Ruby: Hello, this is Ruby…oh, hi, Ginger. What’s up?
Ginger: Ruby, I need your credit card number.
Ruby: Wow. No.
Ginger: Haven’t you always dreamed of going to Vienna?
Ginger: But we could go to Vienna. It would be fun – they have a Ferris Wheel!
Ruby: Carnivals have Ferris Wheels. I don’t need to leave the country to see one.
Ginger: I’m halfway through booking the trip. You can’t just cancel now. It’s really rude. We can leave tomorrow…
Ruby: I have a meeting tomorrow afternoon that I need to attend.
Ginger: I hear Vienna has managed to secure the internet. Are you worried someone in your office will overhear you telling me your card number? Why don’t you just email me your credit card number so I can finish this booking up? Then we can be halfway to Vienna this time tomorrow.
Ruby: I would never send my credit card number to your work email. This trip will just have to be your treat.
Ginger: Fine. I read you loud and clear.
Ginger: I’m texting Fly for it now…
Ruby: Drat. He might actually send it to you…and you’re insanely faster at texting than I am. How is that even possible?
Ginger: I consider it a necessary way of communicating with siblings who live in other countries. Um…I think Fly believes I’m booking this trip for the two of you…that’s really weird.
Ruby: I love that man…
Ginger: And he refuses to text the credit card number until I confirm the last four digits of his passport number. It’s almost like he doesn’t trust me.
Ruby: I just…love…that man…
Ginger: Whatever. You said tomorrow is no good, right? How does Monday look? I have to be in town on Sunday, or we’d just go then.
Ruby: Monday is an easier travel date for me, but I have another meeting on Tuesday.
Ginger: Again…internet exists in Vienna. I’m pretty sure. You can attend your boring meeting while I go to the art museum and look at all the art the Austrian Government doesn’t want to admit might not have been obtained in the most legal manner…
Ruby: Statements like that will get you blacklisted from entering Austria, y’know.
Ginger: I’ll take my chances. They’ll have to prove I’m the one who said it.
Ginger: Then after your meeting, we can have Viennese coffees in an outdoor café and discuss how cold it is and how we should probably be drinking our coffees indoors.
Ruby: I’ll pack a scarf.
Ginger: Good plan – I have a new one I needed an excuse to wear…
Ruby: Fly just texted and asked if we wanted to use all of our remaining vacation days or let some of them roll over to the new year. Way to go, Ginger, my husband is now thinking about vacation.
Ginger: Once we get back from Vienna, I’ll make your arrangements for you – I’m so good at planning your vacations.
Ruby: In that case, I would like to go to Bath.
Ginger: What, in England?
Ruby: Yes. Do you know of another Bath?
Ginger: I’ve been to Bath. There’s…a teahouse…and…a bathhouse…and…some architecture that attracts tourists. Are you really into tea? Or hot springs that Romans turned into public baths? Or architecture?
Ruby: I am more interested in visiting The Astronomer’s House. It’s a museum about the life of Herschel.
Ginger: There’s a museum dedicated to men named Herschel? In Bath? England?
Ruby: William Herschel was an astronomer who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. There’s a museum in Bath, England because that’s where he was when he discovered it.
Ruby: …he discovered other things, too, like infrared radiation, and he coined the word “asteroid” and he disproved the popular theory of the time that coral was a plant.
Ginger: You know a lot about this guy.
Ruby: Well…yeah. If I ever get a pet, I’ll name it Herschel.
Ginger: You should totally get a pet and name it Herschel! You could get one of those hamsters that comes in a ball and let it roll around – oh. No. I just saw Herschel go down the stairs accidentally. Fly was reading something on his iPad and accidentally kicked Herschel into a spin-out as you were coming up from the basement where you hide presents for me. Don’t get a hamster in a ball.
Ruby: I wasn’t really planning on—
Ginger: You could get a cat – a lovely calico cat – and name her Herschel, just to be difficult. I can just see her now, sunning herself in the square of carpet that catches the afternoon light and…oh. No. Fly’s breathing sounded like Darth Vader in that vision. I think you forgot he’s allergic to cats. No cat for you. Ditto that for dogs.
Ruby: It’s nice that you’re thinking this through for me, but—
Ginger: You could get a canary and named him Herschel, but then the gas leak would probably kill him…
Ruby: Wait, what gas leak??
Ginger: Canaries always find gas leaks. OH! You could get a bunny! And…no. Don’t get a bunny. Wow, Ruby, you are hard on pets. Stick with a goldfish.
Ruby: …you done?
Ginger: If you get a goldfish named Herschel, you can put a piece of coral in his tank with him to keep him consistent with that guy from Bath.
Ginger: Okay, well, we can stop off in Bath on the way home from Vienna. But only because it makes sense.
Ruby: What does?
Ginger: If you were a twelve-year-old boy, you’d know that the best place to discover Uranus is in Bath. You’d also think it’s funny.
Ruby: …thank you for that thought.
Ginger: OH! Wait! I was thinking of Dublin. Let’s go to Dublin. And Bath. Now will you give me your credit card number?
Ruby: Wow. No.