To Be Millionaires, We’d Have Gone Into Dermatology

by Channie Greenberg


If we wanted to make millions, we would have gone into dermatology. Instead, Burt had insisted that we build and fly rockets. Burt always got his way.

First we launched squirrels, and then alley cats. By the time we entered third grade, we had sent Sally Juneberry on a one-way trip to the moon.

In junior high, parents were paying us to permanently “entertain” their tenacious Tommies and their irascible Ivas with excursions to Mars. We made enough in three years to pay for our postgraduate university studies.

By high school, the local politicos were slipping us fat wads of greenbacks just to treat select opponents to everlasting holidays. We bought Grams a new house and investigated the purchase of a yacht for Dad. He deflected our offer, though, muttering something about not wanting to take passage on any vessel of our devising.

I wanted to go to college to study biochemistry, but I learned about astrology, instead. Burt wanted us to broaden our scope. He thought that we could make a killing doing the dirty work of other worlds. Had he himself not been siphoned through the twenty-kilometer long straw of a mint-like marshmallow creature from the Fornax Dwarf System, he, too, would have been rich in fossil-fuel alternatives and indiscriminate gemstones. I balked at receiving from Centaurus yet more shrunken heads of chimerae as payment .

In fact, I’d lost interest in shipping and turned my resources to receiving. While the Joint Armed Forces of the Known Solar System were a tad displeased with the very active and even moreso extremely interactive hydrogen monsters I imported from the Triangulum Galaxy, those few million beings that survived the Redox Reaction War that followed didn’t mind being compensated with quantum motors, nano servants, and as many catfish from M108 as they could eat.

Truth be told, I, too, was enjoying sucking down those mildly toxic prey (their second heads’ frontal lobes contain a poison fit to kill elephants) when the accident happened. A small bud from a hydroid straight off a ship from Barnard’s Galaxy, who was touring one of the museums devoted to Burt’s machinations, sprigged off his colony’s foundation and squirmed his way into a galactic rabbit blaster.

The whigamabob fixed me in the instrument’s sights and zam! Me, my catfish, and about one hundred pounds of baleen whale dung were transported to a small island off the coast of southern PS24.

There is no question that the locals are friendly. They’ve bisected my intestines into millimeter pieces and have been ricocheting those bits among eighteen different freight channels in the known universe.

As per the rest of me, except for the times I have been subjugated to Betty Bee Bop films, I’ve been relatively happy. It’s not every rocket scientist that gets to count the teeth in the maws of giant pandas from ZWII96 on an hourly basis.


Copyright © 2009 by Channie Greenberg

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