Ching Witch!
By Ross Rocklynne

A science fiction short story in the anthology Again, Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison, ca. 1972.
The story is about a mostly-human, part-cat military type who flees Earth the day before the inhabitants blow it to smithereens. His faster than light ship takes him to planet Zephyrus, a shunned but worshipful former colony, where he plans to live it up for the few years before evidence of Earth's demise arrives.

An interesting passage early on goes thus:

    "Hi hi" she said. "Ips!"
    "Ips!" said Chug.
    "Rightly. What we want to know, we the teeming teenagers of our worshipping planet, what we want to know is, what does it on Earth?"
    "What - uh - does it?"
    "Yah. Flickly. What's the WORD?"
    "The word," said Chug. "Hah! The WORD!?? Ah." Out of his intuition, he desperately selected the answer. "Ching- that's the word!"
    "Ching!" she screamed on sudden tip-toe, then clapping her hand over her mouth. "Halla-hoo! I'm sorry!" she said to the assembled officials who nonetheless watched her and listened to her with what seemed a supreme indulgence. She raised her voice again, however, and she had one of those healthy, tingly, musical female voices that could knock over fences.
    "Hah, all witches," she shouted. "Ching's the WORD! That's what does it!"
    The bewinged television screens flipped and sailed and a myriad thin screams sounded.

Rather a prophetic passage, that.

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