29 September, 2015. 15:30

ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]VERNIGHT the discovery of liquid water flows on Mars has buoyed hopes that life may exist on our closest celestial neighbour. The Martian creeks leave long, opaque stains on the mountains that can reach hundreds of metres downhill in the warmer months, before they dry up in the autumn as surface temperatures drop. A phenomenon, not dissimilar to conditions in the northern New South Wales town of Lightning Ridge.

This groundbreaking revelation from millions of miles away has painted local farmers purple, as even the yet-to-be discovered life on Mars has more water at their disposal than they.

Ellis Starkey has been farming at The Ridge for nearly 50 years and even he’s conceded that his first-cross Merino wethers have a better chance of getting through the brutal summer on Mars than they do on his family farm. Starkey shot to fame earlier in the year after he came up with an ingenious scheme to sell organic, fair trade and chemical-free dead sheep to inner-city wankers.

“Yes, I am aware of the water discovery on Mars, but I wasn’t that excited,” said Starkey. “Tell you the truth, I was more excited by Sputnik, but that’s a story for another time, mate. All I know is that those bloody green bastards on Mars have more water in their dams than I do.”

Quick to support Mr Starkey was his former local member and deputy prime minister John Anderson, who said that while everybody should be happy for Mars and all their water, it still doesn’t help the everyday run-of-the-mill dirt farmer.

“Now if only we could find a way to get the water back to where it’s needed,” said Mr Anderson. “I’m not talking about bringing the water back from Mars, that’s pretty bloody dumb if you ask me, but what I’m saying is that all that money spent on rockets and all that bullshit could be redirected towards improving infrastructure and tax agreements with the farmers of Australia? Maybe? The National Party sure isn’t what it was back in my day. Howard and I would talk cattle over a Tooheys Red once a week back then. ”

The Bureau of Meteorology is hesitant to comment on when the next lot of rain will arrive in Lightning Ridge, as they usually fuck it up. But they agree that it will rain in Lightning Ridge again – just when is up for speculation.


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