Afternoon Inquisition 10.30

Everone’s familiar with the words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Those are very moving words that punctuate an historic event in human history.

With talk of manned missions to Mars, what would you say to Houston and to the rest of the world if you were the first person to set foot on the red planet?


(And bonus points if you know what Neil Armstrong’s quote was supposed to be.)

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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  1. “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

    “Houston I am now steping out onto the red planet. Oh my god! what is that? Help, please help, ahhh, ahhh ahhh, crunch, crucnh.” slience. Laughter. “Ha, I’ll bet I had you going didn’t I”

  2. The Armstrong quote was supposed to be: “That’s one small step for a man, and one giant leap for a film crew working on a soundstage at Area 51. Nice work, boys! VERY authentic.”

    And as for what I’d say on the Red Planet:

    (sung softly as I skip across the surface and look under rocks and stones)

    “Sailors, fighting in the dance hall…oh man! Look at those cave men go…”

  3. “I’ve always wanted to see a Martian,” said Michael. “Where are they, Dad? You promised.”
    “There they are,” said Dad, and he shifted Michael on his shoulder and pointed straight down.
    The Martians were there. Timothy began to shiver.
    The Martians were there — in the canal — reflected in the water. Timothy and Michael and Robert and Mom and Dad.
    The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water.

  4. Hrm. So many ideas:


    “Christ, I’ve gotta take a dump.”

    “I would like to take this opportunity to say to all the girls in high school who wouldn’t go out with me–HAH! YOUR LOSS!”

    “Take me to your leader!”

    “I can see my house from here!”


    “OK, the guy we’re looking for is named Valentine Michael Smith.”

    “What the hell?! The Mormons are here already?!?

    Yeah, they’d never let me in the space program. :D

  5. I wouldn’t have time for a statement.

    I would be too busy, using my incredible bag of tricks, to stop Marvin the Martian from blowing the Earth up because it was obstructing his view of Venus.

    I mean, everybody I know is on the Earth…


  6. “Well here we are, Pismo Beach, and all the clams we can eat… eh… I just bet we should’ve turned left at Albuquerque.”

  7. Fred Randall: We’re the first to stand on Mars!
    William Overbeck: Yeah. Now you’re the biggest idiot on two planets.
    William Overbeck: How’d you like to be the first guy to die on Mars.
    Fred Randall: Well sorry Mr. First to Show Inappropriate Anger on Mars.

  8. “Yesterday, the Moon. Today, Mars. Tomorrow, worlds yet unknown. My greatest hope is that humanity’s imagination and determination are vast enough for the task.”

  9. My words would be ‘Hoooo yeah.’

    Ps; Armstrong first words were supposed to be: ‘I claim this land in the name of Texas!’.

  10. “Oh blast, the Zodangan Navy has spotted us! Run!”


    I’m glad someone else referenced it before me, though. That makes me happy, since most people have no clue what series that is.

  11. “If my friends could only see me now,” OR “I have Cell Reception up here? COOL!”

    @Entirely Different Steve: They joked about that on Whose Line is it Anyway?

  12. “Cool”

    *clunk* [capsule hatch shuts]

    “Crap! The keys were in there.” “Um, Houston we’ve got a problem. What’s our triple A coverage?”

  13. These are just a few of the images we’ve recorded. And you can see, it wasn’t what we thought. There’s been no war here and no terraforming event. The environment is stable. It’s the Pax. The G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate that we added to the air processors…

  14. Not what you asked, but anyway – the first words spoken on the moon by Pete Conrad (who was one of the shortest astronauts) were:

    “Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.”

  15. “When the Moon
    is in the Seventh House
    and Jupiter aligns with Mars…
    not a Goddamn thing happened.”

  16. Houston, was this thing built by GM?
    Did NASA subscribe to OnStar?

    long silence

    WTF do you mean “budget cuts!?!?!”

  17. This great world, named for a God of War, has been reached at last; not through Faith and Violence, but through Reason and its Peaceful products.

    I am a Hedge

  18. What Armstrongs quote was supposed to be? Or what it was?

    Mars…hmmm..ah I know….

    PASADENA CONTROL: It’s looking good. It’s going good. We’re getting great pictures here at Nasa Control, Pasadena. The landing-craft touched down on Mars 28 Kilometers from the aim-point. We’re looking at a remarkable landscape, littered with different kinds of rocks – red, purple…. How ’bout that, Bermuda?

    BERMUDA CONTROL: Fantastic! Look at the dune-field.

    PASADENA CONTROL: Hey, wait. I’m getting a no-go signal. Now I’m losing one of the craft. Hey, Bermuda, you getting it?

    BERMUDA CONTROL: No, I lost contact. There’s a lot of dust blowing up there.

    PASADENA CONTROL: Now I’ve lost the second craft. We got problems.

