Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Going My Way?

You first.

History proves that the desire for adventure, even in the face of extreme danger, never deterred anyone.

Not Columbus. Not Magellan.

Both are now dead, but how about you? "Mars One" is looking for a few good apes (species Homo sapiens only, for now).

Successful applicants must be resilient, adaptable, resourceful, work well as a team, and look good on TV.

Because the entire project will be televised, beginning with candidate selection, through the trip to Mars, past the landing, and eventually into the disagreement, disarray, infighting, and cannibalism stages.

If things get that far.

More likely, terminally low ratings will end coverage long before that, and TV viewers will just return to such standbys as "America's Next Top Janitor", "Frat-Boy Jury", and "Watch Ed's Hair Grow".

Haven't we been through this before? Like in the late 1970's when the backpacking craze was sweeping the nation?

Remember "Frostline Kits"? "Kelty Tiogas"? Whatever happened to all those people?

They went on long trips, that's what. One-way trips. Which proves that you don't have to go to Mars to disappear. Just take a hike.

"During a three to six month thru-hike, participants gain muscle and lose fat. They also abandon the cubicle mentality. After spending too much on-trail time where anti-conformity fields are so much stronger, it becomes impossible to readjust to a sane existence comprised of traffic, deadlines, office politics, meetings, and 10-point plans," says Landswort.

Who's Landswort?

Some expert or other. You have to throw one in every now and then or it sounds like you're making things up. This expert has two legs and a head. Possibly some arms too, but we're not interested in him any more. We're interested in the story, so read on.

Back to the truth then.

How does this happen? How do ordinary people turn wild and then vanish?

Can people actually turn wild?

Can they live and prosper off-pavement?

Well, maybe. Blame it on the solar wind.

In cities you see, we are protected from the solar wind by a strong, magnetic sort of torpor field generated by concrete.

In places without this field, such as on wilderness trails, it is difficult to survive while wearing a suit and tie. Remove that protective layer though, and you are immediately subjected to the influences of nature, including rain, snow, dust, and moving air.

Which are all ultimately generated by sunlight itself. The solar wind, my friend, it has powers.

It may take you away and keep you.

"There's no 'Starbuck's' out there, anywhere, and hardly any water, and the water there is out there has bugs in it. Humans simply cannot handle this," hooted a skeptical Dr Veronica Donut during a phone interview from her office at the University of Science and Stuff in Posthole, NB.

"The outdoor atmosphere is practically free of designer scents, radiation levels induce tanning, and temperatures vary wildly, sometimes as much as twenty degrees a day," she said.

"Normal humans cannot tolerate these extremes. It's in my book.

"Exposure to unexpected wonder is a concern during any trip, even a short one across the street for lunch. This can lead to increased risk of going rogue, a lowered tolerance for regimentation, meandering off the beaten path, and possible insubordination.

"To minimize these risks, stay indoors, keep your TV on, and take up hanky collecting. That's in my book too. Or you can watch me on TV every Thursday at noon."

Mars anyone?


Applicants wanted for a one-way ticket to Mars