Our relations with Mars are always a subject of interest. When the weather, politics and the war have been drained dry, and nothing remains but a yawn to fill the gap of conversation; when the last conversationalist has chronic lock jaw and the last small talker is asleep, the trend of talk may turn on Mars. Mars is always safe.
Many men have tried to establish communication with Mars. From the most star-gazing professor of stellar history radiographing scientific inquiries, to the youngest Boy Scout wig-wagging questions about the baseball score, men of various degrees of wisdom have talked with the unheeding planet. Mars has been unresponsive. Perhaps that is because Mars is a gentleman and refuses to speak without a proper introduction to a chance acquaintance, especially such a disreputable feminine one as the earth. If so, the sun had better be called upon as an intermediary, to heliograph a social, "Earth, meet Mars." If the language used to Mars is ill chosen, it had better be changed. Many people declare that Mexican would be the ideal tongue. Perhaps it would. Or Bulgarian.
About the unsocial planet the star-seekers have formulated many theories. It has red vegetation--perhaps inhabititants believe in painting the planet. It has canals, either as a means of irrigation or of lavation. If for the former purpose, it is to be hoped Mars is not so dry as Kansas. If for the latter, it betokens a higher state of civilization than has been attained in the backwoods of Maine, where the weekly sabbatical bath is still a hallowed and inviolate tradition.
A Princeton professor has at the latest discovered that the temperature on Mars is perpetually far down in the minus zero roll. This is taken as proof that there is no life on Mars. It explains something more. It explains Mars uncommunicativeness.
It is not impossible to maintain life at unutterably frozen temparature. Some social functions take place at a degree Fahrenheit which would crack the mercury in the thermometers used on Mars or the moon.
Let Mars keep his exclusiveness. Let him keep his frozen colds. Let him keep his red grass and his last icy immersion. Even though he does belong to a family older than ours by some million years, even if he is a more remote neighbor of the garish sun, even if he is a gentleman, yet we can get along without replies to our wireless greetings, nor smiles to our heliographed winks. We can get along without Mars. Mars is so cold he would freeze alcohol.
Boy! Make it two Mars glaces with brandy sauce.