# Mr. R.’s World of Math

## Page 3: On the Way to Zucchini

“Who’s that guy?” whispered Josie.
“I don’t know, but he looks kind of weird,” said Carlos quietly.
“Who are you, sir?” asked Jackie, “What happened to Mr. R.?”
“Mr. R. is inside this pump, and pretty soon he’ll be inside that basketball with your friend! As for who I am, you should just know that I’ve been sent to your planet to collect basketball players to play a game against the best team on the Planet Zucchini.”
“Where and what in the world is the Planet Zucchini?” asked Jenna.
“Oh, it’s not in this world, it’s far away from here, but don’t worry, our ship will get you there in a matter of minutes!”
“You’ll have no choice. In a minute, every one of you will be stuck inside the basketball, and there will be nothing you can do to escape. When we get to my planet, you’ll have to play in an intergalactic basketball competition where the winners will be forever remembered for their greatness, while the losers will have to eat zucchini 3 meals a day for the rest of their lives!” Then he laughed an evil laugh and said,
“I hope you all like zucchini!”
“No way, I don’t like basketball, and I definitely don’t like zucchini,” cried Jake.
The strange person type of person took out a bigger spray can and sprayed it all over the classroom. I watched the students shrink while the strange person type of person picked each one of them up and dropped them inside the pump with me! As they tumbled in, I yelled,
“Are you guys OK? That was a big fall!”
“Yeah, we’re fine. I think this floor is rubber, but how are we gonna’ get out of here? What are we gonna’ do?” said Josie.
“I don’t know yet,” I said, “There have been strange days and big problems in our class, but this is the strangest and biggest problem yet!”
“Come on Mr. R., think,” said Jackie, “I don’t want to go to some planet to play basketball and eat zucchini for the rest of my life!”
Suddenly, we felt a huge rush of air coming from above us, and then we felt our bodies get squeezed out of the pump through a tiny metal opening into darkness. We could barely make out Zander sitting on the ground. It was very scary inside the dark basketball.
“Welcome to the inside of my basketball,” said Zander.
“I never thought we’d be inside of it,” said Joe. “And now I guess the question is how do we get out.”
We heard some electronic beeping and then what sounded like engines starting.
“That doesn’t sound good,” said Jackie.
“I think we’re in the strange person type of person’s spaceship, and I think we’re going to Planet Zucchini to play basketball,” said Zander.

If the Planet Zucchini was 35,587,007 miles from Earth, how long would the round trip be?

Enter the number of miles here: