First words on Mars

I’m always thinking about what my first words are going to be when I step off of the shuttle that takes me to the Martian surface. “Remember Rob,” I can hear my flight trainers words echoing in my memory, “You’re about to be the first human being to ever step foot on Mars. Your words will be immortalized. I’d put some serious thought into what you want to say.”

mars astronaut

And the ship’s doors will open, I’ll walk out, my foot hitting the red soil, and I’ll shout out, “Yee-haw! I’m on Mars! Fuck yeah mothafucka! I’m on fucking Mars! Mars baby! Ho. Lee. Shit! Mo! Ther! Fu! King! Mars! Who’s on Mars? I’m on Mars! Maaaaaaaaars!”

At this point, I’m expecting my second in command to be a little confused, she’ll be worried, she’ll be like, “Captain? Are you OK? Captain?” but I’ll just be running in huge circles around the landing site, kicking up clouds of red dirt, screaming the whole time in celebration. She’ll wonder if the long journey, the months spent in isolation, if they’ve finally caught up to me somehow. Is this space madness?

“Captain!” she’ll try to get my attention, to warn me that I shouldn’t be acting so reckless, the cartwheels, the handstands, that I might puncture my space suit, that we’ve gone too far for me to jeopardize the entire mission with any accidents I might incur as a result of my laying on the ground making Martian dust-angels.

And yeah, I know, it takes something like half an hour for communications to reach the earth, and so everyone at home would be patiently awaiting the news, all of the TV stations would have gotten rid of that seven second delay that they use for other live events, because, come on, who would expect such a crazy speech from a professional astronaut? And little kids would be gathered around their living rooms, they’d hear me go, “Fuck yeah! Mars!” over and over again.

And they’d go to school the next day and they’d be going nuts, sitting in their classrooms, everybody parroting my speech, “Fuck yeah teacher!” they’d be running their own circles around the desks, “I’m Captain Rob! I’m on fucking Mars!” and what could the teachers possibly say? You’re going to stand up there and tell little kids not to curse? Why? The first person to ever step foot on Mars, he’s up there right now, he’s probably still cursing.

So she’d give up on pointlessly trying to censor everything that comes out of her students’ mouths. Everybody would, parents, the government, nobody would care about cursing anymore. They’d lift any restrictions about what you’re allowed and not allowed to say on TV. “From now on,” the chairman of the FCC would make an announcement, “You’re allowed to say whatever the fuck you want.”

And so I’ll have ushered in two new chapter of human history with one dramatic speech, and centuries from now, when human beings are living in space colonies throughout the galaxy, they’ll look back, to the first generation of astronauts. And because we’ll be so comparatively close together, they’ll look at Neil Armstrong and they’ll think, well, the moon’s not that big of a journey. But Mars. That’s huge. Also, Armstrong tried to say something big and grand, but he botched it.

And then they’ll look at me, my recording will be timeless, the whole, “Yee haw!” thing really tapping into the human spirit, and it’ll also be the first time that humans were allowed to say fuck on broadcast television. I really hope NASA accepts my application to be an astronaut.

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