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Why I'd make a terrible Martian



October 18, 2015
Sunday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - So I’m reading The Martian and can’t decide how many sols I’d make it. I don’t even bother wondering if I’d survive long enough be rescued, just how many days I’d last.

jpg Jeff Lund 

Chances are I wouldn’t make it any sols because if I were one of mankind’s elite in the areas of engineering, botany, the medical field or navigation, we’d be in serious trouble. If I represented the epitome of anything, earth would be doomed.

All that aside, if we were to pretend that for some reason I was invited to NASA for astronaut tryouts…no. No way. I wouldn’t even be there. One of my quotes to live by is, “If you’re not ninja trained, you shouldn’t attempt ninja things.”

That applies to everything from cooking to space travel.

But okay, for the sake of this column, let’s pretend I somehow got on NASA’s radar and made the travel team. The anticipation of the launch alone would do me in. I can’t sit in the same place for long. That’s why I’m horrible in a kayak. That, and I’m the dude who rolls trying to get in. If I do get seated and out into the water, I get all tight and stiff. I feel like I’m going to flip and my legs feel like they’re going to pass out if I don’t move, stretch or otherwise relieve them from inactivity. Goodbye to all enjoyment.

This summer, a friend suggested a kayak trip. It sounded fun, but I had to admit my inability to function well in a kayak. It felt only slightly less ridiculous than when Derek Zoolander confessed he couldn’t turn left. The waves would surely work together with sea animals so that when I tip I would be devoured by man-eating seals and otters. So if I can’t handle a kayak there’s no way I could even think about being strapped into a seat and shot into space.

But yeah, let’s pretend that kayaks are scarier than spacecraft, and that my carcass wouldn’t have to be scraped off the seat and dumped into space.

If I survived the trip to Mars, and, wait, why am I even on this trip? Is there a good steelhead run on Mars? Boy, what would I take? I’d have to take my 7-weight because it’s my steelhead rod, but who knows what the flows are like, so maybe my 7-weight switch rod too. You know, just to make sure, I better buy a new spey rod because a switch is a little limited when it comes to distance casting.

So we all get to Mars, everyone gets off but me, and I’m left there with a brand new $800 Sage spey rod and the rest of my fly fishing arsenal. Something goes wrong and I have to live.

The first thing I would do is look at how much food I had, attempt to ration it by doing division and pass out. Once my body rebooted from the mathematics-induced short and I ate more food to feel better, I’d probably decide I needed to do some serious thinking, and that happens best while fishing. I’d grab my flyrod and go outside in fishing waders and not my spacesuit.

The End.
It would be a really short book and the movie would only cost a buck because you can’t charge much for a movie in which the protagonist dies during the exposition.

Lucky for me, there isn’t a scenario in existence that puts me on Mars trying to get off. I have enough trouble with a kayak.



Jeff Lund ©2015

Jeff Lund is a Teacher, Freelance Writer, living in Ketchikan, Alaska
Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @alaskalund
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