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Mars Comes Within 34.6 Million Miles of Earth, France Surrenders
By Mark Fisher
PARIS The planet Mars is closer to Earth than it's been in 60,000 years, prompting speculation that a Martian invasion is imminent. While the US dismisses the notion, the UN is calling for a resolution barring Martian forces from landing on Earth. A second resolution restricting "all Martian spacecraft and personnel" to US and British soil was gaining momentum.
France's President, Jacques Chirac, fearing extraterrestrial occupancy as unavoidable, ordered the French space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales to launch six Ariane 5 rockets, carrying satellites armed with self-deploying white flags and really big "Vive La Martian!" banners. The satellites also contain pictorial representations of aliens dining at Paris bistros, sightseeing near the Eiffel Tower, and slithering gloriously beneath the Arc de Triomphe. All six satellites will maintain Earth orbit for over fifty years.
Although accustomed to foreign occupation, not all French citizens support the government's action. A small army of resistance fighters, donning aluminum foil hats and rubber wetsuits, was reported forming in the French Alps, and several French restaurants were already posting "Martians Not Served" signs. Hostile treatment of foreigners, a French tourism staple, is expected to remain unchanged.
While U.S. space experts doubt the validity of a Martian invasion of Earth, most agree this would be the best time for the Red Planet to launch an offensive. "If they did launch today, it's safe to anticipate they'd reach Earth sometime next week, maybe even on Labor Day," said one NASA official. "That's a long weekend for us, so we won't be watching very closely. Hopefully, any invading ET's will see the French satellites and head for Paris, but traditionally the little buggers like to land in the southwest USA New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, places like that. Probably prefer the climate; it's a little more like home. Hot, but it's a dry heat. Plus, they can move around Las Vegas virtually undetected."