Dear “Captain Carter”:

                Hey, if the Martian Ice Queen isn’t receiving your deep-space transmissions, forget her…I hear Sola the Thark has a MAJOR crush on you, and sure, she has six arms, but she’s hot like a solar flare.

“Dear John Cap’n Krissongs:

                We can’t understand why you continue to ignore our requests for payment on this debt…”

Ahh, never mind that one.

I’m all out of space (get it, “space”, bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha) for any more letters today, according to the atomic word-counter thingie down in the left-hand corner of my monitor.

I’ll leave you with one more quote from Dr. Harshaw…

“Human bipolarity is both the binding force and driving energy for all human behavior, from sonnets to nuclear equations. If any being thinks that human psychologists exaggerate on this point, let it search Terran patent offices, libraries and art galleries for creations of eunuchs.”

“…to boldly go where no man has gone before…”

Love and rockets,

Cap’n John

Post Script…hey, Han, I hate to break your heart, but a “parsec’ is a measurement of distance, not time, you space-dweeb. Geez, how did Leia ever manage to fall for you?