Well, we’re back – finally! What an adventure. You know that some months ago my brave research lion Fifofus and I set off in my ‘Laws of Physics Violator XII’ spaceship to explore the surface of the mysterious Yoga Ball Planet that had been cluttering up our lounge and causing tidal surges in the sink. What we discovered there was so amazing that it is bound to net us a Noble Prize apiece, which would make Fifofus the very first Nobel Laureate with an IQ less than that of Mr Bean. But like all the best tales, this one should be told from the beginning.
We left seven months ago, in earth time that is. From our perpective, we only spent a few hours on the planet. Just enough time to run out of supplies and confirm that there were no zebras there.
It seemed like only moments after we took off from our living room that the “Violator XII” was descending to the planets surface, softly humming a Beatles tune as it settled gently on the ground. Fifofus was so nervous that he was compelled to eat all of the avocado sandwiches.
“Hey, we were supposed to share those,” I scolded him over the hum of the Irresponsibility Drive.
“That’s what I’m doing – sharing. I get the lion’s share and you get the rest. That’s how we do it in the jungle. No-one ever complained before.”
We stared out in wonder at a landscape reminscent of the earth before anyone made it useful. Spectacular mountain ranges lay about aimlessly in the dazzling sunrise. Purposeless forest festooned with flowering vines lounged about in the blue distance; meaningless waterfalls fed silly streams and irrelevant rivers. Tree clad valleys meandered meaninglessly towards us like badly laid carpet, and just beneath our spaceship window an unpaved road hobbled by like a hunchback with no sense of the speedy progress of civilisation. I saw a sign pointing directly upwards, indicating that the nearest town was seven kilometers in the air.
I donned my specially designed rubber life-support system, capable of maintaining vital signs in all rubber based life-forms. “C’mon Fifofus. Let’s go and explore.”
Fifofus looked out of the window nervously. “What if there are monsters?”
“No problem – we’ll just distract them by feeding them these little tofu nuggets that look like cheese. They’ll love them.”
“But what if they aren’t hungry.”
“Aliens are always hungry.”
“What if we meet lady lions, and they like me because I’m so handsome, and want me to take them on a date, but I can’t go because I’m a monk lion?”
“It’ll be OK so long as you don’t make them laugh. You mustn’t tell them any jokes or they will think you like them.”
Fifofus thought for a minute. “How about if I tell them jokes that aren’t funny?”
“You do that already. Look, you sure are asking a lot of questions. You’re not scared are you?”
Fifofus was indignant. “Scared? Me? Of course not! C’mon what are we waiting for? Why do I always have to take the lead?”
It really was a very pleasant planet. A little bouncy to the touch, but the climate was perfect – not too hot and not too cold – what astronomers call a ‘Goldilocks Planet’. We walked along the cobblestone road until we came to a town. The first building was a psychic healing centre.
A mystic lady with blue hair appeared at the entrance – our first Yogaballian native. She asked us to wait as she was in the middle of chanelling Douglas Adams. In the waiting room I noticed a sign on the wall.
“Psychic readings £30. Student Concession £20 (please bring documentary evidence.)
I headed for the door. “C’mon let’s go.”
“What’s wrong?” said Calandirnion.
“If this great psychic can’t even tell whether or not someone is a student without documentary evidence, what is she going to know about my future?”
“Good point.” We left.
Next we visited a yoga centre, one of many, wedged between a gas station that pumped wheatgrass juice and a solar powered post office.
“Oh look”, said Fifofus. “A yoga ball. Can I play on it?”
I asked the attendant. “Excuse me, may my lion have a go on your yoga ball?”
“That’s not a yoga ball, it’s a planet.”
Fifofus and I took turns looking at one another meaningfully and making noises like they do in the movies when something amazing and scary is revealed.
“That’s amazing'” I said. “And what about that one over there?” indicated another yoga ball – a pink one.
“That’s also a planet,” she said. “And it has zebras on it.”
Fifofus was suddenly alert, his tail twitching.
“But lions are not allowed on that one,” said the yoga lady sharply, glaring at Fifofus. She indicated her collection of yoga balls, allmanner of colour and sizes. “They’re all planets, and they also have yoga balls on them which are also planets, and so on ad infinitum.”
My eyes opened wide like an octopuses – “you mean that there are planets on planets on planets, getting smaller and smaller and smaller?”
“That’s right. Everyone knows that. By the way, did has anyone ever told you that you resemble an octopus.”
“No they haven’t!” I said stiffly. There was an awkward pause. “What about this planet we’re on now? Do you think this one is a yoga ball too, on a bigger planet?”
The woman laughed. “Of course not! Don’t be absurd.”
We walked back to the space ship, thinking about all those little yoga ball planets with their yoga ball people, with their yoga balls with more even tinier yoga people on them…
“My brain hurts,” said Fifofus. “Understanding the Universe is hard work. Can we go home?”
“Of course. Anyway, I guess we should report this discovery to the earth scientists without any delay. I wonder if they’ll believe us.”