It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Coming out of the Closet?

No, the title is not referring to myself or any of my fellow DOUI bloggers. We're all as straight as a granite yardstick.

The closet in question is the property of a Japanese man who failed to notice that a 58 year-old woman had been living in it for a year.

A year. That's 12 months, 52 weeks, and 365 days of going to hang up your coat and not noticing the middle-aged, homeless matron curled up on a small mattress on your hat shelf.

I realise that the average Japanese man works fairly hard, and that some single people don't spend a great deal of time at home. I also realise that Japanese culture has caused people to adapt to tiny enclosed spaces, such as capsule hotels and the tunnel crawl in the second stage of Sasuke.

However, the bloke who owned this home went a flipping year without so much as a clue that a living, breathing human being was ensconced in his closet. He was only finally awakened from his gormless state by the absence of food, and this over a period of several months.

"Hmmm... that's the fifth time this week the cuttlefish snacks have vanished. I wonder if the neighborhood cats are getting in here?"

Didn't he hear the munching? The inevitable flatulence or leg tightening during moments where his uninvited guest had to go but couldn't, because he was at home strenuously avoiding his closet? Didn't she occasionally moan in her sleep? Snore? ...Have that experience where you dream you're falling and then loudly jerk yourself awake?

After about a year, he finally discovered that someone was in the house when he had a security camera placed in the home and noticed someone moving about his bachelor pad. Even then he thought the woman was breaking in. I guess that would explain the absence of broken glass or mangled locks, right?

My conclusion: This woman is the greatest ninja of our age. Sign her up for Kunoichi right now... and check your closets.

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Plutoid This!


Not content with the embarrassment on the cocktail, wine and cheese party circuit that resulted from their original decision to demote Pluto from planetary status*, the over-stumulated chaps at the International Astronomical Union has decided that "dwarf planets" like Pluto will now be referred to as "plutoids."

If you see small children in the streets laughing and pointing at sweaty, chagrined, bespectacled men in bow ties and penny loafers, those are very likely members of the IAU. At this rate they'll only be left with online dating sites as a means of attracting the opposite sex, and I suspect E-Harmony will blacklist them for a decided lack of common-sense.

"Plutoid," sounds like a laxative.

"Did you get enough fiber in your diet, this week, dear?"

"No, I'm so stopped up I'm having to take two plutoids a day and drink grapefruit juice straight out of carton."

It was such folly to attempt to demote Pluto in the first place. Despite its cold, inhosptiable, rocky veneer, and being so far away that Virgin Airlines has yet to schedule a regular route, Pluto is much beloved by the average stargazer, not the least for being named after Mickey Mouse's dog.**

Indeed, according to the SPACE.com article linked above, many astronomers have rebelled against the hasty IAU decision, preferring to maintain the basic logical credibility required to keep a love life and not be pelted with rocks in the streets by angry amateur cosmologists.

Plus, the better idea would have been to simply add smaller celestial bodies that are approximately Pluto's fighting weight to the list of planets. People are always much more inclined towards incluvisity if it enables them to keep their general knowledge of science up to snuff. Changing Pluto's status is akin to biologists suddenly deciding that the racoon is really some kind of furry lizard and will be referred to as "Bob" from now on.

Given the large inconsistency of opinion regarding Pluto's status and the even more amusing attempt to create a whole new term for planets in Pluto's category, I think we should come up with a term for astronomers who are brazen enough to go mucking about with an established taxonomy of heavenly bodies in our star system.

Erm... who are thick enough to think they can stop calling Pluto a planet.

Here are some of my suggestions:
  • Plutodopes
  • Gitoids
  • Moronorites
  • Daftos
  • Uranus***
Hopefully, one of these will catch on.

*Or at least try. Heh.
** Yes, yes... I know. God of the Underworld. You can hardly tell it by the way in which he bounds all over Minnie. Of course, maybe he's trying to drag her off to the Stygian depths.
***I never tire of that gag. Expect to see it in several future posts.

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