In the past year, the Earth’s Big Rocket Countries (BRCs) have been pelting the Martian surface with fat-tired Go Kart rovers. Apparently they are looking for a planet to colonize.

But why Mars? You spend loads to get there, the average temperature is minus eighty degrees, and the air unbreathable. Not very inviting for future Mars-o-nauts.

Our hilltop country of San Asino (pop 30,000), a city-state landlocked inside of Italy, is offering a cheaper, easier-to-reach alternative for the BRCs. We say skip the endless interplanetary travels and instead, parachute your rovers from Earth orbit into the welcoming atmosphere of San Asino’s city park.

To prepare an agreeable landing target, San Asinines have been furiously excavating a sandy crater in our ten-acre open space. To give it the special Mars touch, we’ve covered the surface with rocky red sand from a nearby tomato warehouse. Your space junk can touch down and rumble around, taking pictures, digging little holes, and scooping up samples.

We guarantee that no one will bother the Big Rocket Country rovers while they search for signs of life. If they find any, we’d like to know. Our citizens haven’t exhibited any sort of life signs for years. Most remaining San Asinines are over 80 and the sex thing is long past. Our population is not just declining, it is near extinction.

If Big Rocket Countries (BRCs) take the next step and send horny colonists, they should know we are handing out Asinine tax breaks for population growth. So if the Mars-o-nauts land, get frisky, and should happen to, you know, reproduce; it is fine with us. There will be no moral boundaries getting in the way.

Once the Big Rocket Mars-o-nauts are canoodling in the landing crater, they’ll need a place for the offspring. If they want to build a permanent space station in the Asinine park? Fine with us. San Asino stands ready to provide power and sewage hookups to service high-tech trailer park modules with pressurized connecting tunnels. Garbage pickup will be billed monthly.

San Asino’s two octogenarian farmers are hoping the Big Rocket colonists will show them how to grow potatoes in our rocky soil, much like Matt Damon did in The Martian. An export crop of Asinine taters would bring in much needed revenue. Our only current trading product, the rotary dial telephone, isn’t floating anyone’s boat.

We understand the moment may come when the colonists will want to return home with that treasured shiny bucketful of sand. To help out, we have repurposed the deserted abbey’s millennium-old crucifixion courtyard as a suitable return rocket launch pad. We also converted the unused Inquisition torture dungeon into a modern mission control room complete with arena seating and a break room espresso machine.

Finally, if some Big Rocket Country Mars-o-naut is squeamish and doesn’t want to tempt fate by riding the flaming boosters back into orbit, there is a low-tech two-day donkey caravan down the gorge trail to the Italian city of Rimini, where he or she can catch a ride on a local train. Those never run on time, but are a lot safer.


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