Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has proposed establishing a space colony on the moon by 2020, and has even gone so far as to suggest the Moon could become America’s 51st state. His chief opponent Mitt Romney dismissed the idea as a transparent ploy to capitalize on the Moon’s lower gravity in hopes of artificially lowering American obesity statistics.
Gingrich is way off if he thinks this proposal will hook voters, because a 51st state on the Moon would have the unfortunate side-effect of ruining the license plate game. Generations of American children were entertained on long family road trips by trying to spot a license plate from all 50 states; it was already hard enough to find a car with Hawaii plates.
The proposal to colonize the Moon is also going to alienate werewolf voters. How do you expect werewolves to feel when you tell them entry to our new 51st state is off limits because life would be one long full moon? And you know werewolves will want to go even more once they hear the Moon has all the most out-of-this-world parties.
If the Moon does become the 51st state, what are we going to call it? I don’t think we can name it ‘Moon’ because it will sound too similar to Maine when we speak into our OnStar and Siri voice recognition systems to get directions. How long before Google Maps sends a rocket crashing into that Maine cider house from The Cider House Rules?
You can expect the same confusion if we go with Lunar-siana.
And don’t expect me to sign up to be one of the colonists. I bet the first few years there will only be three houses in the whole colony, and when my wife convinces me to take a ballroom dance class in order to meet new couples, it’s gonna be the exact same jerks who live on my street and voted me off the neighborhood watch committee after the “gravity-took-my-pants” incident .
And when my wife looks across the street and sees Neighbor House 1 with the lights off and Neighbor House 2 with lights on and hears music playing, she’ll know Neighbor 2 was having a party and had invited everyone on the block but us.
Usually if one of our neighbors isn’t home on a Friday night and didn’t have the decency to tell us their plans so we didn’t get jealous, I have to spend the evening reassuring my wife that they aren’t at a party or doing anything more fun than we are.
“You’ve got nothing to worry about. Who would even invite them to a party? What would they wear? He doesn’t even own a smoking jacket and she doesn’t have a prom queen tiara.”
“Let’s make a list of everyone we know and call them right now to listen for party sounds in the background.”
“Maybe they’re not home and didn’t tell us their plans because they had an emergency?”
“Really? You think so?”
“Sure. Maybe they’re at the hospital because one of them’s dying.”
“Are you just saying that to try and make me feel better?”
And another problem with life on the Moon will be the number of years it will take before humans adapt their excuse-making. When your neighbor knocks on your door to collect the space money you borrowed without his permission, and you lie on the floor and pretend you’re not home, the next time you see that cheapskate he’s not going to believe you were judging a beauty pageant, or volunteering at an animal shelter, or visiting your secret second family, because none of those things will exist. All the most awesome excuses will disappear.
If we do establish a space colony, and I’m forced to be a Moon colonist because of the cumulative-distance stipulations in all the restraining orders against me, and the Moon becomes a popular tourist destination, here’s a tip for the tourists: We locals hate it when tourists make cheesy, idiomatic moon jokes like, “I’m over the moon to be here on the Moon,” or “I only manage to visit once in a blue moon,” or “For our wedding anniversary he promised me the moon.” Don’t be surprised if we seem unfriendly if that’s how you plan to break the ice. We heard all those jokes many, many moons ago.