By Adam Mac
Once upon a time, at the centre of the universe.
"Pizza looks delicious, hon!"
"It's from that new pizza place, The Very Best Pizza on the Planet. Down the street from the office."
"Catchy name. VB-POP, VibbiePOP. Hm, must be tough to write a jingle for that."
"This the one with the cheese in the crust, Mom?"
"You got it. And four different kinds of meat and double cheese. Thought we'd splurge. Signed a new client today."
"That's wonderful, honey. Could you pass the parmesan, please?"
"And there's more. He's got connections at city hall."
"Think he could help us with the property in the port lands?"
"That's exactly what I'm hoping ... though I have to—"
"Of course. That's terrific news. Anything I can do, let me know."
"So, Tony 'sup?"
"Jeez Dad. Promise you won't ever say that in public."
"Alright, let's see. What did you do in school this week? Better?"
"Slightly. Nothin. We didn't do nothin worth talkin about."
"OK, Mom. Anything."
"Nothing of value in history or math or science, not even in science fiction or current events? Hon, remind me, what's our ROI in this school?"
"He's a teenager, dear. And Tony, son, just humour your father."
"OK, here's something. There's this tribe of pygmies, like somewhere in Africa or South America, I don't know. Nobody knew about them til one day a plane flew over. The pilot said they got attacked by a swarm of little brown people throwing spears."
"Sounds familiar, hey hon?"
"Mr. MacGuffin, our teacher, said it was a shame, since the people on the plane were most probably planning to bring electricity, running water, medicine and other stuff to the people."
"What a charming touch. You know your old man thought about doing stuff like that. With the Peace Corps, way back before your Mom and I met, hey hon?"
"Still can't picture you doing the B.C. thing in Afghanistan or wherever it was."
"It was just a silly, romantic idea … and like acne I outgrew it."
"And like Sally?"
"Just someone I knew in college. We were in the same civil engineering program. After she joined Green—"
"Yes, dear. That's ancient history now, isn't it? Now you're in commercial real estate not Save the World. Here, have another slice."
"You're welcome, dear. Tony, you?"
"Yeah—I mean, Yes ma'am—I'd definitely like another piece, please."
"And I'll have the last one. Not counting points tonight."
"Oh, and son—um, Tony—your mother and I have to go out this evening. We'll be back pretty late, so lock up and turn off all the lights, will you? There's a good boy."
"Tony, have I ever told you what a good son you are?"
"Mom? What's up? Dad?"
"Your mother's having a family moment, son. Mother's do that. It's what makes them special."
"Well, dear I guess we'd better be leaving. Can't be late."
"No, that wouldn't do. Okay son, we're counting on you to hold down the fort. Yudeh man."
Way out beyond the edges of the Milky Way, the launch sequence is underway.
Long envied for its proximity to the Sun, the blue planet, whose surface and atmosphere are unsuitable for the Great Species, will be pulverized to make room for a massive sunning rock.
Once the debris field has cleared, time-shares will be auctioned to the most lethal bidders.
- - -