Well, change the text books, they’re all wrong. The busybodies have done it again.

Pluto is out. I mean the big round thing floating in space past Neptune, not the Disney character. Pluto the planet. Well, not any more. Some busybodies have decided Pluto is not a planet.

Now what do we do?

I remember how I learned the planets. With mnemonics. That’s a phrase that helps you remember. Mother very easily makes junior sit under new pines. Using the first letters of each word in the phrase and you get Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.

Not any more, though. Pluto’s out. Leading astronomers gathered in Prague to decide this after 76 years of planethood. Instead, there’s a new category being bandied about called "dwarf planets" which is about as politically incorrect as you can get.

Mother very easily makes junior sit under…?

What? Nashville? Noses? Nantucket?

Mother very easily makes junior stay up…?

Mother very easily makes junior sit up nicely?

Why can’t they just leave well enough alone? There are so many more important things about space right now, like whether or not an asteroid is going to wipe out all life on Planet Earth. I hope they tell NASA about it. NASA launched their New Horizons spacecraft on a 9½ year journey to Pluto to study it. It’s not like you can call it back, but maybe they’ll want to know that circumstances have changed the mission’s intent from planet study to dwarf planet study. It’s gotta make a difference, somehow.

Mother very easily makes junior slurp up noodles. Yuck. Bad image.

What are Scorpios going to do? Pluto rules people whose sign is Scorpio, you know, but with Pluto’s planet status demoted what will happen?

I just don’t know. It’s like saying there’s only six wonders of the world.

"We’re sorry," the people who decide what the wonders of the world are announce one day. "We’ve decided that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon do not qualify as a Wonder of the World. There are now only six."

"But why?" the media asks.

"Miracle-Gro," they respond.

"Miracle-Gro?" the media queries, perplexed.

"Sure. You can have a garden far more wondrous with Miracle-Gro than any that was grown in 600 B.C."

"But will it be hanging?" the media wonders.

"That," the Wonder of the World Committee replies, "is another problem. They probably didn’t hang at all, in the sense of being suspended by cables. We know now that they kind of ‘overhung’ from terraces. So they weren’t really that wondrous. Moss can do that."

There you go. Things just lose their sparkle after awhile, don’t they?

Mother very especially minds junior simply unveiling Nebraska. Terrible, simply terrible.

Problem with the world is there’s too dadgum many committees deciding things and not enough doing anything. Committees at any level are, to me, a complete waste of time. Committees are just like basketball goal backboards: All they’re good for is deflecting the impact of a misplaced shot.

Peter Beagle said it best: You get a good thing going and somebody comes along and starts a committee to organize it. Messes up the whole shootin’ match.

My dad used to use terms like that. "The whole shootin’ match." Whenever someone would get shot or otherwise suffer fatal malaise on television, he’d pronounce, "Stone-cold dead in the market, ma’am," or, "Good night Irene!" If I asked for a moment of his time he occasionally was "busier than a one-armed paper-hanger" and if he was stressed out over something he was "nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs."

I don’t know where such declarations originated, I just hope nobody ever forms a committee to study the matter. Would ruin the entire mystique.

Mother vents every month just since Uncle Ned…Never mind. It’s no use. Another good mnemonic shot to heck. Never be able to use that one again, nor come up with one better.

Perhaps though, someone could organize a committee to come up with a mnemonic to help students remember the order of the eight planets in our solar system?

There goes the neighborhood.