Study Guide

The Martian Chronicles The Off Season

By Ray Bradbury

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The Off Season

  • Look, it's Sam Parkhill. 
  • We last saw Sam Parkhill getting his teeth knocked out in "—And The Moon Be Still As Bright."
  • But now he's married to Elma and he's just started up a new business. 
  • It's something every new colony planet needs: a hot dog stand.
  • Sam has elaborate plans for operating the best hot dog stand on Mars, but the last few Martians seem to be bothering him. 
  • Well, they just want to tell him something, but he panics anyway.
  • First, Sam shoots one Martian. Then, when the others come to talk to him, he jumps into his Martian sand ship (a boat that sails on the sandy seas) and tries to outrun them.
  • But they catch up and tell him the good news: they're giving half of Mars to him, even though he just killed one of them. Why? We don't know.
  • This land—along with the hot dog stand—will make Sam very wealthy when new people come to Mars.
  • Unfortunately, Earth's nuclear war begins that very night.
  • Not good for the hot dog business. 
  • But, you know what? We never liked Sam anyway, so it's okay that his dreams are ruined. Right?

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