Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Separate Lives
Dear Pluto,

I know it's been a rough couple of weeks between us, but I just wanted to check in and see how you were doing. Break-ups like this are never easy for either side, I know, so I just want to know that you're OK. I know how you can get when you're unhappy: so cold, so distant. Please don't do that to yourself. You'll see in the future that this is the best thing.

Us, we've been doing fine. Just the same old thing, you know, orbiting the sun in a stable, concentric orbit in a relatively fixed position with regard to the planets on either side of us.

God, I'm sorry. I promised I would never say "planet" to you again. I can only imagine what you're going through. I don't know if it helps, but we're suffering here too. Our heavy, moist, life-giving atmosphere is great, but between the global warming, the hurricanes and all the persistent nonsense news about Jessica Simpson, let me tell you, I'd take reclassification in a heartbeat. Especially if it meant no more Access Hollywood.

As hard as it's been, in a lot of ways I envy you. What it must be like to be a dead, lifeless rock so far from... well, everything really. And now that we've cut you loose, you're completely free to do what you want.

Without the demands of being in a first-tier astronomical relationship, you can do what you really want to do. Cross into Neptune's orbit all you want. Spend all your time hanging out with that Charon I always see you with. Be free to explore that weird-ass relationship without any interference from us, with your tidally-locked faces and your gravitational barycenter above your surface, which is just sick and unnatural and...

I'm sorry. I don't want to go over all this again. I promised myself when I decided to write that I wouldn't get into all that. No judgments, Pluto. Be a disgusting, unnatural freak of astrophysics if you want. We just want you to be happy.

The real reason I'm writing is--and this is kind of awkward--is to let you know that with your reclassification as a dwarf-planet we've had to make a few changes down here. It really isn't appropriate for Mickey Mouse's dog to be named after a non-planet. I'm sure you see the logic in that. That scary, hairless yellow horse-looking animal is an icon so it deserves to be named after something more impressive than a dwarf-planet. Renaming won't be easy, but we've got it narrowed down to either "The Sun" or "Natalie Portman." If you care, we'll let you know how it turns out.

Also, "plutonium" is going to have be renamed as well. It's some pretty nasty shit. It's toxic, it's radioactive and it makes a really awesome city-swallowing explosion if you manipulate it just right. We need it to sound much cooler than it is now. We're running an online poll for that one. The leading candidates so far are "haXorZium" "omglolium" and "pwndium". In retrospect, a MySpace presence might have been a mistake.

The last request we have before we ignore you forever--and this is a little embarrassing--but we're going to need our stuff back. I know, you don't actually have it yet as our New Horizons probe isn't scheduled to get there until 2015, but we really kind of launched that thing back when we thought you were still a full-fledged... you know... p-word. Now that you're not, it all just seems silly. I mean, there are millions if not billions of non-descript rocks and other assorted debris in our solar system that don't merit their own unmanned interplanetary observer platform. I mean, we can't even use the term "interplanetary" anymore with regard to you. So just, when it gets there, if you could just send it right back to us--or hey! Detour it to Neptune!--that would be great.

In case you're wondering, we're fine. Moon is fine. Misses you, but it's coping. The Sun sends its love and says... ah, you'll get the message eventually. I know you don't want to hear it, but Mars says hello as well. We're very happy together.

With diminishing affection on behalf of the entire Planet Earth,


PS- If you're still angry, I would suggest evolving your own brand of sentient life, organize them into a committee and vote us out of the solar system. We're a big planet. We could take it.


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