Life On Mars

They say real estate is always a good investment; the price of land always goes up. So maybe I shouldn’t pass on the offer. From what I can see the property does have pretty much limitless potential.

But investing in anything always carries with it a certain amount of risk, and I tend to be risk-averse. Still, getting in on the ground floor of what could be the next big thing has a certain appeal. As you can see, I am somewhat torn – maybe you can give advice and tell me what I should do.

It was a deal, so I was very tempted. Those of us with Scottish ancestry do love a good bargain, and this was more than 50% off! But what would I do with an acre of land on Mars? It’s not like I’m going to farm it. Though I suppose I could build a hotel or open a restaurant on the site. I’d need to save up some money to do that. I think there would be time though; Mars doesn’t seem to be a high-traffic area.

It’s too outrageous to be considered a scam, and the email says very clearly that it was for entertainment purposes only, but yes, I have been offered the opportunity to purchase land on the red planet.

Perhaps if I thought the company making the offer really could grant uncontested title to the property I might have considered it, for investment purposes if for no other reason. But there was no indication of Martian government involvement in the process. Come to think of it, I don’t even know if there is a Martian government. Maybe Donald Trump is their President – he’s certainly out of this world.

It’s not the first time I have been offered land elsewhere. In 1974 I purchased a record album, The Good Earth, by Mannfred Mann’s Earth Band. The purchase supposedly entitled me to free land in Wales.The_Good_Earth

According to the album cover, the band had purchased property in Wales (I forget how much exactly) and was giving it away, in appreciation, to those who purchased their new record. All you had to do to claim your land, one square foot, was to send part of the cover to the band and your deed would be forthcoming.

I regret not taking them up on their offer, but at the time I didn’t want to mutilate my album cover. Now I wonder more about what it would have been like to become one of the landed gentry, owning an estate in Wales, even one so small.

I wonder how many people took them up on the offer? And whether doing so made you liable for any taxes. Forty years later, are there still people holding on to those certificates, dreaming that someday someone will discover oil or gold on their land and they will become rich? Is there a marketplace for people to trade or buy the deeds so you could acquire enough to actually do something with your plot?

I suppose I’d have a greater chance of that with the acre of land on Mars. Maybe I should reconsider my decision not to purchase.

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