Tuesday, April 25, 2006
This was an historical moment for Rollo the Astronaut who had mistakenly landed on the Planet Rouge, and he knew it. No one had ever met face-to-face with non-Earth life of the sentient kind, or if they had, the other race hadn't noticed. She was sentient. No doubt about that - he could tell by the way she stifled her yawns. This meant he would have to come up with an immortal phrase, some greeting along the lines of "One small step...," "What hath God wrought?" or "I'm Scorpio, how 'bout you?" to get her attention, famous first words to establish a lasting bond between their two species, a bond able to withstand melting suns and bigger and better bangs. Standing there all alone as sole representative of mankind, no one to help him, his mind flailed, "Oh, the humanity!" it cried. But that might be offensive in mixed company. The words he chose would be chiselled in stone, engraved in platinum, and printed on t-shirts medium and small, so he must be conscious of length. Chiselling and engraving is charged by the letter, and complex catchphrases don't move the textiles. He thought laterally and in tangents, wondering if maybe just a wink would do, after all, she was quite lovely in a ruddy sense of the rainbow, as he could tell through the scarlet fog drifting between them. "Excuse me," he said finally, "what's the way to Venus?"