Tuesday, October 24, 2006
'Planets have feelings, too'
Originally published August 24, 2006, 5:34 PM EDT
OUTER BELT OF SOLAR SYSTEM // What did I do to deserve this?
There I was, minding my own business, orbiting the Sun just like all the
others. I got my little bit of atmosphere going, got a lot of ice. I was cool.
stayed out of everybody else's way, sometimes way out.
Then some eggheads on that uppity third rock -- they think they're so hot
because they have "life" -- went and decided I'm not a planet anymore. What's up
with that? My life is hard enough as it is.
First of all, it takes forever for me to do a lap around the Sun, and it
gets really lonely out here. They tell me that part of the reason I'm not a
planet anymore is that some of the time I sneak inside my buddy Neptune's
What do they expect? I need somebody to talk to out here sometimes. And don't
get me started about that mass of junk they call Charon that is supposedly
my partner in non-planethood; Charon is dead to me.
Then there's my name. Let me say I was happy enough without anyone else
giving me a name. For millions of years, maybe even billions -- time sort of
no meaning out here -- I liked to think of myself as Lex, except for a very
brief period of experimentation and confusion when I thought I was Sophia. But
that's a long story, and Uranus promised never to talk about it.
Anyway, Lex was short, snappy and just tough-sounding enough to keep
unwanted visitors away. I felt like a growling dog with that name, not that I
any idea what a dog was then. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
So then those numbskulls on Earth finally figure out I'm here, and start
calling me Pluto. I had mixed feelings; I liked Lex, but I also heard through
the microwaves passing by that Pluto was a god of "Death" over there. I barely
knew what "life" was, but I knew Death kicked life's butt all year long (and
the years are really long here).
But I nearly fell out of my orbit when I found out a pet dog -- not even a
real dog but a cartoon dog -- gets to be called Pluto on their planet.
Suddenly Pluto was something cute and cuddly and not tough or threatening at
It's bad enough when you're the smallest guy on the playground. With the
cartoon dog thing, everyone was making fun of me, even Uranus. I was
Planets have feelings, too, you know.
So you can imagine how I'm taking this planet thing. Neptune, which used to
hang out with me to try to look cool by association, won't even talk to me
anymore. I can't take it. The Solar System is the only family I've got.
So for all you Earthlings reading this, I, Pluto, am taking a stand. I'm
here. I'm a sphere. Get used to it.
--As told to Sun reporter Gady A. Epstein
(taken from timewave2012.com where someone posted it from baltimore times)