Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Prompt: this photo by Petrea

This story is beyond silly. You know when you doze off on the couch, and in that state between sleep and wakefulness wayward parts of your brain throw strange images and word combinations at you? That's where this story was born.


It's a well-known, oft debated, and yet unexplained fact that all inhabited planets of the Milky Way have Tuesdays. Naturally, their frequency varies widely planet by planet. However, it's also commonly acknowledged that whether they occur once or a hundred times per orbital period, Tuesdays are the days when unpleasant shit happens. Thus, it was no great surprise to Odwin Cadwell the Third that his vehicle wasn't where he'd left it. It was a Tuesday after all.

"Bloody hell, some bastard stole the damn thing!" he cursed.

"Are you sure this is where you left it?" his wife, Myrtle asked in that absentminded way of hers that drove Odwin crazy.

"Where the bloody else would I have left it? You were right here! We've only been in the bookstore for five minutes; you couldn't have forgotten it already."

"Oh, I don't know…maybe it was another parking lot," Myrtle replied, nibbling on the corner of a paperback.

"What another parking lot? That's the bookstore, this is the bookstore parking lot. There's no other blasted parking lot!" Odwin shouted, waving his arms in the air.

"You don't need to shout. Why don't you call that nice young man from the rental place? They have tracking systems in the vehicles, don't they?"

Grumbling, Odwin dug out his phone and the rental agency's card and dialed.

"Hello, Hartz Rental, Alonzo Munez speaking, how can I be at your service?" The voice poured through the phone smooth as melted chocolate.

"The bloody car is gone!" Odwin exclaimed.

"Can I please have your name, sir?" the unperturbed voice purred.

"Odwin Cadwell. We've rented a Humdinger 500 from you just this morning. We parked and went into the bookstore, and when we came out it just wasn't there any more."

"Just a moment sir."

There was several seconds of relative silence, only the sounds of keyboard clicks echoing through the line.

"Ah there it is: your vehicle is in orbit around Pluto."

"What the bugger is it doing there? Was it stolen?"

"I don't know that, sir. Where did you last leave it?" Alonzo warbled.

"In the bloody parking lot, where else?"

"I mean what planet?"


"Oh. That's your problem, sir. The Humdinger 500 is incompatible with Earth gravity. It probably just floated away."

Odwin turned a particularly brilliant shade of puce, and gaped like a fish for several long seconds.

"Sir?" The annoyingly smooth voice rang in Odwin's ear, waking him from his apoplexy.

"Why in hell would you rent us a ship that's incompatible with Earth gravity? The bloody thing looks just like on of those thingies Earthlings go around in, whatever hell they're called…"


"Yeah, cars. Ugly damn things. The only reason to get a Humdinger is to go to Earth."

"People often rent them for bachelor parties. Something about the back seats."

"You could've warned us! How the hell are we supposed to get off this rock now?"

"I can send you a shuttle, sir. It'll be extra charge."

"Bloody Tuesday!"