Journal entry: August 31, 2006 (age 37)
Note: This week’s Lost Journal is the first in a two-part series discussing the decision by the International Astronomical Union to downgrade Pluto from a planet to a “dwarf planet.”
Amidst all the furor over Pluto losing its status as a planet, a parallel decision of perhaps greater magnitude has gone unnoticed by the media, the government and the general public. This week, in a closed-door meeting in Cinderella’s castle at Walt Disney World, Mickey Mouse’s lovable dog, Pluto, was demoted from “animated dog” to “dwarf animated dog.” I received a transcript of the proceedings from a formerly gruntled employee who masks his identity behind the screen name “EisnerRulez.”
The motion to demote Pluto was put forth by an animated dog named Ceres who, decades ago, had lost out in the audition to become Mickey’s dog. “It shoulda been me,” he barked throughout the proceedings. Ceres was represented by an animated dog from outside “The Company” known as Clifford the Big Red Attorney. (Keen observers of animated dog circles will recall that Clifford himself has borne a grudge against Pluto since Pluto’s failed ‘80s campaign to rebrand himself as “Pluto the Big Mustard-Colored Dog.”) Clifford argued that in 1930, the discovery of the “planet” Pluto led to the naming that same year of the “animated dog” Pluto. Since the former had been found to be dwarfishly inferior, he yelped, so should the latter.
Pluto’s advocates were numerous. Lady and the Tramp both argued that Pluto was as animated and dog-like as any of those in attendance. Pluto himself sat mute, seemingly unwilling to speak on his own behalf. Rising to the occasion, a visibly shaken Goofy made this impassioned plea:
“For the love of Walt, people, I wear pants and drive a car, and yet my credentials as an animated dog go unquestioned. Has it come to the point where we, the best friends of not only men, but of precious boys and girls across this elegantly spinning sphere, are willing to cast dispersions upon the animatedness – ye, the very dogginess of one of our brethren?” As a hush fell over the room, he sealed his point with an anguished “Garsh!”
But when the votes were tallied, it became clear that Pluto’s many friends could not overcome the chamber’s largest voting block: the 101 Dalmatians. Spoiled to the core by their sudden fame as puppies, they were now nothing more than a pack of con dogs and VH1 reality show stars. Asked to explain their heartless votes, their spokesdog, Number 84, said, “We wanted his parking space. In fact, this should open up the entire Pluto parking lot.”
Thankfully, there was also a gesture of goodwill and hope for the Kingdom, when a whistling band of miners staged a press conference in Tomorrowland. Their spokesman, a bespectacled man named “Doc,” announced that he and his six roommates were willing to welcome Pluto into the “Dwarf-Animated-American Community.” It is, after all, a small group of eight worlds.