Mars doesn't spark my Curiosity

August 19, 2012 

America has been fascinated lately by that amazing technological wonder, that miraculous assemblage of wires and circuits, that brilliantly designed outer space robot that costs millions to run. Yes, that Mitt Romney is a fascinating guy.

But today I'd rather talk about that Mars rover thingy, Curiosity. You know, that vehicle rolling around Mars and sending messages back to NASA like, "You're coming in loud and proud. Say, do y'all know if there are any full-grown bears out there in martian land or if I got a clean shot? Because I'd sure like to put that hammer down when I get out of this Georgia overdrive. Wait a minute. Ol' Fred here is looking a little thin in the skin. I think I'm gonna have to stop at this martian choke-n-puke and get him a hamburger. I'll catch you on the flip-flop."

That's official NASA talk.

A lot of folks are excited about that thing crawling around Mars. And I admit I'm amazed that we can send that thing millions of miles past any decent rest stops and safely land it on some desolate planet where life cannot exist. But, then again, I'm still amazed by microwave ovens, Google Earth and that people think Tyler Perry's funny, so it doesn't take much to amaze me.

But why are we so hell-bent on exploring Mars? Is it because we think we might discover life was once on Mars? We do get a thrill out of discovering stuff the way Christopher Columbus discovered America … if your idea of discovering something is being the last person to show up. I'm sure all the natives were glad Columbus discovered that land they'd been living on for centuries.

"Oh, get this, Runs With Rabbits! This white feller says we've been discovered!"

"Oh yeah, he's gonna discover my moccasin in his backside if he don't move his boat outta my fishin' hole!"

I guess these NASA folks want to be like Columbus and discover something somebody else had already discovered. I'm scared the next picture Curiosity sends back will be a McDonald's wrapper.

I don't need NASA to discover anything on Mars. I already know it's cold, desolate and unpopulated. We could've saved money and just discovered Barrow, Alaska.

If NASA wants to sink its money into having Curiosity discovering stuff, discover something Ill be excited about.

Discover how to kill kudzu.

Discover an electric car battery that can power a car for thousands of miles on a single charge.

Discover a cure for cancer and other diseases.

Discover whatever the heck it is gnats want. (If you figure it out, I'll gladly give 'em tons of it.)

And discover a double chili-cheeseburger that's so healthy doctors will put you on a two-burger-a-day diet.

Of course, this is such a big deal that Curiosity has its own Twitter account. No joke! More than a million people are on it. But not me. Until Curiosity can tweet a burger my way, I'd rather sit here and swat gnats. Heck, maybe I'll even figure out what they want.

That would be worth tweeting!

Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent. Follow his work at

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