Paris, France - Patrick Phair, son of the now deceased Venetia Burney, the girl who had been the only woman on Earth to name a planet, is counter-suing the International Astronomical Union for damages.
In dispute again is Pluto, and whether it should be regarded as a planet. Many have said that if a man had named it, it still would be, but as a woman did, the rabidly misogynistic IAU decided to strip it of planet status to keep things an "all boys club".
It was their suit against Patrick, as heir to his mother's estate, that was the final straw, said the man. "They wanted the five pounds back, and with interest. They said the prize money had been wrongly given to her, and they needed it back. Well, I'd had it. I countersued."
Patrick is refering to the fact that in 1930, when Venetia - then 11 - named the planet, she was awarded five pounds. Now that it is no longer a planet, the IAU had begun a quiet and stealthy legal suit to get that money back.
"Hey, five pounds is five pounds", said Dr. Paul Proteus of the IAU. "That went quite a bit further back then. Adjusted for inflation, we're talking about 63 pounds nowadays, and when you throw in interest compounded quarterly for the past 78 years at 3%, you're looking at around 650 pounds!"
Patrick is countersuing for his legal costs in defending against what he terms a "maliciously frivolous suit", and is also suing for pain and suffering not only for himself, but on behalf of the heir of Clyde Tombaugh, the actual discoverer of the planet. (And the only American to have discovered a planet, a fact well known to the anti-American IAU)
It is expected that the heirs of Percival Lowell, who had been pleased that the man who predicted Pluto was immortalized in having his initials be the first two letters of the planet, will also join in this suit. Collectively they are expected to sue not only for damages, but for the status of the ninth planet to be restored.
"Ohhhh, Eris is bigger than Pluto, God I'm so tired of that whine from the IAU.", said Clyde Tombaugh Jr. from his trailer in New Mexico where he keeps watch for green fire balls and UFOs. "If Eris is so big, make that a planet, too, and give it a real name, like after some figure in Roman mythology."
Tombaugh is refering to the sad fact that not only is the IAU misogynistic and anti-American, but seems bent on cultural pollution by jamming the gods of lesser cultures in amongst the greats of the Greco-Roman pantheon. Eris, a body found in the Kuiper Belt, is actually a smidge larger than Pluto, and rightfully should be the 10th planet.
And rightfully should be named Persephone, or some such, to reaffirm the rights of women and Romans that the IAU has so cavalierly disregarded.
The countersuit is being bankrolled by the International Chemical Workers Union who are upset that an element (plutonium) was named after Pluto. "We'd never have named an element after a dwarf planet or asteroid.", said their spokesperson. "Who do these arrogant astronomers think they are?"
Also assisting in the financing is Walt Disney Corporation, who as their legal counsel said in an amicus curia, "Should be able to name cartoon dogs after planets without having the rug yanked from under them every seven decades or so."
The hearing is expected to begin soon.