We learnt this week that more than 200 000 people have applied to be stationed on Mars, never to return.
Look, Earth has its negatives – I do think it’s time someone did something about Miley Cyrus and Syria – but at least it’s home. And really, to never come back?
Not even to see who won MasterChef? Or whether Zwelinzima Vavi will be rehabilitated? Or whether Agang SA has any chance?
To read the third book in the Wolf Hall series? Nothing? It seems a little hasty.
And it’s not as if the new colonialists will find themselves on some exotic planetary paradise with palm-fringed beaches and mojitos, and free uncapped Wi-Fi.
The temperature is minus 55°C – about the same as Grahamstown during the National Arts Festival – and the atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide, the stuff we breathe out on Earth.
So basically, it’s like being in an icy, stuffy room full of human-waste products.
In addition to being in a freezing desert light years from the nearest Woolies, participants apparently have to consent to being observed back on Earth 24 hours a day.
They will be the stars of a reality TV show that will help cover the pricy costs of the trip.
In our fame-obsessed culture, there is no doubt that many will consider permanent isolation a small price to pay for being on TV.
But why we earthlings would want to watch them trailing around the frozen-desert planet in breathing tanks and anoraks when back here at home we can see those klassy Kardashians cavorting around LA in skimpy outfits, I have no idea.
There is no word yet as to how many of our countrymen are among the 200 000 would-be colonialists from 140 countries, but I suspect a few.
South Africa is full of whingers who do nothing but dis the place.
One presumes they’d be delighted to leave.
Personally, I view this whole Mars expedition as a huge opportunity for South Africa.
We are carrying some serious deadwood here and there are many people we could well do without.
South Africans who should be sent to Mars:
» People who post any of the following on Facebook: pictures of mangled, tortured animals; links to articles like Microchip Found in Napoleon’s Skull “suggesting that the French emperor was once abducted by a UFO!”; alarmist maps of alleged nuclear spills from Fukushima that Snopes.com would have discredited after two minutes;
» The bigots, psychos and idiots from the News24 comment boards.
We could ask someone from the US’s National Security Agency to give us a hand in identifying these most horrible of trolls, round them up in the early hours of the morning and ship them all off to the Red Planet.
No longer would the rest of us have to read, despairingly, the stupidity, racism, rudeness and aggression of these fools;
» The Pinetown trucker who is facing 22 murder charges.
In fact, let’s just send all the idiots who have destroyed lives on the road, including joy-riding Jub Jub and the blue-light driver who allegedly disregarded a red traffic light and left a teenager brain damaged;
» Whoever was in charge of choosing and training those poor ANN7 anchors, who do such a shocking job, and then offering them up for public humiliation;
» About 60% of the copywriters responsible for radio ads; and
» Anyone who had anything to do with the Limpopo textbook fiasco.
And anyone who takes or mismanages money or resources intended for impoverished children.
The princelings who thought it okay to rip off school feeding schemes can sit right in the back of the space craft, near the loos, in the seats that don’t tilt back.
I suspect that Mars will be filling up rather rapidly by this point and we’ve only just got started.
But it is a start – and think how delightful Earth will be without them.
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