Żabbar’s Astral Extravaganza: The Town That Cleaned the Cosmos

The Unbelievable Discovery

It started as a typical day in the charming town of Żabbar, with the locals enjoying their robust ħobż biż-żejt sandwiches, basking in the Mediterranean sun. Little did they know that their peaceful town was about to make intergalactic headlines. Dr. Karmenu Tabib, Żabbar’s own esteemed street cleaner, had an epiphany as he stared at the sky during his break: what if the cosmos was simply another neighborhood in need of a good tidying up?

The Cleansing Division’s Ambitious Plan

Within hours, Karmenu assembled the boldest and bravest of Żabbar’s Cleansing Division. “Uwejja, we can do this,” he declared, setting in motion Project Space Sweep. Zaqqie the Zabbarian, their tech whiz, quickly hacked together a spaceship made from discarded pastizzi tins and a propulsion system powered by the fizz from a thousand bottles of Kinnie. The plan was simple: launch into space and clean out the celestial waste that sullied the view from Valletta’s majestic bastions.

The Great Launch

As the unlikely spacecraft revved up on the makeshift launchpad, beside Gozo’s Ġgantija Temples for good luck, the townspeople flocked to see the spectacle. Nonna Rita, armed with her rosary, prayed for her beloved grandson Zaqqie. With a burp and a hiccup, the tin can of a spaceship shot up, leaving behind a trail of golden wrappers and a faint smell of peas.

The Cleansing in the Cosmos

Against all odds, the Cleansing Division made it to orbit. Karmenu and his team floated amidst the stars, bin bags in hand, scooping up chunks of space junk. Their mission was streamed live on TVM, with citizens huddled around their screens, cheering on their interstellar irmieden (sweepers).

“I never thought I’d be using my nanna’s fishing net to catch rogue satellites,” chuckles Karmenu, as he wrestled with a stray chunk of metal. “But just like Mdina, space deserves to be spotless, mela!”

The Twist of Fate

Amidst the cleaning frenzy, Zaqqie bumped into an oddly shaped metal plate, engraved with strange symbols. It looked suspiciously like the legendary plaque from the Voyager spacecraft, a message from humankind to the cosmos. Excitedly, they brought it back aboard their pastry-powered vessel.

Return of the Cosmic Heroes

The return trip was a mix of dread and anticipation. As they re-entered Earth’s atmosphere, Maltesers from all corners of the archipelago watched, pasta bake ready for celebration or consolation. Miraculously, Karmenu and his team landed smoothly in a field of luzzu-colored marrows, just outside of Mdina’s ancient walls.

The heroes were welcomed with a raucous fiesta, their feat having scrubbed clean not just the heavens, but also the heart of every Maltese. The plaque was handed over to scholars, who, after much head-scratching, realized it was actually a cosmic birdbath gifted by extraterrestrial beings – an interstellar token of appreciation for the unanticipated tidy-up.

Epilogue: The Cleansing Division’s Legacy

The day ended with the Cleansing Division being awarded the Order of Merit, laughter, and an overwhelming sense of pride bubbled through the streets of Żabbar. Their space junk haul totaled 742 tonnes, setting a universal record for cosmic cleanliness. And as for the plaque-turned-birdbath? It was installed proudly in Żabbar’s central square, a testament to the day when the little town took on the universe and came back with the trash, a tale, and a tweet saying “Been there, cleaned that!”

So whenever you find yourself gazing at the nighttime sky over Malta, remember the Cleansing Division of Żabbar. Not all heroes wear capes, some wield brooms and carry bin bags, even in the vast frontier of space.

Closing Words

The Times of Mela raises a glass (of Kinnie, what else?) to these cosmic custodians. May the stars shine brighter above our Mediterranean home, and may the humor and spirit of Żabbar’s finest sweep across the galaxies. As they say in Malta, “Kollox possibbli b’xejn, bit-tolleranza, u ftit tad-daħk!”