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Timmy and the Professor: Adventures in the Milky Way

Updated on September 16, 2008

I originally wrote the following short story on an astronomy test last fall. The question originally asked for a 1 minute commercial storyboard explaining astronomical units, but as I wrote it, it turned into a pseudo script parodying the educational shorts shown in schools in the 50's. My teacher liked it, and I have since then written several other shorts featuring Timmy and the Professor for every test I took in that class. Timmy is an impressionable young man who has many questions about the universe. The Professor has a vast understanding of astronomy and the universe, and secretly works for the government. He often appears unexpectedly to answer Timmy's questions, which usually results in a wild goose chase around the universe and getting Timmy in trouble.

Timmy: Professor, what's the "Milky Way"?

Professor: I'm glad you asked, Timmy. Most people think that the Milky Way is a delicious, gooey candy bar, but they are horribly misinformed. You see, the Milky Way is actually the vast galaxy where good ol' planet Earth resides in.

(The Professor snaps his fingers. Instantly, he and Timmy are in space. The Professor is in full astronaut gear. Timmy is still in normal clothes. He instantly can't breath.)

Professor: (Chuckling) Oh Timmy, it looks like you forgot to prepare for our little field trip. You see, in space there isn't any oxygen.

(He hands Timmy a helmet. Timmy can breath again.)

Professor: (Pointing to various planets) You see, the Milky Way is home to many wonderful planets, including good ol' Pluto (Edit- Pluto is no longer considered a planet, sorry).

Timmy: Like the dog?

Professor: (Serious face) No Timmy, not like the dog. Now stop interrupting. You see, each planet has its own size and weight, nd each has a certain distance from Earth, which we measure in astronomical units, or A.U. for short. Astronomical units are based on the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. Now, the Milky Way itself is packed with loads of stars and planets, but it only a tiny speck in the vast universe. It really makes you wonder what else is out there.

(Zooms out to display vastness of universe.)

Professor: Yessir, it really makes you feel small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

(Timmy looks sad suddenly. The Professor chuckles. They are instantly back on Earth.)

Professor: Well I hope that answers your question Timmy. But don't let all that get you down. Say, I think Ihear the ice cream truck coming Timmy. Why don't you treat yourself to a delicious frozen Milky WayTMbar?

Timmy: (Eyes light up) Oh boy! It was sure great talking to you Professor! Bye!



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