    BERMUDA CONTROL: All contact lost, Pasadena. Maybe the antenna’s…

    PASADENA CONTROL: What’s that flare? See it? A green flare, coming from Mars, kind of a green mist behind it. It’s getting closer. You see it, Bermuda?
    Come in, Bermuda!
    Houston, come in!
    What’s going on…?
    Tracking station 43, Canberra, come in Canberra!
    Tracking station 63, can you hear me, Madrid?
    Can anybody hear me? Come in, come in…

  19. *Private Channel*

    Control: Mars Flight – You are about to leave the capsule and be the first human to walk on Mars. I hope you have something inspiring to say which will encourage people to look to the stars and make them want to send more manned missions to the red planet.

    Me: Hmm, ah I know. No problem Control. I know just the thing. I am leaving the capsule now…

    *Public Broadcast*

    Announcer: *Solemn voice* And the astronaut leaving the capsule and in a few short steps will be the first human on Mars. Lets tune into the mission channels to hear the first words on this world…

    Me: Holy crap! Space Babes! And they want me to show them this earth thing called kissing….

  20. Armstrong always maintained that he got the quote right. Turns out he was right; transmission static blocked the “a”:

    As for Mars-

    “Houston, I’ve been having some motion sickness issues, so forgive me. I think I’m ok, alright, stepping out of the lander — BLARRRGH. Oh God, Houston, visor is covered, can’t see. Ok, stand by, just have to get my stomach right. I’ve got a really good line to say when I take the first — BLAAAAAARRRGHHHH. Oh man, I can feel it running down my suit, it’s warm. Ok, my visor has cleared up a bit, my stomach feels fine, let’s do this. Just have to try to ignore the smell — BLAARGHAHGAAA.”

  21. “Hey Houston, are you sure I cant open this faceplate for a sec? I just farted”

    “Ok boys, break out the explosive space modulator!”

    “We bad, that’s right, We Bad!”

  22. “Dude, Phil Plait would love this.”

    And for the bonus question:

    That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind

    Is this right? Do I get the bonus point?

  23. ba-da-da-dum dum dum-dum dum
    ba-da-da-dum dum dum-dum dum
    ba-da-da-dum dum dum-dum dum
    ba-da-da-dum dum dum-dum dum


  24. “Science works, bitches!”

    At this point, I would scatter Randall Munroe’s ashes upon the surface. If he’s not dead yet, I’ll scrape some skin flakes off his arm with a butter knife.

  25. Stolen off Eddie Izzard but I would have to go for the remarkably unscientific statement – “Awwww! It’s all sticky!”

  26. I’d like to think it would go like this:

    “That’s one small step for a woman, another small step for mankind.”

  27. Some of this landscape appear unnatural as though nature was not involved in its formation, but the sensors show no lifeforms. Whatever wiped out these… Marsoids must have truly been incredible. Incredible enough, maybe, to assist in my annihilation of the humans. GIR!

  28. “All right, whose the man now Armstrong, oh yeah!” and “I’d just like to say that there is no one else who has had as little do with this accomplishment than Jesus. So I say, ‘Suck it, Jesus!'” – with thanks to Kathy Griffin.

    Neil supposedly meant to say, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He’s always claimed that the transmission got garbled, but I think he just f@#$ed it up.

  29. “Shit, wrong planet!”

    [in a commanding voice] “Thus spake Zarathustra!” [cut to 2001: A Space Odyssey]

  30. @Cleon: “I would like to take this opportunity to say to all the girls in high school who wouldn’t go out with me–HAH! YOUR LOSS!”

    Says the guy on a planet with a serious shortage of women :p

    My quote, singing: “Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down … never gonna turn around and desert you!”

    (it was either rickrolling an entire planet or singing, “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts, deedleedeedee!”)

    Another possibility: OMG it’s Tom Cruise … and … the Thetans! They’ve formed a rock group! Oh, shit, I think they’re trying to one-up Creed. I’m suddenly very depressed.

    (I suck at comedy, but I suck sooooogoood)

  31. “I am standing on the surface of Mars. That must be why I’m hip deep in milk chocolate.”

  32. “Hmmm, must be low tide.”

    and I second Kimbo, this whole thread is full of win. I don’t think you could pick just one COTW. Though if I had to I would go with Chew’s comment.

  33. well, given the way the space race is going…


  34. First words on Mars:

    “Shi shang wu nan shi Zhi pa you xin ren”

    (No task in this world is impossible so long as there are willing hearts), followed by a planting of the Chinese flag and singing the Chinese National Anthem

  35. Wow, this is pretty good stuff boys and girls. Let’s keep the party going. My first words:

    “Next time we’re drinking, and I suggest a road trip, just hide my keys.”


    “Godammit. That bitch gave me a fake address. I bet the phone number she gave me is to Pizza Hut.”


    “I’ve heard of creative sentencing, but this is a bit much for community service. There are no highways, let alone trash to pick up.”


    “Effing Mapquest. This isn’t the Jiggly Room.”

  36. “I’ve struggled with what to say at this moment, and couldn’t come up with anything fitting, so I’d like to read you all the comments from a blog post on Skepchick. . . . . . . “

  37. A naked blonde walks into a bar with a poodle under one arm, and a two-foot salami under the other. The bartender says, I guess you won’t be needing a drink. Naked lady says…

  38. I dare the first person on Mars to say: “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.”

    (I assume that the Buddy Hackett joke is what Sam’s parenthetical remark refers to.)

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