Planet of the Nose Pickers



From the book:

I couldn't believe my eyes. Mr. Slomin?!
"How could Mr. Slomin be a comedian?" I asked in amazement. "He isn't funny! He never even smiles -- not unless he's giving somebody six months of detentions."
Then the famous and celebrated Clown Pant began his comedy routine.
"A terrible revenge is coming!" declared Mr. Slomin, his face bright red. "It's coming from the planet Earth!"
The crowd roared with laughter.
"What's so hilarious about that?" I asked Stan.
Stan looked apologetic. "Well, I, Stan, love Earth, but it
is Q-class, and -- no offense -- couldn't fight its way out of its own atmosphere."
I was still too shocked to be insulted.
Mr. Slomin was just getting warmed up. "Right now the armies of all the great nations are combining into an invasion force!"
The laughter swelled like someone had bumped up the volume. A loud guffaw escaped Stan. He tried to cover it up as a cough.
"I'm sorry," he chuckled. "But no planet has armies anymore. That's so second millennium."
"One of these days," promised Mr. Slomin, waving his arms like a wild man, "your skies will darken with our stealth bombers, AWACs, smart bombs, and cruise missiles!"
Well, that must have been the most hilarious joke of all. Those Pants hurled themselves down on the rug and howled. It sounded like a werewolves convention during a full moon. Even Stan couldn't hold back a pretty big laugh.
"Let me guess," I said sarcastically. "Cruise missiles are out of style, too?"
"No, we still use them," he gasped, wiping the tears from his eyes. "To deliver Chinese menus! Oh, this is so funny!"
"Well the show's over," I said firmly. "We've got to get Mr. Slomin to the Planetary Bureau. He's the only guy who can tell the Grand Pant all the greatest things about Earth."

Copyright © 2000 Gordon Korman used by permission

When Devin discovered that Stan, the foreign exchange student his family was hosting, actually came from another planet, rather than another state, it took a little work, but he managed to deal with it. And when he learned that his teacher was a UFO nut who was hot on Stan's tail, well, he found ways to protect his friend; but the trouble was only beginning.

For Stan is actually a travel agent from the planet Pan, trying to get Earth selected as Pan's next premier vacation destination. Unfortunately, he is in competition with Pan's foremost agent, Shkprnys (who visited our planet under the name Shakespeare a few centuries ago), who is promoting Mercury as the destination of choice.

When Shkprnys cheats, and gets Mercury selected, it spells death for the human race, as the planet Earth will be towed out to the outer rim of the solar system, to provide mercury with a better view of Saturn's rings … and freezing our entire planet.

To save the Earth, Devin and Stan must accompany the Smarty-Pants back to Pan, to argue their case with the planet's supreme leader, the Grand Pant. But with the bizarre social structure of Pan, it may be impossible to even get to see the Grand Pant, much less convince him to save the Earth. Can our reluctant heroes save the day?