August 27th, 2006

  • roybot

The Pluto Chronicles, Part IV

"Who THE hell ARE you guySSSss?" I demanded.

"Uh..." the puzzled gentleman on the end of the line muttered, unsure as to the sort of nutcase with which he was dealing. "This is the International Astronomical Union, sir.."

"OhhHHH. 'Kay... Well, Uh..." I began. By now, I had just about sussed out the approximate response of the audio compression on the line. Hunch at this juncture was some TI DSP chip in his digital desk phone. Black. My phone, of course, does not have that "feature." I knew I'd find out for sure at The Moment, if this call had one, and I was a-feelin' that it was going to.

I launched. "Now, who are you, that you get to vote and decide what's a planet?" I asked.

"Well, this is the International Astronomical Union, sir," he began, once again seeming pleased to answer the phones. Smarmy. And, now thinking he knew the reason for the odd tension he felt on the line. "We have elected a panel..."

That was all I needed. I cut him off.

"I don't ever recall being asked to vote!" I thundered, starting at a whisper and ending at a scream, and likely ending his eardrums as well. "What if I don't want to be an International Astromer?"

"What if I want to be a SUPER Astronomer?" I yelled. "What about that, hmmm?"

He should have hung up, but, I suspected he would have considered that to be a death-blow to his ego. That is, letting some random loony get his goat. Yes, I was THAT sort of loony - fucking crazy like a fox, predictable as a drunk russian.

I heard him franticly fiddling with his phone, trying to mash the volume key to slow my assault, deal with a second incoming call, hold the phone to his ear with his shoulder, and appear composed in an open-office environment. I probably had ten or 15 seconds until he managed to dig around the phone config menu enough to turn the volume down. I now knew I was completely right about the phone, except for one thing...

"IIIIIIIaaaasbababa! I yelled, not going for volume, just jarring suddeness. I heard a thunk as the phone receiver hit his desk. I took that moment to flip my desk speakers on, and fired up a sound player.

"Pardon, sir?" He asked, not wanting to admit he hadn't been paying attention to me, and, consequently, had no idea the torrent had been jibberish.

I gave a mock-sigh of impatience, my front-line wat surging ahead into the smarmy territory he thought he was lounging comfortably in.

"I said, 'I think it's silly that some panel I never heard of votes, and then tells me what I should call a planet! Whatever Pluto is, it'd still be around without us, and never came up with the stupid word.'"

He thought he had the answer. "Well, sir, you see, Science is impartial..." he began, relieved to fall into a practiced speech, "...and, as such, a group representive of the current thought of the Scientific community meets to vote on such things."

He then paused, as this is normally about time a calling reporter would want a pause to write the answers down. When I started to hear a slight slurp as he sipped his coffee (Black... five sugars he never mentioned), I again lept.

I clicked play on the computer, and held the phone up to the speaker.

Wesley Willis showed the chap no remorse. "I WHUPPED! BATMAN'S ASS!" Mr. Willis commented from the speakers, not using his indoor voice.

I heard a clonk and some cursing as he dropped his coffee. I chose that moment to crank Wesley Willis. I had no doubt that, at this moment, everyone in his vicinity at the open-floor office 'campus' was looking at him, as he frantically tried to mop coffee off of his treasured phone, a phone that, judging by the echo, he accidentally switched to 'speaker conference; loud' while attempting to mop up, and also, a phone that was currently receiving an audio signal regarding batman's posterior at a dangerously cheesy volume.

Yeah, this guy had my vote.

Posted by Reverend Tedward Q. Porktanker