By Eli Osei:
The year is 2045 and small business owner Elon Musk has decided to go to Mars. On his start-up’s third outing he has elected to invite one normal person, one simpleton, one less-than-average Joe to explore Life On Mars (Copyright: David Bowie, 1971) with him. To prove that the chosen one is truthfully the ropeless skipping rope of the world, Musk has decided to go where no fortune 500 fanboy has ever gone before, where no camera team has ever crewed, where no rowing crew has ever cameraed: Texas, USA.
The following transcript was submitted by his assistant’s assistant who was told to “write this down”. By ‘this’: Musk meant everything. By ‘everything’: we mean absolutely nothing. Musk’s assistant’s assistant's name– due to the fear of being assistant to a man who is assistant to a man like Musk damaging future job prospects– has been removed. Everything else is truth, reality, interview vérité.
Weekend at Ernies’s:
Written by (Redacted)
Inside Mr Musk’s Private Car:
Musk: Ah! That’s hot! These barbeque flavoured chips are hot! Claire, you said that you asked the guy how spicy they were. Come on, man! (Redacted), hey (Redacted)! There’s no need to wri-
Outside the JPMorgan Chase Tower, Texas’ tallest building:
Musk: So this is how the other half live?
Aroma: Actually, Mr Musk this is-
Musk: Rachel, run inside and find me some doughnuts would you?
(Redacted): Actually, Mr Musk, it’s (Redacted).
Musk: Pretty sure they’re called doughnuts.
Inside the JPMorgan Chase Tower
Musk: Good evening, Dallas!
Musk: Houston! (coughs) Aroma, my assistant, will take it from here.
Inside interview room
A middle-aged white man with a receding hairline and a (presumably) fake limp, enters
Aroma: Yes, yes, please come on in. Take a seat. Very funny. Please put it down. We’ve got a
prankster here, Mr Musk.
Musk: That we do, Aroma. The old ‘take a seat’ aroobadoo. I too used to aroobadoo. Back in my youth, my troubled youth. The year is 1971: an innocent babe is born. Today, rural South Africa would learn his name. Tomorrow, the world.
Aroma: Yes, yes, touching story, Mr Musk. Um, so can you tell us your name, a bit about yourself and why you’d like to go to Mars?
Interviewee 1: Well of course, hello, I’m Troy, but my posse calls me Troyé. I’m 31, but my posse thinks I’m 26. Why would I like to go to Mars? Why would you like to go to Mars, Mr. Musk? Ha! Kidding! Ainch! Got you, M-dog. It cool if I nick you that? I wanna go to Mars because I hear those players you took up there left the industry behind. What Troyé think about that? Troyé thinks that’s whack. Maaan, how you gonna go to Mars and leave the bars? What would Willy Wonka and oompa joompas think about that? Maaan, drop a beat. Nah, for real? No beat. Troyé thinks that’s whack. How you gonna make a homie to acapella. Fine. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Troyé on that beat. Yeah. Yeah. What is up? Elon and his team going to Mars, up up up (cool movie) right to the stars, he be taking everything (yeah) even his cars, wait what’s that? Mr Musk left these bars! Yeah. Take Troyé to Mars and he’ll start a music industry. My name’s Elon Musk, I just had an epiphany. What?
Aroma: Okay. Thank you, thank you. We’ll be getting back to you.
Interviewee 1: Chill. Check out the EP on soundcloud, much love to the boys, RIP big T (Tupac) gone too soon. Mama, I love you, that one was for you.
A young white man, who looks like he’d play devil’s advocate ‘just for a minute’, walks in
Musk: New and Old. Aroma, you’ve gone above and beyond. What a diverse pool of applicants.
Aroma: Thank you, Mr Musk. Have a seat.
Chad: I’d rather stand.
Aroma: Um. Alr-
Interviewee 2: Who am I? Chad. No, not the nation, Chad the man. But, I, Mr Musk, will build you a nation. There is so much hate, here on Earth. Social movements, affinity groups, r/wallstreetbets. It makes me sick. Take me to Mars, Mr. Musk. Maybe also take me to church. But mainly, take me to Mars. We’d build a new world order on a new world. How could they cry racism when we’re all aliens? Bazzinga! Can the judge call for recess? I rest my case. Can the judge make his verdict? I lose my case. That’s right, Mr Musk, that’s right. I’ve been sentenced to Life on Mars.
