# Solar system

The guy at the souvenir store said this globe would snow if I shook it. I think I'm the one who got snowed.

The solar system consists of the sun and 8, 9, 10, and possibly more (or fewer) planets depending on the outcome of the daily tongue wrestling matches between the geeks in charge.

## Sol

While you've probably just been calling it "the sun" all these years, Sol is the official name of the big shiny that the Earth revolves around. Sol is also the name given to our whole solar system because Sol is like the big daddy of his brood of celestial children.

The noted astronomer Fisher Prince, a star in his own right, points out that Sol is "the celestial object formerly known as Saul".

The reasons for the name change from "Saul" to "Sol" are disputed. Science fiction fans claim that "Saul" sounded too terrestrial, while anti-Semites claimed it sounded too Jewish.

But I'm a Gentile: apathetic, and with a limited attention span.

Moving on...

## Mercury

Mercury manufactures some of the wickedest outboard boat motors you've ever seen. My dad and I swear by them. On fishing trips, we'll usually flip the bird at the other boaters who swear by Evinrude or (the even cheaper) Johnson brands. Pathetic. The funniest thing is when we whiz by full-throttle and create so many waves that their boats flip over.

Serves 'em right.

Mercury outboards cost a little more, but you've got to expect shipping, handling and customs taxes on interplanetary imports.

## Venus

Venus de Licious

I don't know much about the planet Venus, but I learned about this race at the Ancient History exhibit at the museum. They are wild, rebellious people, reminiscent of the Amazon women of Earth in that they go around topless and chop each others' limbs off with swords and stuff. Well, the Earth Amazons used bows and arrows, which aren't particularly good at chopping. Still, very hot stuff.

The Proofs

1. $\displaystyle Venusian Women - Tops + Swords + Bows And Arrows= Bare Breasts + Weapons = Really Awesome$

2. $\displaystyle \frac{Topless Venusian Women}{Sharp Swords}- Arms = Still Relatively Awesome$

Girl group Bananarama also wrote a song about Venus, but it was lame-ass 80s bubble gum pop and not worth posting a YouTube video for. Wait for a better option below.

## Earth

Earth, as you may be aware, is a planet in the solar system.

You're visiting it right now.

The noted astronomer Jimi Hendrix described Earth as the "third stone from the sun".

All in all a much cooler name than "Earth".

## Mars

There's been an uneasy truce with Mars since the black and white science films of the early 20th century. In particular, the "Mars Needs Women" campaign really put the nations on edge for decades. Even that cool "Pump Up The Volume" song the Martians released as a peace offering in 1987 didn't do much to ease relations. It's just as well no-one ever trusted them because, as it turned out, they invaded us a few years later anyway. See the "Mars Attacks!" documentary by Tim Burton if you want to see the footage for yourself. It's awful, and the females are nothing like the Venusians. No wonder they needed women.

## Jupiter

This isn't a real planet, but stodgy old Englishmen seem to like to banter about it anyway...

 Tally ho, by Jupiter! Tut tut, eh wot, and all that rot.

They talk almost as funny as Canadians.

## Saturn

The die is cast - we can only hope they have french swords

Another importer, the aliens of Saturn made cars. They entered the market with a voracious appetite, creating market demand by consuming both old and late model vehicles by the mouthful. General Motors suffered the most, with Saturn's glitzy, futuristic advertising campaign and surprisingly low prices flooding the market with their snazzy motoshuttles. Filmmaker/musician Thomas Dolby captured much of it on film just as Tim Burton did... or would do. I'm not good with the order. You figure it out if it really matters to you.

In the end, a combination of huge government levies on off-planet goods and services and renewed paranoia about alien attacks eventually deflated the market. After a half-hearted, last-ditch effort to draft an interplanetary free trade agreement failed miserably, Saturn "jkSdfWxl sdluidieXewr ufsdadOs" ("threw in the towel") in 2009.

## Uranus

The crack of Uranus

Once, on a dare from one of my buddies, I asked a girl at school: "Hey! Can I see Uranus?" ... and she kicked me right in the goolies.

In the years since, I've grown up a lot and have had plenty of time to reflect on that incident, and what I learned from it.

I still think it's a funny thing to do, but I stand much farther away now.

## Neptune

Neptune is ruled over by a very old, very wise Godking of the same name. After his daughter Arial (yes, the one that the font is named after) gave up her mermaid powers to marry the handsome prince Eric, Neptune left Earth and started his own planet.

He claims it was just a coincidental move and that he's got nothing against Eric, but Neptune has absolutely no land masses, so the whole thing is still a bit suspicious.

Family get-togethers on Earth are often unpleasant, ending with Eric making rude comments about King Neptune's "fishy smell", while Arial shields her husband from being skewered by her daddy's trident. The reunions on Neptune are less eventful. It's hard to pick a fight with a sea monster when you're dog-paddling in a pair of water wings.

## Ceres, Doc, Pluto, Sleepy, Sleazy, Haumea, Dopey, Makemake, Happy, Orcus, Bashful, Eris and the other Dwarf Planetoids

"_  ___  ____  ____  _____  _____  ___  ___!"

Scientists originally classified these stupidly-named celestial objects as planets until further research identified them as dwarfs. Bad idea. It wasn't long before the phone started ringing and Disney's lawyers were banging on the door, waving a cease and desist order that claimed that dwarfs are copyrighted by the Walt Disney Company.

Main article: Walt Disney Company v. Gimli, Peter Jackson, Wingnut Films

Soon after, the newspapers reported that a settlement had been reached and all the "planets are formerly known as planets" had been "downgraded to another classification yet to be determined." In the short term this meant that the ex-planets were no longer allowed to appear on maps of the solar system— not even in really bad public schools.

The reaction was swift. Scientists cursed in highly technical language. Lawyers cheered, slapped each others' bottoms, and took large paychecks to the bank. Enterprising businessmen set to work creating "space-colored" correction fluid.

In actuality, the disappearance of the not-planets was due to irreconcilable licensing issues, with the scientific community completely balking at the notional of paying royalties to Disney. However, there was also contention over the issue of graphic depiction. Astronomers wanted to keep the dwarf planets round, while the lawyers from Disney remained adamant that the were-planets be rendered with bulgy eyes, big ears, beards, and floppy feet, just as they appear in the movies.

Anyway, I hear that Makemake has been given the nod to play the romantic lead in Disney's forthcoming direct-to-video animated classic-to-be "Pocahontas III: Return to the Red Man" (working title: Pokey part 3: Damn You, Whitey!).

Cool.