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Reinstating Pluto

posted Jul 24, 2015, 1:22 PM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Oct 2, 2015, 3:16 AM ]
The following article was penned by Jonathan Parker and was originally published in the Con City Times.

A man was arrested in South Side Con City after attempting to steal a truck full of waste from the local landfill. The suspect was identified as Jack Mills, an unemployed mechanic living in the outskirts of the South Side. A search of his property led police officers to the baffling discovery of a stolen space shuttle in his back yard.

The space shuttle is none other than Ultra Brutus, the new experimental space shuttle that disappeared from the Con City Space Agency two weeks ago. The shuttle was covered with simple tent sheets and went largely unnoticed by the locals.

"I simply assumed he had relatives camping in his back yard." said Roger Cohen, the next door neighbor of Jack Mills. "Some people have large families, and Jack's garden is bigger than his house, so it made sense."

Mister Mills stated during his interrogation that he had intended to use the space shuttle to take the stolen waste into outer space. His destination was to be none other than the planetoid Pluto.

"It's a fucking planet!" he said to the interviewing police officer in the middle of the interrogation. "I don't care what all the asshole scientists have to say, it's a planet, and I'm gonna prove it if it's the last thing I ever do!"

Mister Mills had to be sedated twice during his interrogation, but eventually he revealed his motivation for attempting to fly household waste to Pluto.

"My son had a science exam in which he was asked about the planets in the solar system." he explained. "The day before he asked me about it to prepare for the exam, and I told him what my teachers told me back in the day, that there are nine planets. My son failed his exam because the teachers wouldn't accept an answer that was deemed true for decades! And you know why? Just because Pluto is too small. Not heavy enough to be a planet, they say. But that's okay. I'm pretty sure I can get the school to reverse the decision on that exam if I can show them that Pluto is in fact heavy enough to be a planet. So I was gonna fly to Pluto and dump a few million tons of garbage on it."

Professor Jared Burns, Director of the Con City Space Agency expressed his admiration for the creativity of Mister Mills.

"I have two PhDs and I never would have thought of this solution." the mastermind behind the famous Heliopiercer Space Probe mission said. "Turn Pluto into a planet by dumping millions of tons of household garbage on it. Brilliant, really. I want to hire that man."

When asked about whether the Space Agency would be pressing charges for the theft of the Ultra Brutus shuttle, Professor Burns firmly declined and stated that "such minor misdemeanors can be forgiven, especially those perpetrated by infinitely creative people".

Mister Mills is currently in custody awaiting word from the City Council as to whether the city means to press charges against him for attempting to steal a truck full of waste from the South Side Landfill.

"We will take the matter into consideration." the Mayor of Con City stated in a curt response to multiple press inquiries. "On the one hand, this man has broken the law and should be punished. On the other hand, he would have done this city a service by taking a few tons of trash into space."

As word of Mister Mills' motivation for stealing a space shuttle became public, several scientific experts opted to point out how futile his attempt was at reclassifying Pluto as a planet. The number one criticism is that the sheer amount of garbage that would need to be taken to Pluto in order to increase its mass to meet the reclassification requirements would take several centuries to transport from Earth to Pluto. Mister Mills has since responded through his appointed public defender.

"Yes, genius, I know the Earth is far from Pluto, I'm not stupid." he stated. "I wasn't going to take all the trash from here. No, I meant to make several rounds between Pluto and another nearby planet, Uranus. I'm sure I could make it back in time for my son's graduation."

Famous scientist Professor van der Bishop also offered his advice to Mister Mills, drawing his attention to a problem he may not have considered.

"If Mister Mills manages to increase the mass of Pluto, he will increase its gravitational pull in the process. Therefore, he may find it difficult to reach escape velocity on the way back. If this came to pass, my suggestion to Mister Mills would be to get out of the shuttle and give it a good push."