It was a twist on the old “War of the Worlds” trope, one that science fiction fans never saw coming. Instead of Martians with bulbous skulls and bulging eyes landing on Earth and immediately vaporizing every human with heat beams, California decided to send its own bulbous skulled and bulging-eyed environmentalists on an interplanetary invasion across the void of space to slaughter . . . nothing. Maybe bacteria.
It all started when scientists discovered that Mars may have a huge underground lake that no one ever thought existed before. This sparked a new space race to claim that water!
When H.G. Wells wrote the first lines of his famous novel of invasions, he may not have envisioned them being turned on the Martians: “No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.” Emphasis on the word “water.”
In Governor Brown’s first terms, lo these many 40 years ago, Governor “Moonbeam” first introduced the notion that the Golden State should have its own space program. Last week, in a press conference at the state capital, Brown unveiled a new slogan: “California needs water!” The state would take advantage of the Angry Red Planet’s opposition to our world—the closest approach for two centuries— to bridge the chasm of space in search of . . . water!
President Trump started the snowball rolling, when a few months ago, he announced that as commander in chief he planned to add a seventh service to the armed forces: a space force. “When you’re in space you can’t just send down to room service for ice . . . or Russian escorts,” the president declared. “The United States is going to dominate ice production in the final frontier, whether it be cubes, crushed or flakes! In fact, I am the king of flakes!”
This sent the former Jesuit’s head turning completely around on his torso. The governor of the fifth largest economy in the world was not going to let the hated environmental miscreant Trump get a march on his state. Towards critics he sneered, “Do you claim that sending a Californian to Mars to tap its water supply is a boondoggle?” He laughed. “Obviously you’ve not familiar with the bullet train.”
The Brown administration determined that it is easier to travel 38 million miles to siphon off some of the immense lake of water that lies under the surface on the fourth rock from the sun and bring it back than to solve the state’s underlying water problems, such as transporting water from the northern part of the state to the south.
And if there’s life on Mars? That’s what they invented antibacterial wipes for. No need for a wall.
Responding to a reporter who asked why the state couldn’t just build desalination plants to create a new water supply, the governor said, “Because, shut up!” and to a follow up question, “Because I’m the governor, that’s why.”
By way of explanation Brown added, “Californians have introduced much needed measures that require that every man, woman and child to use no more than 55 gallons of water a day. If Californians are making that sacrifice, no way are we going to let the Martians get away with anything less!” He added ominously, “and we better not find out that they are using plastic straws!”
Just in case the Martians might not think they would have to obey the prohibition against plastic straws, Brown insisted, “Although the City of Santa Barbara draws the line at sending violators to jail for six months for handing out straws—remember on Mars there is no ban against the death penalty. In space no one can hear you slurp.”
What about the rights of the Martians to control their borders and prevent interloper Californians from colonizing them?
“Anyone who thinks he or she is a Martian has a right to be there. We have as much rights to live on Mars as the Martians,” declared Brown. With the help of Elon Musk he planned to be part of California’s expedition to Mars and to continue the world’s longest political career on the red sands of the Solar System’s newest one party state.
“On Mars, which has one third of Earth’s gravity, I can live to be a hundred and fifty. I’m declaring my candidacy for governor of Mars!” said the soon-to-be-ex-governor.
The next day, In Washington, President Trump watched the California space ship take off on CNN. He wondered what real estate prices were like on Jupiter.