The 731st Andromediamo Rally
Copyright 1976, 2002 by Bruce Jaeger. All rights
reserved. (Printed in the DNF, October 1976)
MoGleep sat in ship #14's pilot couch, clicking his mandibles
in irritation as he read the General Instructions for the 731st Annual Andromediamo Rally.
Crossing his eye stalks, he beckoned for Rfxglu, his navigator, to come over.
"Just look at this pile of Plythian orjubskl" he
crowed. "What's this 'No two instructions can be executed at the same planet'
Rfxglu shrugged his ears. "I don't know. I was worried about
something like this happening when I found out that Xlumpo was this year's
"It's gotta be sane kind of trap," sighed MoGleep as he
ignited the engine and brought the ship to the starting position.
The first leg was an easy parallax-odometer check. MoGleep and
Rfxelu crept in at about 145,000 miles-per-second for a low score of 345,876. The next leg
was CAST at Warp Four, the trap being, of course, that if you forgot to enter the Theory
of Relativity into the Zeron you came into the control four years before you left Control
One! (Teams that maxed this leg were our of the running--however, they did have en
excellent chance in the 727th Annual Andromediamo Rally!)
Mogleep and Rfxglu maxed Leg Three, where a "Right at
blinker" instruction turned out to refer to a pulsar.
"Left after Earth" read the next instruction. Navigator
Rfxelu dutifully looked up Earth in the GRIT (Galactic Reference for Interstellar Travel)
and got a description. They executed the leg correctly and stopped for the rest break in a
little solar system called "Mscbtfe`s Cannonball."
The rally committee had gone all out to make the midpoint
accommodations comfortable for all the different alien species, from the 19-armed Tau
Cetians to the methane-breathing Rigelians.
"Boy, that 'pulsar' trap was sure a cheap shot,"
gargled an amphibian from Antares. "I didn't see any stuff like that last year."
"That's because last year you bought the old "Star of
Bethlehem" trap and followed it for the rest of the rally!" returned MoGleep
with a chuckle.
A bewhiskered Hennieyungmn sauntered in at this point and sidled
up to Rfxglu. "Say," he said, "What's the difference between a bowling ball
and a Polarian woman?"
"Oh, orjubsk, it's that Hennieyungmn and his Polarian Jokes
again!" thought Rfxglu in dismay.
"All right," said MoGleep as he and the Antarian moved
in closer, "What's the difference between a bowling ball and a Polarian woman?"
"You can find somebody that'll eat a bowling ball!"
giggled the Hennieyungmn.
"Can't he be disqualified or something for that?" asked
Rfxglu hopefully. McGleep just stared.
In the meantime, Xlumpo was out editing the course for the
"afternoon's" run. He shorted a few radio beacons, remodeled a planet with 5000
xenium-krythium bombs, put up a home-made (and misspelled) "Caution-Meteor
Crossing" sign, changed the name on the Crab Nebula emergency station from "Crab
Nebula" to "Crap Nebula," and did a lot of other nasty things.
MoGleep and Rfxglu finished their lunch of poached Wmmrg gonads
and strapped themselves back into their spaceship. After a time-of-universe restart, they
were off on the second half of the rally.
Neither of them fell for any of the traps that had caught them in
previous years, like the "Phantom Car" problem that had almost blown their
computer on the 729th rally--the Zeron couldn't cope with any speed as low as 257
"Left after planet," read MoGleep as the team began the
last leg of the rally. They came upon what was obviously a planet, although it was blasted
all to orjubsk. "Looks good to me," said MoGleep as he made the turn.
"Ha Ha!" read the critique slip, "If you turned
after that smoldering planet you were a max early! Remember, you couldn't execute two
instructions at the same planet. That slag heap was the Earth--I blew it up during the
"Geez, was that a cheap trap!" grumbled MoGleep.