Sunday, July 23, 2017

Saturn vs. Jupiter: One Post Card, One Niece, Two Tests

Jupiter: Hello?

Saturn: Jove, it's me. 

Jupiter: Hey, Old Man! How are things in Europe?

Saturn: I always like being here. People seem to get me one's asking me intrusive questions or talking loudly. But I'm curious as to why I'm calling you...luckily enough I remembered to check at the post office here in Munich. And you REALLY had to send a post card from the Sex Museum in Amsterdam?

Jupiter: Look, no one sends post cards anymore, and frankly I was fresh out, so I asked Mars for the tamest post card he has and that's the one I got.

Saturn: Sending smut through the mail where just anyone can see it! Ought not to be allowed!

Jupiter: I'm surprised you even got my post card! Mercury said that sending something poste restante was so passé that he didn't even know that anyone used it anymore. I mean, who uses general delivery? I mean other than you. I did try to text you, too, but you never have your smart phone.

Saturn: The old ways are usually the best. I loathe texting as a medium...I can choose when I want to send a letter, but if I don't respond to texts within five minutes, everyone has a fit. And I'm not good with new technology, but I've never seemed to have trouble with a stand alone rotary phone or a pencil. 

Jupiter: I understand, Old Man. So what else is new? I love Munich! So much beer, so many pretzels, so little time!

Saturn: I'm calling from a pay phone in the post office. So let's skip the pleasantries until I get back home, shall we?

Jupiter: You know how to kill a good time like no one else, you stodgy bastard. The reason I asked you to call in is that John asked me to get in touch with you. His niece Santina is taking a very important exam this week and he's is asking for any assistance you might be able to render. She's one of yours, yes?

Saturn: Ah yes, she is one of mine! Great student, well respected, studying for her Ph.D. in chemistry. She's an amazing young lady and I wish her incredible success on her exam. Chemistry is a very Saturnian subject, you takes many years of discipline to become an expert. 

Jupiter: Sorry to kill your buzz, but anything can be made into a "Saturnian" subject if you study it long enough. We've known each other a long time. Did you think I wasn't going to know that Scorpio and Pisces typically rule chemistry? Last time I checked, neither one of those signs belonged to you.

Saturn: Give the Old Man a break, will you? I'm going to do everything I can to help her succeed this week. Is there anything else?

Jupiter: Yes, one other thing. John also has an important exam this week. He wanted me to make sure you knew it was "career enhancing", and points out that it's been quite a while since he's called you "Mr. Geritol", "that depression-inducing bastard", or "The Grim Reaper", so he expects your full cooperation.

Saturn: [annoyed] John did not call me any of those things, did he?

Jupiter: [chuckling] No, but that was too good an opportunity to let it slide, Old Man!

Saturn: There's something satisfying about slamming down the handset of a phone, Jupiter. It's so much more visceral than pressing "END CALL". Is that how you want me to terminate this discussion?

Jupiter: [laughing] No, Saturn. But I wanted to make sure I mentioned John's exam as well. 

Saturn: If he's prepared, he'll do well. If he's not, well...then hopefully he can take it again. Is there anything else?

Jupiter: Wow. Inspiring words from the no-fun planet. Not doing a motivational speaking tour in Europe, right? They're already depressed enough!

Saturn: I'll see you in a month, Jupiter. I'm hanging up now. [PAUSE] Before I forget, I would ask a favor of you.

Jupiter: Sure, Old Man.

Saturn: Did my book order arrive?

Jupiter: Hang on. [papers rustling] Yes, I have a note here to that effect. 

Saturn: From whom?

Jupiter: Mercury. He signed for the package. Apparently, you bought a signed copy of...The Boars that Came to the Dog Park?

Saturn: [pointedly] Did he open it or something?

Jupiter: It came from Canada and the title was on the customs form, Saturn. We were not deliberately invading your privacy. 

Saturn: [exhales]. Fine. I'm glad it's arrived.

Jupiter: But to be totally transparent, we did deliberately invade it slightly later on when we googled the book itself. Doesn't seem like your type of thing, to be honest. Did you know the plot? It's the story of a pack of wild boars invading a senior living community in the southern United States. Wild boars attacking old ladies in their golf carts with their little dogs? That's really your style? I'd have thought it would be more like French existential plays that make no sense where everyone dies in the end!

Saturn: First, we all have our guilty pleasures. As the publishing planet, you should understand and appreciate this fact. Secondly, I always start the day with Sartre or Camus to get me motivated and in the right direction to do my job. And finally, it's none of your business what I order. End of discussion.

Jupiter: [high squeaky voice] OK, your Lordship. I've put the book in your Lordship's office. Will that be all, sir?

Saturn: Stop talking that way, you idiot! [PAUSE] Wait a did you put it in my office? It's LOCKED. 


Saturn: My office door was locked when I left, Jupiter. Did Lady Moon put it in there?

Jupiter: [faintly with phone away from mouth] Oh shit. [stammering] Ummm, Saturn, I should probably let you go. See you when you get back! [hangs up]

Saturn: [shouting] If anyone has violated the sanctity of my office, you expansive ingrate, there will be hell to pay! Jupiter? Jupiter!? DAMMIT! [hangs up]  


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