Jon de Vos: When galaxies collide
November 26, 2008
Long ago, in a galaxy, far, far, away, there lived a good-natured but slovenly Prince named, Hapless, who ruled the hard-to-pronounce planet, Clothesonnafloor. “Hap’s” unswept castle was encircled by a moat dug out of a mound of socks and he lived in substantial comfort with his two hounds, Reeking and Stinky.
One day, much like every other day, Hap was perched on the highest point of his princedom, Pileofteeshirts, staring into the monitor in front of him where Bond, James Bond, blew up a couple of lightly-inhabited galaxies in another attempt to finally rid the world of the evil Count Ernst Starvo Blofeld XXII. Hap had a very active account with warpflix.com who beamed movies from the nearest black hole. Life progressed, meals appeared with pleasant regularity and his life was satisfying; Hap lacked little and wanted for nothing.
But then, the unthinkable happened. The horror began with a shrill alarm sounded by Stinky when an alien invader stepped on her tail as she lay sprawled in the gateway of Hap’s castle. Hap whirled, jerking the ear-buds from the computer with a loud explosion. Behind him on the screen, James Bond added another galactic climax to the notches on his Majesty’s Secret Sword. Hap’s knees began to quake, there before him was the wicked Princess of Cleanland. Not only that but she had her whole armada with her, from the Dyson Battleship, right down to a bucket of fearsome hand weapons, bristling with menace and dripping with antiseptic venom. The hounds dove behind the desk and Hap visibly withered when a voice boomed out of her futuristic and demanding voice communicator, “Good Lord!” she cried. “This place would embarrass a pig. How do you live like this?”
“Comfortably,” I said, “but we’ve discussed this already.”
“I’m going to clean up your room,” she countered. “Try to stay out of my way.”
“Why?” I asked. “Why would you insist upon cleaning a perfectly good room?”
“Oh, I dunno,” she said, “maybe, the Board of Health? Fear of a widespread outbreak? How about you move your feet so I can vacuum under them?”
“Noooo!” I cried. “You always take things when you clean up my room. You’re taking another drawer, aren’t you?”
“You have too many clothes. I’m doing you a favor.”
“You are! I knew it! This is an outrage. Your cleanliness is out of bounds, spreading like a virus. This place is decaying into neatness, sinking into a filthy morass of orderliness, and stinking of Sunshine Fresh. What is life without grime?” Hap said, looking heavenward with the back of his wrist to his forehead.
The Princess sighed, “Could you can the theatrics and throw all your dirty clothes in the hamper, assuming you wouldn’t want to stray too far outside your comfort zone, of course.”
Hap’s sigh in reply was much more manly and echoed around the stone walls, “Where was it in the relationship,” he said, “that we lost the little courtesies like, ‘Please’ and knocking?” He turned back to the screen where Bond was getting into another galore adventure. He glanced down when Reeking let out a terrified whimper and jumped when he saw the looks of fright on their faces, staring over his left shoulder. He whirled to behold a fearsome, red-hot fiery demon. “Flee!” he shouted to the hounds, “Flee! All is lost. Everyone for themselves; if we make it, let’s meet up at Messygarage!”
Next week: “The Man With No Drawers”
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