The Frumious Bandersnatch Satirical Newspaper
Millions of Martians fled for cover as the Earth landed another spaceship onto the Martian surface. "This is getting tiresome, having to duck all this falling debris the Americans and Russians keep throwing at us,"complained Zigbat Knyrl, Martian resident. Martians are especially worried about being contaminated by an Earth virus carried by the spacecraft. "There seem to be horrible diseases on Earth like compulsive television watching and tobacco addiction which could destroy life on our planet," noted Knyrl.
The first photo fromPathfinder has proven conclusively that the Red Planet is still covered with rocks.

"We've spent two hundred million dollars to find out Mars looks exactly like western Australia or southern Arizona," a Republican Congressman complained. It did not occur to the GOP that the "rocks" might actually be the Martians, hiding from Earth's prying eyes.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials looked hopefully at the pictures of a dry, rocky Marscape. "If there was ever a place in need of a water importation project, Mars is it, " noted an BuRec official. "We've been effectively stopped from building any more dams or canals on Earth," the official noted, "but maybe we can team up with NASA and divert some comets to Mars to create a water resource."

"That's the problem with earthlings," harrumphed a Martian, "no sooner than they land, and they're already thinking about changing things."

Our Martian had to break off the interview as the rover Sojourner was about to run him over.

The opponents to new EPA air quality standards issued an announcement upon seeing the first pictures from Mars. "Obviously the Martian atmosphere is in violation of US air quality standards, and all human activity must be stopped at once."

Mark Hunt reports that the Big 3 automakers in Detroit are very happy with the landing of Pathfinder. "The airbags really worked!"

A new approach to privatizing the space program has emerged with the success of Martian Rover Sojourner toys.Miniature Sojourners are flying off the shelves in many stores, according to Mattell. The JPL gets a royality for each toy Sojourner sold.
"I think the whole space exploration program could be financed through licensing agreements between outfits like JPL and the toymakers," a spokesman for the toy industry suggested. "We need a Lego Rover for the next mission," urged a toy dealer. Not to be outdone by the Americans, Russian toy-makers brought out a toy Mir orbiting space station, that catches fire easily, crashes into things, and falls apart after a few months.
Three residents of Yemen, a tiny little country south of Saudi Arabia, have sued NASA, claiming they inherited the planet Mars (which reportedly looks a lot like Yemen) from their ancestors. NASA officials are reported to have advised the claimants to go pound sand. What is unclear at press time is how did the Yemenies' ancestors leave Mars and travel to Earth since interplanetary camels had not yet been invented.

In a slightly related story, several of the Martians (who look like rocks) are threatening to sue NASA for defamation of character. "My clients are offended at being named after Earth cartoon characters," noted Harry Goniff, attorney for the Martians. It is also reported that a personal injury suit may be in the works on behalf of the Martian that was run over by Sojourner. "You know there's something wrong in America when Martian rocks even have lawyers," noted a spokesperson for NASA.

Great job JPL!

Copyright 1997 by Hugh Holub