Life on Neptune

Well, I did it. I have fulfilled my childhood dream. No, I have not accepted a job as Lynda Carter's wardrobe fitter. Not that dream. I have made peace with the idea that that dream will never happen. I was being was too unrealistic when I wished for it back in the idyllic Fall of '79.

No, I mean my other childhood dream: I am finally living on Neptune! It is awesome. I am waving at you cowering Earthlings right now, as a matter of fact. You cannot see me, though. Not even with the strongest telescope available on your overpopulated planet. Please stop trying. I value my newfound Neptunian privacy anyway. Try not to let your jealousy show. You still have thick canopy of the The Congo to hide under. What is left of it, that is.

Certainly your first thought when I told you you this news was, "Why Neptune, Steve?" Let me explain:

Sure, I could have gone to Mercury once the Van Allen belt disappeared causing your moon to crash into Mineola, Long Island. But that would have been pointless. Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, as most of us know. And I burn easily. Do not let this radiant olive complexion fool you for one second. Even I fear the sun’s radioactive output at such a close range. Not to mention the oppressive fear Mercurians live with that a solar flare may one day lash out, decimating their numbers. I could not handle that kind of stress. So Mercury is out.

And Venus - “The Amber Gasball” as we derisively call it here on my adopted homeworld. Venus is nothing more than a punchline to us, and a weak one at that. “What do you call a Venusian with a half a brian?” we Neptunians will often joke. When the answer comes, we burst into uproarious belly laughs because no Venusian has even that much intelligence. The gas fumes get to Earth transplants rather quickly after their first landing on Venus, you see. Venusians are useless after that.

Mars is a steaming hellhole. Nothing more need be said about that ball of crap.

Oh, glorious Jupiter. The largest planet in our solar system. A storm as wide as fifty Earths adorns its surface like that gross thing next to Cindy Crawford’s upper lip. Why not choose Jupiter as my new world, then? Because that would be way too obvious. Jupiter may have the surface area to support our once-proud race for several billion millenia, but where is the challenge in living in a place like that? We humans are a scruffy lot. We need something to fight for, and Jupiter offers none of that. It never even made my short list, to be completely honest.

I would never live on Saturn. Saturn is the butt-kisser of the solar system. How do you think it got those rings? And once you look beyond them, what do you see? A planet in perpetual turmoil, surrounded by an endless supply of its own wreckage speeding around it in a pointless orbit. Also, the shopping on Saturn is terrible. The first wave of terraformers did a poor job of leveling off the planet's jagged surface and the strip malls suffered because of it. That is what happens when you pay terraformers interstellar union scale. So no Saturn.

Another word about Mars, actually: it sucks monkey balls.

Uranus. You are quite right in thinking that a person could never get past that name. Go ahead and emphasize the first syllable when someone asks you where you live. I will try my best not to crack up until you after have left my presence. Uranus may be known for having the finest grilled cheese outside of Io, but you are lying to yourself if you think that in any way makes up for its stupid moniker. Even their spectacular jai lai arenas will not compensate for that.

Despite popular opinion, there is nothing wrong with Pluto. Not one thing. Even though it is no longer considered a planet by your populace, Pluto would still make a fine home. It has Saturn beat by a mile without even trying. Not to mention that red filthworld. No, Pluto itself is more than just habitable. It may get a little cold there, but that is nothing that a few well-placed space heaters cannot remedy. Freezing cold temperatures are just part of Pluto's charm. It is the orbit of Pluto that stops it from being a top choice for most offworlders. That off-kilter spin makes everyone dizzy. You can always tell a new Plutonian because they have little spots of vomit all over the inside of their plexiglass helmets. That, and they always buy whatever cheap Pluto-branded sweatshirts the planetary stores are selling. Plutonians always seek approval.

So I chose Neptune and I could not have asked for a more fulfilling life. For one, we have a prosperous bounty of of ice rocks. The children can take as many as their atmosphere-deprived bodies can handle. The nebula juice here is plentiful. We want for nothing. We are not even jealous of Mars. Not even when their freighters bring us our monthly allotment of Earth-harvested oxygen. We are thankful for that, though we still give them the stinkeye as their particulate engines kick up dust as during departure. And the exchange program we created with Neptune, New Jersey has worked out even better than expected. They tell us stories about the melting polar ice caps and we share with them tales of battling the natives for their tunnel system. We each gain something from the experience.

We have just one request, if you can manage it. Our volleyball net has broken and we are not able to mend it way out here past the gas giants. The solar winds are just too strong. So if you can see your way fit to sending us new net the next time the supply ship goes out from that still-magnificent planet of yours, it would be much appreciated. Thank you, Earth brothers and sisters. Never forget your friends on Neptune as you dine on gingerberries and spice. We love you.

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