A young bl- Afri- person of co- man of melanin walks in
Musk: Hey, brother.
Interviewee 3: Salutations and good day.
Aroma: Hi there. Please sit down. Thank you. Okay, we’re going to keep this short and sweet. Could you please tell us who you are and why you should go to Mars?
Interviewee 3: My name’s Tony, but you already knew that. I’m wearing a nametag. Nice try. I know more about Mars than Mars knows about itself. (Tony looks up) But that’s okay buddy, we’re all just trying to figure ourselves out. Mars has three moons, two moms, and one giant heart. Mars is the kinda friend to take you to therapy when your parents refuse to. Mars isn’t a stranger. There are nineteen volcanoes on Mars. Did you know that, Mr Musk? Well, if not, no need to erupt because I did. Why should I go to Mars? Why shouldn’t I go to Mars? Exactly. Mars’ diameter is bigger than the diameter of a ping-pong ball. Think about that next time you’re in the shower, Mr Musk. Shower thoughts, because drizzle thoughts aren’t enough. Ask me anything about Mars. I mean it, ask me anything. I’m your guy. There have been nine different Martian sightings on Mars, but I can guarantee that there are at least ten different Martians. Food for thought and thought for food. Oh, oh, me likey, it tastes so good. Fact check me.
Aroma: Checking, Mr Musk.
Interviewee 3: Just not on Yahoo.
Aroma: Bing says it’s bullshit, Mr Musk.
An old white woman walks in
Aroma: Hi ma’am, do you need a hand?
Interviewee 4: Speak up, dear.
Aroma: I asked if you need a hand?
Interviewee 4: One more time?
Aroma: I asked if-. No, never mind, you’re already sitting.
Interviewee 4: Thank you?
Interviewee 4: Cindy.
Musk: Thank you, Cindy. And tell us, why should you go to Mars?
Interviewee 4: Well it’s quite simple, really. Simple and sombre, I suppose. I find myself, more and more, despising humanity. Now there’s nothing wrong with people, but as a whole? Same jazz, different Coltrane. I’ve just got to get away. My daughter tells me Bora Bora is nice this time of year, but, I don’t know, it’s not far enough. Sometimes it’s all so much. I was at the supermarket yesterday when a group of vagrants ran into the vegetable aisle. They started to dance and the lady behind me yelled “flashmob”. Screaming, I dropped to the floor. The music stopped and people began to laugh at me. Do the youth not know what caused prohibition? I’ve lost faith. I just can’t be around anyone anymore. Not now, not again. So I’m going to Mars. I’m going to Mars because there it’ll just be me. Me and my radials and the dailies and peace.
Aroma: Cindy, you’re aware that you won’t be going to Mars alone, aren’t you?
Musk: And that we already have two crews there?
Interviewee 4 (crying): I have doubts, I have such doubts.
A young, smartly-dressed black (Aroma said that was okay to write) woman walks in
Aroma: Hello there.
Interviewee 5: Hey, how are you two doing?
Aroma: I’m quite alright thank you
Musk: No complaints
Interviewee 5: Well that’s lovely. I’m Naomi, and it’s even lovelier to meet you.
Musk: Enough. Haha. Period! You’re going to make me blush. Um. Sorry. I mean, Naomi, why
should you go to Mars?
Interviewee 5: Where to start? I think what you’re doing is incredible, truly ground-breaking. I’ve always been interested in space. I used to sit on my bed, look out the window, and wonder. Wonder about all that’s out there, all that’s up there. And I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to know, but then you came along. A little man with his little car, and all of these massive ideas. Ideas I truly believe in, visions I genuinely support. I just want to be a part of this, you know? I know you’ve got something great on your hands and I just want to be a part of it.
Aroma: Thank you, Naomi, thank you very much. We’ll certainly be in touch.
Musk: So I guess it’s pretty obvious, huh?
Aroma: I’d be inclined to agree.
Musk: Once in a while someone incredible comes around. Even in Dallas.
Aroma: Naomi will fit in perfectly.
Musk: Was that his name?
Aroma: Interviewee 5?
Musk: Oh no, not her, not her, she called me little. Number one.
Musk: Troyé! My maaaaan. He’s right, the industry is boomin’, brother.
(Redacted): What the (redacted)?