When American President Donald Trump announced plans for a Mars mission during his first term I contacted the Martian ambassador to Earth to ask his opinion of the timeline.
“We weren’t expecting you people to visit Mars for at least fifteen years,” the ambassador says via Skype from his space ship in orbit around Earth, clearly annoyed and flustered. “We’re not ready.”
His fellow crew members—a pilot and anthropologist—nod their heads in agreement.
“We can’t yet protect ourselves from your viruses,” says the anthropologist. “And we’re just learning about the effects of Martian viruses and microorganisms on human physiology.”
“We also haven’t received the funding that your leader promised us for the construction of his 200-storey luxury hotel in our capital city,” the pilot adds.
“He’s joking,” the anthropologist says. “Earth people are presently much too xenophobic for a successful first contact. Also, we build our cities underground.”
I ask if they were monitoring the conversation Trump had with astronaut Peggy Whitson earlier this year while she was aboard the International Space Station.
“Actually, we heard about Trump’s plan while listening to NPR over the radio,” the ambassador replies. “My crew prepared a skit for the folks back home. Do you want to see it?”
I nod and the pilot’s skin begins to turn orange as he shapeshifts into a perfect doppelgänger of the current American president.
“Tell me, when are we gonna go to Mars?”
The pilot has expertly nailed an imitation of Alec Baldwin imitating Donald Trump. The anthropologist sighs in the guise of Dr. Whitson.
“You already approved a timeline for the mission to safely launch in 2033.”
“Well, we want to try and do it during my first term, so we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, okay?”
“But, what about the construction of your golf course on the sun?”
“We’ll be doing that at night so nobody gets burned.”
The two Martians shift back to their natural forms and high-six each other while laughing hysterically.