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There was a thimble full of pain in the glove compartment, but I wasn't about to take it out. These were the times that dry mens' souls and I was not prepared for a head-on collision with the damned. After all, this was Florida in August and it was the humidity that got to you. It was a good thing my car had fully functional air conditioning. Most of the time the heat doesn't bother me, but I had this little rubber figure, a yellow dog named Pluto, sitting on my dashboard and when it got really humid, he started to melt. My problem was that melting plastic from a figurine placed just about my compact disc player would negatively impact the playing of music. I could live without the air conditioning, but not without the tunes.

I had just finished shaving my legs and most of the rest of my body with those newfangled Venus razors they advertise on television and I was feeling like a pretty smooth dude. I just could not wait until I could find somewhere to catch a good game of pick-up volleyball. They had some players in Jupiter I had heard, and not just the macho guys who think the whole point is to spike the ball hard enough to break grandma's glasses. I am talking about guys who know how to set up a point. I'm talking league level stuff here.

The mercury was hitting one hundred and ten degrees Fahrenheit, not this wimpy Celsius stuff you metric obsessed weirdos try to sell me on. This was a hot American summer and I was in Florida where all the best swimsuit models and cute waitresses hang out. The only thing you must remember is to bring your passport. It is highly illegal to drive in Florida when the temperature breaches one hundred degrees without one. That is when the little men from the moon will stop you, posing as police officers, and demand to see your "papers." A passport or federal badge will satiate them. Otherwise they will chew on your latex hot pants until you start singing like Ethel Merman.

I stopped at the convenience store to get me one of those candy sensations known as the Mars bar. I also got a big bottle of very cheap beer. You see, the main reason I was in Jupiter was not to get some tail. It was to find a friend of mine who had been arrested on dognapping charges so I could break him out of the big house. It was not right what these people were doing to him. Gustav and I used to work over at King Neptune's Fish Fry over on the coast. We had some good times, especially when big girdle Lisa was working, because she used to like when you would slap her buttocks once and send them shaking like an earthquake for the next half hour. Just with one slap. I swear on King Neptune's grave.

Now, you are probably wondering what the hell is wrong with me. I have a mysterious ailment. It begins with... well, have you ever felt a painful shooting sensation in Uranus? It isn't anything like that. I just worked that into the story because of the whole planets thing.

The cops in Jupiter are very into calypso music because of some weird voodoo curse thing that involved several law enforcement officers in the 1950s being possessed by she-demons. Don't quote me on that, but I did plan on using it to skillfully work my way into setting good Gustav free. With the right shuffle moves, I would be able to enter the police and shapeshift right into my friend's jail cell, become one with him and ascend to the ionosphere before anyone noticed. Not that we would stay up there forever, mind you.

Well, it was hot, and I was just sitting there listening to Pat Benatar's Live From Earth when the phone rang. I was not sure which phone because I did not possess a cell phone or any kind of newfangled "car phone" that might be ringing. I answered it anyway.

"This is me,"
I said

I lost interest in the quest soon after that. Sometimes there are things that appear important at one point but look quite different under a new light. There were a lot of lights and I was still sorting them out. I turned the Saturn around and drove out of Jupiter. Home was calling me and I hoped I wasn't late for dinner. Sometimes gravity will not be defied. There is no success like failure when you walk away from it before it holds you in its grasp. Everything in its season. Summer was the wrong season for what I needed to do. There was still a lot of driving left to be done.

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