“Where should we go this time?” she asked, though I hesitated to answer her. She was still troubled by her peeling skin after suffering a recurring bout of Tibetan Sunburn. I told her that the altitude was tricky. Thin air and strong sunlight does not for good skin make, but telling her would only illicit a response about our being stopped at the border when the guards found a suspicious flag in the back trunk. “Free Tibet for invading foreigners!” which seemed like a pretty good line, but it did get us kicked out before seeing the ancient waters of the Zhaga Qu River, north of Mt Everest.
Today, however, she returned to the tried and true way of selecting a trip, with her finger on a map. “Hand me your Cell dear, she asked wearing her sweetest “Just wait until later, dear” smile which I fell for time after time. She found the Map App and began to twirl the Cell around on her finger. “Stop that” I cried and grabbed the Cell away from her. God only knows how many times, I’ve had to explain to the insurance adjuster, why the glass in my Cell phone was broken again.
Paper maps were just as difficult to use. I would have preferred them to the more modern techniques, but I could only find ones like, “Civil War in Uzbekistan in the late 20’s” or, “Chevron map of the Lower 48, including Alaska and Hawaii, but not the rest of the contiguous USA”.
Suddenly she said, “What about the Globe?”
Good Idea, I thought, and started rummaging around in the nearby closet. “Found it” I said, but it looked to be a bit worse for wear, rather discolored and all. “No matter” she said, and closed her eyes, while the Globe spun around. “There” she announced and squinted to see the name of our coming destination. “Vastitas Borealis”! That is our destination.
I was worried. Why you might ask? Well, at the bottom of the Globe it said “True-scale Globe of Mars”.
“Uh” I said while trying to keep a civil tongue in my head. “Are we really going to Mars?”
“Oooh”, she squealed. “Why not, and you can even take the dogs with you”.
“Here boys. Come to Mommy and Daddy”. The two dogs yapped and fought their way to our position. The one was named “Fear” and the other “Terror”.
“Rather fitting, don’t you think?” she asked me while batting her eyelashes and showing me the place on her shoulder where the skin was almost done peeling. “You can rub some Martian Skin Creme on me later on, if you wish?”. More batting of the eyelashes.
The dogs took no need of us and continued to run about, the one picking fights, while the other ran for its life.
“I’ll start picking our our Mars’ Clothing”, she said. “The summer collection, ” I think?
“What about oxygen?” I asked. “Shouldn’t we need that as well?”
“Oh no. Don’t be silly. I’ll breathe into your mouth and you do the same to me. It always works underwater in Jame Bond movies” she said, with smiling indignation.
I started to feel like this Martian Day was about to be over, and looking at my Sundial, I could see that those extra 40 minutes really took their toll on me, and the 60% gravity was starting to make the car float into the air.
“Shouldn’t we….?” which encompassed a number of things, like gravity, breathing and the like, but she countered me by saying,
“It is that time of the month again, you know?”
“Oh. I had forgotten” I said. “How inconsiderate of me”.
She then locked the dogs into the other room, and said, “Shall we look for Shooting Stars, together?”
How could I refuse her? She was yet just another wonderful heavenly body to gaze upon, while taking a gander in my telescope.
Or, whatever the rest of you would call it…….