I Am Dr. Michael Brown, Optometrist; I Am Not @plutokiller

My name is Dr. Michael Brown, aka “Mike the Eyeguy,” and I’m an optometrist who has always loved Disney characters and small, remote planets.

I would never kill Pluto. I may be more of a Goofy Man myself, but I have no interest in dissing  Mickey Mouse’s lesser-known pet pooch. Nor have I supported demoting poor little Pluto from the status of noble, outermost outpost planet, guarding the far boundaries of our Solar System from alien invasion, to a mere member among many in the Kuiper belt, a rather shady band of steroid-enhanced asteroids and dwarf planets.

And I think I can speak for the other three Dr. Michael Browns whom I know in Huntsville as well. Oh sure, we have our differences (one’s a gastroenterologist–aka “GI Guy”–one’s a urologist and the other a pediatric dentist), but we’ve always managed to work through them and get along. When we get calls from mutual patients, we do our best not to practice the others’ specialties and instead direct the lost organ systems to the appropriate provider. When we get another Dr. Mike’s mail, we always try to return the stray letter to the proper office. Just the other day, in fact, I received a patient’s personal check and a reimbursement check from a dental plan made out to “me,” and after only a few moments of hesitation and soul-searching, forwarded them on to my DMD namesake.

But none of us would have ever killed Pluto. That would be “the other” Dr. Michael Brown, the astronomical assassin from Cal Tech who’s originally from Huntsville, attended Grissom High School (where No. 1 Son prepped) and went on to become a Princeton Tiger. He was in town to speak at Randolph School last night and to sign his new tell-all confessional book, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming.

Finally, I thought, a chance to confront my evil twin and give him a piece of mind! I would show up, unannounced, and extract from him an apology–in writing!

Unfortunately, I forgot my paper and pen. Which means I had to stand in line and buy his book (for full price, of course). Then I had to stand in another line and listen to his gang of intergalactic groupies gush about the feats of their hero as if he was some kind of Buzz Lightyear.

Sir, I served with Buzz Lightyear; Buzz Lightyear was a friend of mine. Sir, you are no Buzz Lightyear!

I watched a bouncy, delightfully nerdish 3rd grade Johannes Kepler-wannabe named John who looked like he was ready to lift off into orbit himself, so excited was he to meet his hero and “role model.” Wait, why is this red-blooded Alabama boy wearing an E=mc² t-shirt and not a Cam Newton or Mark Ingram jersey, I thought? What is this country coming to?

Finally, it was my turn. I stepped forward, shot him one of my krypton laser stares, and said, “Dr. Michael Brown, I presume? My name is also Dr. Michael Brown, and I’m one of four in town (that I know of) and we’re all sick and tired of getting dragged down with this bum rap! It’s time to set the record straight–WE DID NOT KILL PLUTO!”

I think I caught him off guard–you should have seen the deer-in-the-telescope look on his face! But as it turns out, he was very understanding and was quite the gentleman and scholar. He even wrote that apology in the book: “To Dr. Michael Brown– Sorry for the bum rap. Dr. Michael Brown.” We had come to an understanding and worked it out like two professionals with entirely different terminal degrees. We were even on a first and last name basis.

Later, I listened to Dr. Brown’s presentation, and he had even a planetary pacifist like me convinced–Pluto must die, Die, DIE!

But Dr. Brown, I hope you understand this: If a peeved Plutonian hit squad shows up at my house with their Death Ray guns aimed at my head, don’t expect me to take the fall.

I know what you look like and where to find you: On Twitter, @plutokiller. You have been warned.

  1. JRB

    Fantastic.  I, for one, always thought that Pluto was a poser.  Today my Academic Dean told me she had seen a very, very conservative Op-Ed in the paper from one Jeff Baker of Troy.  I was not pleased, but proceeded to educate her about Jeff Baker who plays for the Cubs.  That’s much better, much better, than the Jeff Baker who preached at Harding as an undergrad just after I graduated about the value of a good name and all the stuff he had to live down after I left for law school.  He publicly repented the next week after I reminded him that I still had friends in White County.  Now, apparently there’s a family lawyer in North Carolina named Jeff Baker, so I really get no relief.  I look forward to the day I can achieve your level of gratification.  

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    I hear that Jeff Baker, the Cub, is having a hot April. Have you broken into the starting lineup yet?

    I have often thought I would like to be an NFL Mike Brown, either owner of the Bengals or Chief’s free safety, doesn’t matter to me. I bet they both get paid halfway decent.

  3. Marie

    First Pluto is declared “NOT” a planet…now someone’s killing him???  What is the world coming to?  Poor Pluto.  (And you are worried about YOUR reputation!  Heartless, I say.)

  4. Mike the Eyeguy


    I was skeptical too. But like I said, by the time he was done I was a believer too.

    But then again, Ted Bundy was charming, articulate and intelligent as well….

  5. Charlie

    What’s in a name?  Pluto hasn’t changed a bit, only how the high priest astrophysicists classify it.  One could stay very young on Pluto.  It takes almost 300 Earth years for the rock to orbit the Sun.

  6. Mike the Eyeguy


    The way the high priest explained it, it was Pluto’s long, elliptical (rather than round) orbit that did it in. Why do all planets have to act the same? Why can’t a planet be a little different without fear of censure, or, worse, declassification?

    This sounds like interplanetary bigotry and intolerance of the highest order! That “other” Dr. Michael Brown should be exiled to the penal colony on Selusa Secundus!

  7. Bob White

    7/11/2011 10:14:03 AM ET Coming out of the womb weighing more than 16 pounds, JaMichael Brown couldn’t even fit in one of his home state’s famous 10-gallon hats. Even in a place where everything is reputedly bigger, the newborn boy may have set the record for the biggest baby ever born in Texas.
    Proud parents Janet Johnson and Michael Brown revealed their jumbo-size bundle of joy live via satellite from Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview on TODAY Monday. As JaMichael rested comfortably in his daddy’s arms, Brown told Ann Curry that the couple, who have three older children, may finally have a star football player in the family.

  8. Mike the Eyeguy

    Yeah. And there’s that too!

Comments are closed.