“What’s in a name?” A lot, if you’re Pluto or a brontosaurus. Romeos come and go, but “planet” and “dinosaur” are non-trivial classifications. That term is the only thing that keeps you from being a ball of ice and rock floating aimlessly through space and the memories of a few ’90s kids. That’s your meal ticket, the thing that gets you invited to deliver after-dinner speeches and keeps you in circulation.

I was able to get a brontosaurus, who has been working behind the scenes for years to obtain this outcome, to contribute a piece. His response is printed in full.

Move over, Thor. The thunder lizard is back.

I’m a brontosaurus in the streets and an apatosaurus in the sheets.

(No, I was making fun just now. I am not an apatosaurus in either of those places. I am fully and wholly a brontosaurus at all times.)

I knew this. You didn’t.

I always believed that I existed.

But you dared to doubt it. You stopped believing, just like Journey warned you not to in that song. Well, guess what? I’m like climate change: whether or not I exist has NOTHING TO DO with whether you believe in me or not. I can’t believe I had to resort to this Tinkerbell nonsense, getting you all to believe in me and study my bones and clap. I’ve been here, existing in spite of you, all this time. Yes, I know, I know — species are human classifications, taxonomy is fluid and artificial, blah blah.

O ye of little faith. I’m as real as any of you.

You conflated me, the thunder lizard, with the apatosaurus — the apatosaurus, “deceitful lizard”! (The lizard is deceitful above all things.) You dared.

It said “deceitful lizard” right in the name! Do you know how much that hurt? “This can’t be a brontosaurus,” you said. “It’s probably one of these — what d’you call-ems? LIZARDS FULL OF LIES. FALSEHOOD LIZARDS. LIZARD-JUDASES. There’s nothing doubtful about that.”

You broke my heart.

The quest to clear my good name began in 1903, when paleontologist Elmer Riggs declared that I was not sufficiently distinct from the apatosaurus to warrant my own species. Well, switcheroo, Elmer. Look who’s buried in the earth having his good name trampled on now. Spoiler: you. (BOOM SHAKALAKA. Call me LEBRONTOSAURUS JAMES, because I just dunked on you. Dunking was easy because I am a long-necked sauropod. Man, I’ve been waiting YEARS to use that one. Existence feels very sweet right now.)

Now I’m here to recover what’s mine. My excellent bone structure. My good name. And I’ve got a bone — or two — to pick with the deceitful dino-namers who mis-assembled my skeleton that very first time. That was a huge setback. That wasn’t my head, and you need a head to get ahead in this dinosaur game.

For too long, I’ve been consigned to the dustbin of history (the dustbin of history is a kind of elephant graveyard for old cliches) along with the other things that people no longer believe in, even if some people think the idea is kind of attractive. I spent my days with barbershop quartets, UFOs, women in aprons making apple pies, the Humors theory of personality, the Loch Ness monster, trickle-down economics, Rotary Clubs, the geocentric model, eugenics, hysteria — it’s been ugly. It’s hard to believe in yourself when you live next door to Alchemy, Prohibition and the yeti.

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my brothers in arms. I would like to thank Pluto, for all your encouragement (your time will come soon! I believe!), salt (you’re healthier than we thought! I know you are!) and the X-Files (you’re coming back! Always knew you’d make it!).

Now that I exist, there is so much I am going to do. The Creation Museum has been on my list for a long time. Really brings me back to 1903, when I was young and unafraid and dreams were made and used and wasted.

I’m back, and bigger than ever (still slightly smaller than the apatosaurus.) I am, admittedly, still completely extinct, but that has never stopped me before.

Thank you for believing in me. I believe in you.