KENNEDY SPACE CENTER–Shaking with mirth and speaking between uncontrollable fits of laughter, NASA head of Mars Exploration, Dr Richard Pettigrew, today told reporters how he and his team of scientists had used the space agency’s rover Curiosity to carve a massive, fourteen mile high image of an erect human penis into the surface of one of our nearest planetary neighbours, an achievement Pettigrew described as perhaps the most important, certainly the most hilarious in the annals of planetary science.
As he was speaking, Pettigrew’s colleague on the panel, Professor Marvin Franklin, interjected, “Hur, hur. He said annals“, sending the room into uproar and the respected aeronautical engineer into a further bout of helpless giggling.
Several minutes later, after Dr Pettigrew had managed to recover his composure sufficiently, the 53 year old went on to say that the operation to complete the titanic tumescence, complete with little hairs and a dotted line preceding from the tip to indicate ejaculation had occurred, had been a “total blast”, and a nice break from all the boring rock analysis that formed the bulk of his team’s work on the red planet.
Professor Franklin then looked over at the man in charge of the multi-billion dollar project to test the theory that Mars could once have supported life. “Oh man, you just said analysis“, he sniggered, placing a heavy stress on the first two syllables of the word.
Dr Pettigrew once again dissolved into paroxysms of laughter.
“It’s just,” attempted the married father of three, tears streaming down his face.
“You gotta see it!”, he tried again, thumping the desk.
“I mean it’s definitely the funniest thing I ever saw. It even beats the time Professor Franklin here painted his wang with UV fluorescent paint and got it out in front of the First Lady at the NASA Christmas party!”
Here the MacArthur Fellow took a drink but immediately burst out laughing again, spraying the first two rows of journalists with water as he did so.
“Ah, crap,” continued the two times winner of the NASA exceptional achievement medal. “I think I just peed a little bit in my pants.”
But not everybody is quite as impressed as Dr Pettigrew at NASA’s latest giant, priapic leap into the unknown.
Rep. Earl Tucker (TX-17), a serial killjoy, has expressed concerns regarding the cost of the monumental baby-maker to the US taxpayer.
“This gigantic space prick took something like six months to build, during which time no other important scientific experiments were completed or even attempted,” complained the congressman in an open letter to the Washington Post. “Mark my words, questions are going to be asked about this up on The Hill.”
Elsewhere, LA Times art critic Stacey Lachter condemned the monstrous martian trouser snake on artistic grounds.
“If you are going to commit an act of interplanetary vandalism by inscribing a johnson the length of nine runways on the side of a planet the Romans named after the dread God of War himself,” she wrote. “You could at least do it with some élan and utilise some artistic skill.”
Lachter then went on to compare the NASA team’s monolithic member unfavourably with other outsize primitive artworks such as the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset, England, and the Nazca Lines of southern Peru.
But Dr Pettigrew is adamant there is nothing, but nothing, in this solar system or any other that’s funnier than a staggeringly large picture of a spurting cock, however amateurishly it might be rendered.
“It’s taken mankind fifty thousand years to get to a point where it can draw a vast, admittedly crude approximation of the male genitalia on an alien world. But now we have done it,” he said. “What’s another six months and roughly one hundred and fifty six million dollars in the service of that noble, not to mention totally hysterical, aim?”
Pettigrew continued, “I believe that our gargantuan weenie is just the sort of thing the country needs to put a smile back on its face in this time of economic uncertainty and is proof once again that America is at the very forefront of side-splitting, bleeding-edge scientific research.”
He also defended his team’s artistic credentials, saying: “I know that Dr Ellen Watson has definitely taken a few life drawing classes in the past. And anyway, you should try doing some fancy-schmancy drawing when all you have is one robotic arm, 45 million miles away, pointlessly tapping away at the surface of a mostly barren, featureless cube, I mean, planet. I bet you couldn’t do any better.”
Finally, when asked what he planned to do next, now that the enormous extraterrestrial erection was completed, Dr Pettigrew said that once they had aligned the Hubble telescope correctly with Mars so they could get a really good shot of the thing, he would probably order his team to write the words “Professor M. Franklin is an asshole” in fifty foot high letters around the base, just because.