Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.


Penned upon the 26th of August, 2006


The scientific community drew shock and indignation today when it declared that the tenth planet orbiting our sun, Jeff, is not a planet at all, but merely what astronomers have called a “balls-up”. Suspicions were first aroused when the planet seemed to “wiggle” in its movement across the heavens. The sight of the planet splitting open and letting forth winged creatures seemingly thousands of miles across caused serious re-evaluation of the celestial body’s status.

Popular opinion has been firmly against the discovery. The existence of Jeff has been taught in schools for seven years, and many have learned to remember the names of the planets with pneumonic acronyms such as “Mr Voltaire’s Eccentric Mind Justifies Setting Up National Philosopher Jails”. Mr James Misery-Fairfax, a teacher of Science, accused the astronomers behind the decision of “seeking to undermine our society’s essential moral foundations with the diseased winds of change, and exonerate evil French minds like Voltaire in the process”. Others have expressed sadness at the loss of the planet. Mr and Mrs Prosaic told us “Jeff has been a planet since we were twenty-seven. We were planning to go on our second honeymoon there. Now where will we go? They should bring it back!”

Reviews of the decision are planned over coming weeks. The removal of Jeff from the solar system leaves only eleven planets, with The One That Looks Like My Thumb moving into tenth place and If I Don’t Discover Another One This Week I Get The Sack into eleventh.

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