Clovis, New Mexico (IPP) - Astronomer, Dr. Povenmire Finootch was taking some time off for the Christmas holidays and was camping in Elephant Butte Lake State Park in New Mexico.
Dr. Finootch had brought along a telescope and was adjusting it while the sun was still up when one of campers near his camp site approached him and asked what he was doing. Dr. Finootch answered by saying that he was adjusting his telescope before it got dark.
The other camper naively asked, "How far can you see through that thing ?" Dr. Finootch could see that the fellow camper was very wealthy since the inquisitive camper was travelling in a very expensive diesel pusher and was towing a Mercedes SUV behind it. Dr. Finootch answered by saying that the telescope was so powerful that he could see the polar caps through the scope.
The other camper could not believe it and asked the astronomy doctor if he would be willing to make a substantial wager in reference to his polar cap claim. Dr. Finootch said he would be willing to wager one million dollars and told the camper to come back after dark.
Luckily for Dr. Finootch the sky was clear when the camper returned that night. The camper expected Dr. Finootch to point the telescope to the north where the nearest polar cap was located thousands of miles away. He was surprised to see the telescope pointed towards the eastern sky at about a forty degree angle. The doctor told the camper to come and look through the scope.
The camper looked through the eyepiece and there was the planet Mars with its northern polar cap clearly visible. The fellow camper knew he had been beat since no one had been specific about which polar cap would be looked at through the scope. The camper was a man of his word and a wealthy one at that and wrote out a seven figure check on the spot and handed it over to Dr. Finootch.