Some people who spend their nights staring up at the stars still have black bands around their telescopes.
This is to commemorate the heinous day in 2006 when the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to dwarf planet status.
Now, the bountifully deep and forward-thinking state of Illinois is showing its Illinoyance. It has decided that the IAU is comprised of downright plonkers and that Pluto will, on March 13, 2009, be reinstated as a full, mature rockstar planet.
In fact, March 13 will be Pluto Day in Illinois.
It appears that Clyde Tombaugh, the fine citizen who discovered Pluto, was born on a farm in Illinois--and that only 4 percent of the IAU actually cast votes when the body excommunicated Pluto from the planetary major leagues.
However, many who have been Americans for a long period of time know that Illinois residents can find self-control a little daunting. And I am not merely referring to the mortifying impulsiveness of one-time Chicago Cubs fan and now probably Missouri mortician, Steve Bartman.
You see, these words appear in the state's plutonic proclamation:
"WHEREAS, Dr. Tombaugh is so far the only Illinoisan and only American to ever discover a planet..."
Well, perhaps former Gov. Rod Blagojevich penned that minor but irrelevant inaccuracy. The main thing is that Illinois is yet again standing up for what is good and right and forward-thinking.
I trust that everyone who cares about truth, justice, and plutonic relations will make a pilgrimage on March 13 to some part of Illinois. (May I recommend one restaurant in Champaign? Yes, just one: Bacaro. And a couple in Chicago: Spiaggia and L2O).
I will call Oprah now and check that she will devoting a whole show to this wondrous occurrence.