In a poem called “Tulsa,” in a book titled Actual Air, by a poet named David Berman, I read, “He paints radio storms / in the basement beside a globe of Mars, / his hair and shoes the color of ox blood.” This was on Sunday, a bright, warm, altogether atypical morning.

Is there a company in the world today that manufactures globes of Mars? This is what I asked myself, in those exact words more or less. Is some factory somewhere pumping out globes of other planets for the people of this planet? And are those globes available locally, for purchase?

STORE: Hello, Border’s Books & Music. Can I help you?
INTERVIEWER: Hi, do you carry globes?
STORE: No, we don’t.

STORE: Hello, Staples. How may I help you?
INTERVIEWER: Do you sell globes?
STORE: Globes?
INTERVIEWER: Yes, globes.
STORE: Hold on, let me check.
[Five seconds pass.]
STORE: No, we don’t.
STORE: You should try a craft store or something. They might have what you’re looking for.
INTERVIEWER: Okay, thanks, I will.

Much like Phonecall No. 2, minus the suggestion to try a craft store.

STORE: Hello, thank you for calling OfficeMax, this is Karen, how may I direct your call?
INTERVIEWER: Oh, hi, do you sell globes?
STORE: Globes?
INTERVIEWER: Yes, globes. You know, g-l-o-b-e-s.
STORE: Hold please.
[After a short pause, someone who isn’t Karen picks up.]
STORE: Hello, thank you for calling OfficeMax, this is [I can’t remember who, Ron, maybe? or Don?], how can I help you?
INTERVIEWER: Hi, I was on-hold, waiting to find out if you sell globes at OfficeMax.
STORE: No, we don’t.
INTERVIEWER: Is it possible to special order one? I know you can do that with some things, sometimes.
STORE: No, we can’t. We have maps in the catalogue. I’ve seen maps in the catalogue, but I’ve never seen any globes.

STORE: Hello, [something something Nature Company something something, altogether too fast for me to discern]. Can I help you?
INTERVIEWER: Hi, yes, I’m hoping you can help me. Do you sell globes?
STORE: Yes, we do.
INTERVIEWER: Great! Are they, do you know if they, are they for the planet earth?
INTERVIEWER: Oh. Do you have globes of any other planets?
STORE: No, just earth.
INTERVIEWER: Is there any way you can possibly order one, of another planet?
STORE: I think we can get the moon one, but that’s it.
INTERVIEWER: Okay, thanks a lot.

STORE: Good morning, thank you for calling the Museum Company. How may I help you?
INTERVIEWER: Good morning. Do you carry any globes?
STORE: Yes, we do. We have two globes that we carry.
INTERVIEWER: Are either of them of planets other than earth?
STORE: No, they’re both your basic earth-type globes.
INTERVIEWER: I was looking for globes of planets other than this one. Like Mars, for instance.
STORE: These are both earth globes.
INTERVIEWER: Could I special order one of Mars?
STORE: No, I’m sorry. I’m real sorry.
STORE: Did you try the Discovery Channel?
INTERVIEWER: The Discovery Channel? Is that something in the mall?
STORE: Yes, they used to be called the Nature Company. They have the same phone number and everything.
INTERVIEWER: Oh, right. I called them right before I called you. They can get me a moon one, apparently, but they don’t have any planets other than earth.
STORE: I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.
INTERVIEWER: That’s okay. I’ll keep looking. Thank you.

STORE: Thank you for calling the World of Science, where we offer 20% off on all [something I’ve never heard of].
INTERVIEWER: Hi there, I’m searching for globes of planets other than this one.
STORE: We don’t have globes of other planets, but we do have a solar system model.
INTERVIEWER: What’s a solar system model? Is that anything like a globe?
STORE: A solar system model is a representation of the entire solar system. You get all the planets this way. There’s a desktop one, with spheres mounted on Lucite dowels, and one that you can suspend from the ceiling, with string or fishing line. These are really more like solar system education kits. The planets aren’t the size of a normal globe though.
INTERVIEWER: How big is it?
STORE: Well, the desktop education kit fits on an average desktop.
INTERVIEWER: Right, but the planets, you said they’re not the size of a normal globe. How big are they?
STORE: Well, depending on the planet . . . [Laughs.]
[We both laugh.]
STORE: Probably the largest is about the size of an average softball.
STORE: This is just your average-size solar system education kit really.
INTERVIEWER: Okay, thanks for your time.

STORE: Hammett’s Learning World, this is Steve, how can we help you?
INTERVIEWER: Hi, I’m hoping you can help me. I’ve been calling all over town, looking for globes.
STORE: We have globes.
INTERVIEWER: Are they of earth? I’m looking for globes of some of the other planets. I’m interested in globes of anything other than earth.
STORE: No, these are just of earth. We do have bulletin-board sets of the planets, but those are two-dimensional. The globes we have are earth globes.
INTERVIEWER: Well, thank you.

1. No globe of a planet other than earth is available for purchase where I live.
2. Many stores I assumed might sell globes of the planet earth do not in fact sell any globes whatsoever.
3. Based on my research, it is impossible at this juncture for me to determine with complete certainty whether the globe of Mars in the poem is based on a globe of Mars in real life or if it is instead the product of the writer’s imagination.
4. If it turns out that globes of other planets do not exist, that would be a real shame.
5. I for one am not going to be the least bit surprised when I find out there aren’t globes of other planets. That would just be so typical.
6. The desktop solar system model at the World of Science is $27.99. The ceiling solar system model is $27.99 also.