Lena? Is that you?
Okay, so 40 light years from Earth may not sound all that nearby, but in terms of distances in the universe it’s little more than Sunday in the Park with Zontar. So, I called my friend Stan Stellar, head of the Planetarium at the University of Havertown PA, to find out what's next following this amazing discovery.
"Next we train our most ultra-sensitive telescopes upon the seven planets,” he said.
“How sensitive are the telescopes?”
“The most advanced of them cry whenever they’re shown An Affair to Remember.”
“That is sensitive! But what are we hoping to find?”
“We are attempting to determine if the essential building blocks of life are present on any or all of planets.”
“What are the essential building blocks of life?" I asked.
"Oxygen, hydrogen, and pornography."
"Gee, I guess it must be really difficult to locate the pornography."
“Oh, no, not at all, especially for those of us who have been teenage boys. It's the oxygen and hydrogen we have difficulty with."
“So, Stan, if you locate the building blocks of life, does that mean there is life as we know it?”
"No, Perry, we can only make that determination definitively if we detect that somebody there has put out the recycling.”
My curiosity was really engaged now.
“What kind of beings would exist on such a planet?” I asked.
“We don't know. They may be monstrous looking creatures from out of your most horrific nightmares or beings strikingly similar to us. Like a parallel Lena Dunham, for example, but dressed.”
“Frankly, I’d opt for the former. One more question, Stan: Is it possible that there’s a parallel Donald Trump on any of these planets?”
“We can’t rule that out, but we don’t think so.”
“None of them has exploded yet.”
“Well, then sign me up!”
"Perry ... it's 235 trillion miles away."
"I'll make us some sandwiches! You like mustard or mayo?"