Friday, December 14, 2007

My Poor Pluto

As a child I was one of the first in my class to be able to recite the names of the planets in their astronomical order. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and the rest were like friends to me. The textbooks I carried to and from school reinforced my knowledge and gave me comfort. I was at peace with the nine planets of our solar system.
I was whole.

But late last year the so-called wise men of the International Astronomical Society (IAU) ordained that Pluto, the distant dot, that orbiting orb that many still believe was named after a Disney character can no longer be considered a planet. ¹
They coined a new phrase for Pluto, Dwarf Planet! (Actually Pluto would much rather you say Little Planet!)
They justified their universal slight with an explanation that to a layman was as clear as the Crab Nebula on a cloudy night.

Who were these men to tell me that the ninth planet of our Solar System was to be Plutonized?

Think of the children who learned those mnemonics. (My Very Educated Mother Just…)²

And what of Jeane Dixon and her friends? Okay she probably predicted this, but what of the rest of us?
Oh the humanity!

Well those astronomers are not the only ones who can change the course of history. After all we are each and every one of us children of the universe. I for one will not sit idly by while they disrupt my life. I must get a chance to disrupt someone else’s life.
That’s the American way.

So with apologies to Joe Biden I hereby Plutonize Delaware. Your home state is way too small to be considered a state anymore. Oh sure you can boast clothing sales without tax but you more than make up for that by having tolls every fifty feet on your tiny stretch of I-95 that speeds through your state, uh I mean locality.

And don’t you start laughing Rhode Island. You could be next if anyone ever really cared to notice you on their way to Maine!

And what’s up with the penny? Does anyone really care about the one cent piece anymore?
Plutonize it!

And while we’re at it put the nickel on notice as well.

Let’s also Plutonize that ridiculous “point nine” that comes after the price for a gallon of gas at every service station in America. Everyone knows the price is not $3.199 but rather $3.20. What are they trying to hide?

We should have Plutonizing contests to come up with the next insignificant item to be wished away ala Billy Mumy in that classic Twilight Zone episode. ³

And let’s add referendums to the ballot in November so Americans can vote on the best, or worst item if you will to be Plutonized.

What I am trying to say is that I refuse to replace my reference books just because a few stodgy old men sitting in a smoke filled room decided to screw with reality. I think we should plutonize the IAU.

Let’s hold those guys hostage until they give us back our Pluto. Walt would have wanted it that way.

After all, if you don’t think Pluto should be a planet then you don’t know your Venus from Uranus.


1 - Pluto is suddenly a dwarf planet

2 - My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, PLUTO)

3 - It's A Good Life

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