May 18, 2006

Justine's Star

On a planet called Sintore, a crowd of native Sintorians stomped their bone toed boots against the planet’s grey soil and waited for a message to arrive. The sun, the center of their universe, was getting a name today. It was rare for a star to get a name, and the Sintorians waved both their back and front sets of arms in excitement and pride; they had been chosen to receive this great honor. They all were proud, but the less short-sighted Sintorians were eager to take part in the economic boom that usually followed such an important event. Nervous twitches mixed with excited shouts as they considered the prosperity that would come to their planet once the message was revealed.

The Sintorian’s galaxial neighbors on Plento had just celebrated the five year anniversary of their galaxy's central star being given the name Xavier, and the Sintorians were jealous. They were a jealous people, as had been shown by their attempts to blow up the Plento star, but their time had come. The people of Plento would again be the second-best civilization in the space-zone when the rest of the planets found out the Sintore had a name for their star too. Everything would be back in order.

Ru'lam Twelnap, the official Regulator of the Gizmo that Receives Messages held his hands up to silence the anxious crowd, and the people responded; they could wait no longer. Ru'lam reached for the envelope as it slipped silently from the Gizmo. He slid a jeweled knife along the edge to open the envelope, and read it’s contents aloud. "Greetings from the International Star Registration Company. We are pleased to inform you that your star has been named by Joey Rone, a sixteen year old human from the planet Earth. He has named your star after his girlfriend of six weeks, and wishes to note that his love for her will, and I quote, 'probably last longer than this star will last.'"
There was a pause, and the Sintorian crowd grew even quieter, everyone waiting for the real announcement.

"Your star has been officially named."

Joey heard the commercial on the radio again, the one about how you can name a star after anybody you want if you send this company fifty-five dollars. He'd heard it before, probably a hundred times, but it wasn't until this particular night that he made the connection. "Justine's like a star, she's beautiful,” he paused to consider what other common traits there might be, “and bright, yeah, she’s bright too. We're gonna be together forever," he thought, as he made his way north through the night in his old truck.

He looked ahead at the stars on the horizon, and picked out the brightest star that he could find. "I'd like to name that one," he smiled to himself as he listened to the last bit of the commercial. As the announcer started to wrap up the advertisement, Joey grabbed a pen from the cupholder and wrote down the company's phone number on a scrap of paper he had sitting on the seat next to him, "Don't suppose I get to choose which star it is though."

Joey called the International Star Registration Company the next morning, and set it all up. They told him that he'd receive the certificate and star chart within the next two to four weeks, and that they were sure Justine would like it. Joey liked it already. He figured he’d tell Justine about it tonight, when they went out for a drive together.

Ru'lam Twelnap started over, he wanted to get this just right, as it was his only official duty as Regulator of the Gizmo that Receives Messages, "Your star has been officially named Justine Humperdink.”

The crowd was as silent as the seven point six light years of space that separated their planet from the rural back road where Joey and Justine currently sat in Joey's old truck making out. The Sintorians stared at each other in disbelief, theyd didn't know what to do; their neighbors had received a much cooler name, a name with great letters like X, and V.

In shock, and in shame, they stumbled back to their homes, and looked out as the rays from Justine Humperdink warmed their planet. There would be no economic boom.

Joey, seven point six light years away, kissed Justine's neck, and then sat up to look at her. "Justine, I feel like I'm king of the entire universe when I'm with you." He pointed out the window, and out towards the planet where Ru'lam Twelnap still held the envelope. "That star's for you, baby."


At 1:28 PM, Hogan Hilling said...

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