Holiday Greetings from New Palin - It Crashed Upon a Midnight Clear

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By Dave Coulter

Rough Edges

Merry Christmas,  Earthlings!

I do apologize for the late arrival of this here message.  The missus and I moved to New Palin  to retire and die, but the holidays on Mars have been every bit as hectic as any that we can remember from our Earthside years.

The 2089 tomato crop was a good as gold.  Mei-Lien, our newest gardener, was recently elected Chair of the Garden Committee. Oh sure, some of the old hands got their knickers in a twist over this, but she implemented a Five Year Plan that increased our yields by 200%, and streamlined our trade agreements with both the Chinese and Russian sectors. You can’t deny progress!

Anyway, we were all fixed up for a quiet Christmas.  Frank and I were in the Maintenance Dome after dinner looking over some hot pepper seeds we plan to start in 2090 when we heard a big dull thud. Then there was a terrible hiss and all the alarms went off in all the domes.  (Did you hear about this on Earth?  I think it was even on the news there).   Turned out that the glass in Dome 3 had been fractured, and the Admins had to seal up a minor leak.   We drill for these emergencies all the time. You’ve never seen us old coots move so fast as during one of them drills! 

After all the red dust (literally) settled we all ventured into Dome 3 to see what was what.  Get this: we got whacked by crystal rock, kind of a dull mottled green in color.  It came to rest about 30 yards outside the dome.  And despite the safety risks we were all kinda excited by this basketball-sized heavenly visitor.  

I think the holiday season was a-playin’ on our minds, you know.  The missus and Mei-Lien were both all excited that it might be a chunk of moldavite.  Mold-a-what, I ask?  Well these two both have a new-agey streak, and moldavite - we’re told - is a crystal formed by meteorites!

Well, this got everyone going.  So a couple of the Admins suited up and crept out to the green crystal rock. They had these sensors, and went real slow and deliberate out there.  It seemed safe, so they hauled it back into the rear airlock to get a better look at it.   Whereupon it commenced to melting and stinking up a storm.  It seems our moldavite was a chunk of, uhh,  frozen latrine fluids likely jettisoned from a manned North Korean spy drone passing overhead!

Oh my, it was a mess.  And we felt terrible for those Admins who got stuck cleaning it up. And it’s just pointless, you know.  The North Koreans have been orbiting Mars for, what, fifteen years now and they refuse to land.   They keep to themselves even though the whole of Mars is open to colonization.  We kinda forget they’re up there until a problem crops up, or in this case, comes down. 

Come on down boys, come on down.  Get some good old Martian red dust in your blood - you’ll never want to leave!

So that disaster came and went.  The other day the missus and I watched an old, old movie, “Christmas in Connecticut.” Oh my. She loved it, but I fell asleep.  Have you seen it?  It’s a light-hearted holiday romp where these crazy folks stage a big Christmas dinner.  I guess it’s nostalgic, but I’ll take Mars over Connecticut any day, green space ice and all.  

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