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by Harris Tobias

“He says he can’t come to the phone.”

“Why not?”

“He says he’s washing the platters.”

“Did you tell him that this was the President of the United Galaxies?”

“I did sir.”

“And what did he say?”

“He said he had only a few more platters.”

“Feeble minded old bat,” muttered the president.

“I beg pardon.”

“Listen, would you just tell him that galactic Intelligence has reported that the Drunds are entering the home system. The weather station on Saturn is already under fire and unless your husband gives us the formula in the next seven minutes, humankind will be inihilated.”

“Oh, I couldn’t possibly remember all of that,” replied Mrs. Spigitz, “but here he comes now.”

“Professor Spigitz here, go ahead.”

“The formula,” blurted the President,” we need the formula to activate the crystalline preservative and save at least some of humanity.”

“Oh yes, yes, that formula,” said the white haired professor wiping his free hand on his apron. “You know i thought up that formula while washing the platters. You see I...”

“Yes, yes, another time professor please, the formula.”

“Well, yes, just a minute. Keep your pants on, I’ll go and look for it.”