Columnist

Sorry, Earth. Space beckons.

There comes a day in the life of every sufficiently wealthy man or nation when you simply run out of things to do on the planet. And I regret to say that that day has come for the United States.

We have run out of things to throw money at on earth.

Look there are only so many decorative napkin holders with your initials on them that you can possibly get before you are decorative-napkin-holdered out. You can only commission so many large oil paintings of yourself in a red hunting jacket staring wistfully at your pack of hounds, and you can only buy Scott Pruitt so many first-class seats and personalized telephone booths before you start to feel empty and bored.

And then what can you do? You cannot build yourself an enormous armored suit and go around fighting crime. (Well, you can, but it is frowned upon.) You can build an ill-received rescue submarine and then leave it in a cave, after calling the actual rescuer a pedophile, but … Elon Musk already did it, and there is no reason to wish to do it again.

So there is nothing else for it. You must go to space. All billionaires agree: This is the only thing that remains. Earth is over. Forget it, Earth! If there was anything to do here, the Mayans already did it centuries ago. Now Space calls you, ineluctably, like the West at the end of the Lord of the Rings, and you must put yourself and all your possessions into a boat full of elves in shining robes and cast off.

To those who respond with consternation to the news of the Space Force (unfunded, still in the gestational stage, the only stage of life Mike Pence is excited about), I say: How can you look around this country right now and not think that our first priority should be the creation of a sixth branch of the armed forces to deal with space?

To those who say that in Flint some people still cannot drink tap water, I say I am pretty sure there is water on Mars. In the interim, let them drink La Croix.

To those who would suggest that this money and effort could be spent on infrastructure on earth, on roads or bridges, I respond, Eisenhower already did that, and if I learned anything from the Romans it is that you only need to build a bridge once and then you can just leave it for thousands of years and it’s fine.

To those who say our schools need the money, I say, “That is the kind of thinking that would have prevented the construction of the second Death Star.”

I hear you that we could just spend this on jets, and believe me, I am going to spend this on jets. But jets are not everything. There must also be lasers.

To those who say we could spend this money on, perhaps, expanding access to health care, I respond PEW PEW, making my hand into a tiny space gun, and then laugh hysterically and blow my nose on a pile of dollars.

To those who say that Puerto Rico could use support to rebuild, I respond: ASTEROIDS.

To those immigrant children and their families who have still not been reunited, I respond: I AM SORRY, I CANNOT HEAR YOU, I AM ALREADY IN SPACE, AND SOUND DOES NOT TRAVEL THROUGH SPACE.

The facts are clear: Poverty has been completely eradicated. Maternal mortality rates are not rising. There is no threat from abroad, and no threat from within. Everyone is adequately supplied with jobs, schools, and health care, for some, and private helicopters, for others. (That those last two groups almost completely overlap is admittedly a regrettable oversight.) Everyone has perfect teeth. Earth holds no further charm.

And as Donald Trump has so wisely observed, “At some point in the future, we’re going to look back and say how did we do it without space?”

“This is infinity here,” the sagacious president continued. “It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right?”

Elon Musk and even Jeff (Owns the Washington Post) Bezos agree: There is nothing else they can possibly do with their billions. There comes a point when you simply run out of projects on earth and feel the irresistible urge to throw all your money into a bottomless void, and in this scenario, that void is space.

Goodbye, world. The void is calling. We must answer.

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