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Monday, April 20, 2009

Pluto Day

With Earth Day fast approaching, I thought I’d take a moment to remind everyone that while the Earth is our home and we should treat it as such…ok, not like my home because it’s a mess, but you get the point. How about this? Let’s treat the Earth like our home, when company is coming over and you’ve spent the better part of the last two days cleaning up everything to make it pretty. After all, your guests don’t want to see your dirty laundry piling up in a heap in the laundry room. Nor do they wish to have the wonderful smell of a used kitty litter box wafting through the air while they enjoy a nice meal on your dining room table/bill and junk mail holder.

See, that’s Earth Day has become, spring cleaning. We spend all year leaving our non-biodegradable dishes lying around and once in a great while we clean up. Earth Day is like Christmas. You clean up the mess that’s been building for the last six months just so the house can look good for about six hours. Next week, we’ll all be back to driving all over the place in our fossil fuel cars and using five paper towels to clean up a mess that only requires one. Earth Day is like a New Year’s Resolution or Lent. You promise to be good for awhile but that good behavior has an expiration date attached.

You know who doesn’t have the luxury of having people care about it for one day? Pluto. That poor bastard of a celestial body got demoted a few years ago. What did Pluto ever do to any of us? For that matter, why should the Earth got all the attention when Pluto is as pristine as the day it cooled. You want to talk about cosmic injustice, not only do we get the chance to wreck our planet, we have the self righteous where withal to decide who gets to be a planet.

Can you imagine, back in 1930, someone made a long distance phone call to the little ball in the sky and said,

“Hello? Yes, this is the Earth. We just wanted to let you know that we have reviewed your application for planetary status and have decided to offer you a place in our text books and astronomy maps. Unfortunately, we already have a Saturn listed so you’ll have to have a different name. No, you can’t just add a one to the end of it. Let’s mark you down as Pluto. Why? Why not?”

Then, 76 years later, we let Pluto go. Sure, there was some performance reviews planned as we made attempts to sit down and talk about our goals. The one time, we even planned to offer Pluto a promotion but ended up going with Saturn’s moon Titan. But, we just decided to let them go instead. So they’ll get their final paycheck in 2015 and a copy of a form letter.

To whom it may concern.

We’re in a period of restructuring and unfortunately, there are some hard decisions to be made. Due to the economy and some unsavory budget cuts, we’ve made the tough decision to terminate your status as planet. Furthermore, while you’ve been loyal to the orbit around the sun and been a good team leader, overseeing Charon, Nix, and Hydra, you haven’t met the goal of securing a dominant gravitational force over our direct competitor, The Kuiper Belt. We recognize this as a direct violation of the contract we agreed upon when granting your planetary status. Also, the constant switching with Neptune is unacceptable. You were given this offer as the ninth planet, not sometimes eighth.

A member from IAU will be by to collect your things and escort you from the Solar System. We appreciate your years of service and will keep your application on file for the next century should anything suitable for your return appear.

Thank you,


That was it, no chance for rebuttal. We didn’t offer any severance package or unemployment. We just made a decision that technically, should have disqualified other planets, including Earth. Then again, we acted like so many other organizations. We reserved the right to get rid of you without recourse. So, as we clean up our carbon footprints and reuse, reduce, and recycle our way to a cleaner conscience. Just remember, we may decide to save the Earth, but we never gave Pluto a choice.

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