A Mars excursion, when it’s finally available, is gonna cost millions per person. And, in terms of time, a roundtrip will fritter away 2½ years of your life — give or take. Six months to get there. Six months to get back. With an eighteen to twenty month layover allowing the planets to re-align for your return flight. Ai-yi-yi, who has that kind of leisure? Or credit card limit?
Here’s a better idea: make a quick trip to Illinois and enjoy a nearly identical experience. At this time of year it’s bleak and joyless and otherworldly. Utterly alien, except for the gravity and oxygen and forced air furnaces — the basic elements for survival. It’s frigid. It’s barren. Depopulated. Eerie. And a fraction of the cost, both in time and money.
So come on. Jump in your space suit, boys and girls, and make a quick expedition anytime between now and March. You’ll think you’re on an alien planet of little blue creatures.
There, see? This is why Illinois is hip-deep in financial ruin. The boneheads in the Department of Tourism should be launching this campaign, not me. I don’t have the resources and they lack everything else; the imagination, the strategy, a robust media plan, and the cojones to do anything different or unexpected. We’re circling the drain and they’re popping Dramamine.
You know the focus of their tourism efforts? Lincoln. They trot him out, throw his name around, crow about his affiliation with Illinois, and bore the pants off anyone paying attention. Then they toss in a mention of Chicago, a mecca for family fun — ask the Capones if you don’t believe me.
Please, call your travel agent or the Tidy Bowl man. Either one works for me.
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