So it turns out that in a given sampling of some 90,000 people – you wind up getting asked the same questions over and over again, and this seemed like as good a time as any (in that I’m avoiding work and proper clothes and listening to Bon Iver) to answer a few of the more common queries.
With luck this will turn out to be illuminating – though, let me also say that if you see your question here, it doesn’t make you a dummy or unoriginal. I really do love all the questions and pics and jokes and stuff people tweet at me, I just rarely answer because I’m shy.
So here we go:
Q: HAVE YOU FOUND ANY MARS BARS UP THERE?
A: No. There are no candy-bars of any kind on Mars.
Q: DID YOU KILL A CAT UP THERE?
A: Also no. I don’t think NASA considered this when naming the rover “Curiosity,” but I guess being regarded as a cat-murderer isn’t the worst thing one could be. Especially for a robot.
Q: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PICTURE OF LITERALLY ANYTHING TO DO WITH MARS?
A: Yes. Yes I have. A lot of people post pics of the rover tracks that look like they’re in the shape of a penis, and of cartoons about Mars rovers, and a lot of meme stuff. I’ve seen it all – but I still kinda like it – I’m a masochist that way. (And that’s the only way)
Q: I HEARD THE ROVER IS A GIRL, WHY DO YOU TALK LIKE A BOY?
A: It’s true – the rover is a girl. Curiosity has been deemed a “she” and that’s a good thing. Getting young women interested in science is important and the last rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were called “boys,” so this is only fair. The trouble though, is that I am a man type person of the male gender – so, unfortunately I write from that perspective – which can cause a lot of confusion. I’m sorry for that, but it can’t be helped. But yes, Curiosity is a girl.
Q: YOU WROTE SOMETHING ABOUT SCIENCE BUT WERE SLIGHTLY WRONG?
A: Okay, that’s not really a question – but I get your point. I am NOT A SCIENTIST, I am just a lowly comedy writer, and barely one of those even. I do love science and try to research the things I write as much as I can stand, but I make mistakes… often. As always, I welcome people to correct me as much as they want – but also be prepared for me to ignore you. That’s life. I think that’s life, anyway… but again, I’m not scientist.
Q: WILL YOU PROMOTE ME AND MY PRODUCT?
A: Probably not. It’s nothing personal (usually) but I feel that this Twitter-feed is a pretty big responsibility, and I’m not about to bug the kind people who read it with ads for random shit just because you think it would be nice of me. I know that’s harsh – but I feel awkward enough just advertising myself on @sarcasticrover, so the odds of me feeling fine with advertising you are slim. That said – IF IT’S A VERY VERY VERY GOOD CAUSE, I will gladly and happily do what I can. Because I’m vain enough to want good people to like me a little.
Q: WHY ARE YOU CANADIAN WHEN THE ROVER IS AMERICAN?
A: Because f–k you, that’s why. Joking. I can’t help where I live, and I’m sure if you asked the rover and it was sentient, it would have preferred to have been born Canadian anyway. I mean, who wouldn’t?
Q: WHY DO YOU TWEET SO MUCH AND I’M ANGRY ABOUT THAT?
A: Oddly enough, a lot of people (well five – but still) have written specifically to tell me that I tweet too much, and that’s annoying them. Well, I don’t know what to say to that. I tweet things as they occur to me, and sometimes my brain has a lot to say. However, it’s not like my tweets are blocking out the sun, or that you’re being forced to read every single one at gun-point. Think of it this way – someday, maybe, I might go on vacation – and then you’ll have a backlog of hundreds of things to read and you’ll be glad I wasn’t so stingy with the tweets then.
Q: HOW COME YOU’RE NOT AS FUNNY AS YOU USED TO BE?
A: I get this one a lot. Look, with all due respect, I’m writing jokes from the point of view of a robot trapped on Mars – and there are only so many good jokes to make. I will occasionally think of great ones, but after this many weeks you’ve just got to hang in there through the less good ones. That’s how it works. I try to have a high standard, but it’s not always easy or successful – but like any good journey, I hope you stick with me through the good and the bad. Also it’s free, and you don’t even have to pay attention to me if you don’t want to. And seriously, why are you wasting time criticizing a Twitter-feed? Go outside. Go play Jenga. Go read a book.
Q: YOU WROTE A THING I DON’T LIKE OR AGREE WITH AND NOW I’M ANGRY?
A: Also not a question, but moving along… I appreciate that we all have differing viewpoints on politics, religion, science, comedy, life, etc – and that’s great. But I can only really express my own viewpoint – were I to try and tailor everything to what you like and agree with, then I would just be stealing your worldview, and that would be unfair to you. So here’s what will happen; I will try my best to not offend everyone, and in so doing I will occasionally offend someone. I will say things you hate, and then say things you like – this is what’s called being a person who writes things on the internet. I’m just this guy, you know? So take a breath and it’ll all be alright.
Q: I COMPLAINED AND/OR CRITICIZED YOU AND YOU BLOCKED ME! WHY FOR?
A: For those of you I end up blocking, it comes down to this: If you take the time to write someone specifically to say you don’t like them or their tweets, if you write to criticize or chastise me for my style or choice of words… then we have no reason to be associated.
I am not going to change because of your one message, so we might as well just leave it at that and go our separate ways. I have better things to read than your curious musing on what I should be writing, and you ought to have better things to do than complain to some stranger about free jokes that you are in no way required to read. It’s just silly.
And now lastly…
Q: WHAT DOES “DO A SCIENCE” MEAN?
A: It means just what it says. I feel that scientific understanding and engagement is at a depressingly low level in this world, and I would like it if we all looked at science a little more closely, and with a bit more enthusiasm for participation. Science is something we can all do, something we actually do everyday without realizing it – and I would like it we took a stronger interest and a brighter look at the science in our lives and worked consciously to elevate the level of understanding and curiosity in our world. That’s my hope. That’s why I want you to do a science.
So go do that please. And thank you.