“You ever hear the story of a planet called,” he pronounced it carefully, “Ah-show-lay?”
His companion shook his head. “No, never.”
“Oh, that’s a good one. See, a long time ago when they first started settling planets, before the Colonial Confederation, there was an expedition planned to this new earthlike they’d found, and kept the location under wraps. The expedition leader was a real careful sort — the kind of person who you really need for a new colony. Well, they took their time getting ready, and people got antsy. Finally, a group of them said, forget this, and they launched their own attempt.
“Well, that pissed off the original group something awful. Purely out of spite, they launched their own attempt early, just a couple dozen of them, not well-equipped. But damn it if they didn’t arrive first by a couple days.
“You see, in those days the tradition was that the first colony on a planet got to name the whole planet. And so when the splinter group arrived, they were very unhappy to see that they’d been beat — and unhappy beyond belief to find their prize planet newly christened, ‘Asshole’.”
His companion barked a laugh.
“But what could they do? They couldn’t just turn around and leave, they didn't have the fuel and had sold their homes and burned all their bridges. They had to go through with setting up their colony. The first one packed up not too long afterward, and the second group tried to rename the planet. But by then anyone who heard the story pretty much agreed it was an appropriate name. It stuck. So what could they do? They decided that the name was spelled A-S-S-H-O-L-E, sure, but it was pronounced ‘Ah-show-lay’. And damned if they didn’t sic their lawyers on everyone who didn’t pronounce it the way they said. But the more they did that, the more people heard about the whole thing. The Assholians finally got fed up, they weren’t making much progress anyway, so they gave in.”
“So how come I haven’t heard of this place, then?”
“Like I said, the second colony folded not too long after, and the next group to take a crack at it got to rename the place.”
“What did they call it after that?”
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Just a piece of dialogue I really wanted to put back into the piece I'm working on now, but there's just no room, and it doesn't serve much purpose except a laugh. Posting here for your enjoyment (and so I don't lose it)