After breaking out in a massive rash, and suddenly beginning to feel quite feverish, the planet Earth was today forced to inform its co-globes that it thought it might be coming down with something. And it couldn’t rule out that it might be contagious.
Things began to unravel for the otherwise unremarkable third rock from the sun towards the end of yet another stupefyingly boring team meeting with the other planets. Ostensibly called to discuss trajectory forecasts for the coming orbits, the meeting had quickly dissolved into yet another debate about whether Pluto should have been invited or not, when Earth let out a massive sneeze. One that expectorated countless tiny little spacecraft out across the solar system, their minuscule forms catching the sunlight as they sought new homes to infect with their rapacious existence.
Earth – which had been getting noticeably warmer as the meeting progressed, and was starting to melt at its poles by the time its sternutation interrupted a long speech by Neptune about the need to come up with a better designation for Pluto than “dwarf planet” – immediately apologized.
“Excuse me, sorry about that. You ok Mars? I didn’t get any on your surface did I? Don’t know where that came from. Bit of cosmic dust, or allergies maybe? I do suffer from ray fever at times.”
After carefully wiping its surface clean with an excessive number of sandstorms, Mars concernedly appraised its neighbour.
“You don’t look so good Blue. Are you feeling ok?”
Earth, which as a single parent of a large moon couldn’t afford to take any time off of orbiting, at first tried to wave off the other planet’s concern, before finally admitting it had been feeling pretty under the weather patterns lately.
“I’m not sure what it is. I had asteroids on Tuesday so I thought maybe I had just caught a bit of panspermia poisoning. But now my skin is breaking out and I’m seeing tiny little stars all around me. And Luna said she was also feeling a little seedy this morning. I’m afraid it could be contagious.”
“Yeah,” said Venus, edging into a more remote orbit from the clearly unwell planet. “That sounds awful. You should probably just go home. Take off your atmosphere and have a nice long dip in the sun. That’ll cure you.”
The other planets all agreed, with Jupiter showing especial sympathy; after declaring it had had this damn red spot for ages, god knows why, and that these things happen.
“You just take a few millennia off. Get plenty of darkside. Maybe slow your orbit. And be sure to eat plenty of vitamin Heavy G. You’ll be back to your old self in no time. That sort of infection tends to kill itself off pretty quickly.”