If you’re a regular reader of these columns, you’ll know that two years ago, I wrote about my intention to become a Planetary Protection Officer with NASA.

However, NASA saw it fit to roundly reject my employment prospects because it seems when you write a resume on your bare chest in lipstick and press it against a boardroom window at the Kennedy Space Center, it’s considered to be “immature,” “offensive,” and “illegal.”

So I had to give up that dream I held so dear for two long days, but I had also vowed to work part-time as a Planetary Protection Vigilante, despite numerous warnings from NASA.

In my research, I found that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), an aircraft that explores Mars from orbit, caught formations on the red planet’s surface including an image that resembled the Starfleet logo from the television/movie/book/video-game/collectible plate series “Star Trek.”

The formation started as a crescent-shaped dune that became an island in a sea of lava, but the sand eventually blew away in the wind, leaving what’s called a “dune cast” and is something scientists claim is “only a coincidence” that it’s shaped as the iconic logo.

Yeah right.

What we have here (or there, I guess) is an obvious case of planetary vandalism.

This is the point in a movie where the room full of scientists are baffled by the purpose of an extra-terrestrial discovery, but the one scientist who also moonlights as a private detective and white-water-rafting tour guide, removes his glasses, looks slightly off camera and says with a bitter heaviness, “No, gentlemen…they’re mocking us.”

Exactly right. Not only has the “Star Trek” logo appeared on Mars’ surface, but also images of Pac-Man or Beaker from “The Muppet Show.”

It’s all part of the pop culture going through our airwaves for decades and, of course, has been intercepted and interpreted by other species.

I know that looking back on some of the original episodes of “Star Trek” are humorous to us now, but to an alien race that casually travels across the universe like we do to get groceries, the voyages of the Starship Enterprise is a laugh riot.

But why, you ask, why, why, why would aliens want to put a symbol held dear by nerds and geeks across this planet on the surface of Mars?

To that, I say you’re so stupid, you should slap yourself with slices of pastrami...nah, pastrami is too good for you. Slap yourself with a slice of discount bologna and start thinking like an alien punk wanting to mock us with their technology.

While we would consider manipulating the surface of another planet as something impossible, to an alien cruising the galaxy and up to no good, putting a “Star Trek” symbol on the surface of Mars is the equivalent of a teenager scrawling “for a good time call...” on a gas station bathroom stall or a middle-aged man writing the same thing in lipstick on the holding-cell wall at NASA.

With the problem established, we have to find the solution before these extra terrestrial delinquents become hostile or worse, indifferent to us and then decide to vaporize us like Earth is an anthill on the verge of being stomped or inhabitants burned with a magnifying glass.

You first need to look at the popularity of “Star Trek” and the fact this whole thing started by beaming up (pun intended) television signals into space.

Then ask yourself, “Self, what’s the total opposite of ‘Star Trek’ in every way and will psychologically strike fear in the hearts — or whatever is considered to be a heart — of alien beings?”

To reverse this trend, we obviously have to broadcast into and throughout the Milky Way episodes of “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” to intimidate these alien scumbags.

I’d like to explain why, but time is of the essence. It was either get this message in the newspaper or scribble in lipstick on as many restroom stalls I can find, “For a good time (and to save the planet), call Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”

According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. He hosts the “Locally Yours” radio show on WMBS 590 AM every Friday. His book, “Stupid Brain,” is available on Amazon.com.

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