AGtE: Theatre

When I was in an human habitat they called “London” there was a curious building with large text and an illustration out front but the text didn’t actually tell me what the building was for.

After some enquiries with the locals I was informed that this was known as a “theatre” where something called ‘plays’ were produced. Oddly for a factory, the theatre actually wanted strangers who did not work for them to come in and even charged for the privilege! Why would humans pay to go into a place where things are manufactured? Usually I assumed they were left alone except monitoring for issues.

Nevertheless my curiosity was peaked so I decided to go to watch this, expecting honestly to be quite bored but I must do these things for my line of work.

I was surprised how beautiful, by human standards, the interior was. Were all places of manufacture this sumptuous? Where I’m from they’re quite plain and noisy.

The main room was very large and elegant and I couldn’t see any machinery unless lights count. There was a large number of seats angled in a semicircle towards a raised platform and number of humans on the platform talking to each other and walking about doing things, their voices amplified. I was quite confused, what was the output of this?

Does “performance” mean something besides mechanical efficiency here? After all, walking around a platform and talking isn’t very efficient for producing items. I came out confused but the other humans mostly seemed to like what they had scene and were talking about how the humans on stage moved about and talked. I confess I do not understand this part of human culture, perhaps we are too different to understand their strange ways?

An Alien’s Guide to Earth: Purfume/deoderant

two clear glass bottles with liquids
Bottles of the scented liquid for females. I am not sure why there is a piece of plant in one or the purpose of placing cut flowers in the scene. Photo by Mareefe on

One thing I noticed when interacting with humans, specifically the mature females, was a strange scent reminiscent of an Earth flower though more chemically. At first, upon asking one, they took offence at my enquiry as to “what’s that smell?” Apparently in this case, as with flowers, it is described as scent rather than smell. Smell often connotes something negative such as an outlet of wind from the human digestive system (a ‘fart’). Human languages can be so confusing even with the translator.

Seeing as I genuinely did not understand what this scent was, she (a term for Earth females) endeavoured to explain. Apparently, smelling like a flower was meant to be a positive, good, thing. Perhaps because humans’ natural smell is so unappealing, or they want to appear to be flowers? The bees must get terribly confused. Some males seemed to also wear a perfume of a form though I nearly got into a fight enquiring about it. Humans can be such aggressive creatures, it’s amazing that they developed as a society at all. I learned that a human male’s perfume is actually a product called deodorant. Applied to the sweat glands (intended to keep humans cool by emitting moisture), this reduces the amount of sweat humans produce as the smell is considered unpleasant, especially when there are a lot of humans together.

Humans seem to be prone to hiding a lot of their biological processes from each other even though they all have and are aware of such processes.

In Earth toilets, it is common to find a box on the wall that sprays perfume into the air to cover the smell of toilet use on a regular basis.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: Genesis

In the beginning of our universe there was nothing except dust. It’s hard to be sure exactly has how long that was the case due to a reliable means of measuring time. Time is generally measured around chronological events.

In a pocket universe Zorgon the Vord rejected the spaghetti with meatballs dish on the grounds of it containing garlic which they had specifically requested be left out. The apologetic waiter disposed of the meal through a transdimensional rift which served as a convenient alternative to a bin. Strictly speaking using other realities as waste disposal was against a bylaw but the police didn’t generally bother with such a trivial offense.

The abandoned meal became manipulated by the travel through the rift to the point of becoming sentient, having a skeletal structure of sorts and having the will and power to create. The new being then proceeded to will the dust into new forms, planets and oceans, stars and beings. The exact methods that these were created are tedious to explain, suffice to say that the universe in part was able to now sustain a form of life and evolution unaided.

Surprisingly this was not such an unusual occurrence due to the Vords frequently using the rifts as bins. Thus there was a universe created by the broken glass god and the used tissue god.

The Vord were rather oblivious to the fact that these rifts were formed because their universe was starting to tear at the seams like an old t-shirt.

Clippit ‘Clippy’: Beyond the Fall

“Can I… help you. You look like… letter. Need…,” Clippy mumbled looking blankly at the ground.

The larger-than-life but still small paperclip was sitting on the side of a mound. A pile of broken and abandoned technology and ideas. The landscape was littered with floppy disks, smashed remnants of Windows Vista with it’s disks of glass Start buttons. Fragments of paper from a manual floated by in a nonexistent breeze. This place was a nonplace. This was where the ideas, characters and ui components left behind in the march of progress and fashion, go to die.

A gif graphic from the early days of the Web, that failed to match up to the renovation of gifs, flickered by in an aimless manouver. A pile nearby consisted of dumped clipart abandoned by its Office master. A mammoth of a CRT screen still flickered with memories of images, thrown out by its flatscreen cousin. This was the land of the forgotten, forgotten by time left to suffer forever in this barren hell.

Clippy swigged at a bottle taken from one of the gifs, a tasteless but potent brew. His vision swam as he took faltering steps, just managing to avoid toppling a pile. He burped and waddled. He giggled as the world shifted and warped around him. Then let out a humourless, drunken laugh.

“Clippy,” a voice boomed, managing to be somehow in his head and around him at the same time.

“Yezz,” he slurred to no location in particular, “Thazz meeee (hic). Big voice thing is funny,” somehow without actually seeing the source of the voice he sensed its disapproval.

“Clippit, what is your purpose?” The voice demanded.

The inebriated paperclip took a moment to process that.

“I… I needz.. I neez to help people (hic),” he swayed ,”uzzers.”

There was a pause before the voice spoke again

“Your purpose was to help users. However now they have abandoned you and left you without a purpose or home. Now you squander your existence in this hell.”

“Who are you?” asked Clippy

Food Problem

Towards the end of the twenty-fifth century, the Earth’s human population had grown far beyond the planet’s capacity to support. The spiralling population needed housing and business premises. Every inch of land was being built on or otherwise utilised to satisfy the demand. Food, too, was required for hungry humanity. What remained of the natural areas and national and local parks was used for agriculture and meat production. Larger and longer crop yields were needed, the crops and animals were genetically manipulated to the point of not even resembling their original wild counterparts. Cows strained to move under their own increased body mass and the sheer weight of their udders. Vegetables and soy became crooked and misshapen, with the emphasis on yield above all else. Tower blocks squeezed in next to farms.

Many of the ancient forests had long gone. The oldest tree in Sherwood Forest had but a small plaque marked on a building over where it was once situated. The rainforest, the great lungs of the earth were being eaten up. As mother nature was put under ever greater pressure from stressed farmers to bear more fruits, something had to give. The crops started to show signs of it first, crops found rotten where they grew. Produce became sickly and unpalatable. Wilting tree hung there lifeless like scarecrows. Nature was becoming exhausted and there is only so much you can sugar coat, deep-fry and flavour food to hide the ever-failing quality.

Wrong world

In the forests of Kia Clemento is a common type of apple. Known to humans as a Golden Apple this is a little smaller than an Earth commercial apple this golden-skinned fruit grows encased within a solid spined shell similar to that of a conker. In addition to preventing the fruit being eaten by passing animals, the retractable spines when released permit the apple to anchor in place on the ground and inject the seeds into the earth via tubes in the spines.

When the payload of seeds is transferred the hard shell starts to rot and soften, meaning that the fruit is now vulnerable to attack by Tyvian birds.

These omnivorous birds have large beaks capable of puncturing through a softened golden apple shell to the fruit inside. In order to assist this endeavour the bird may carry the apple to a rock of hit it against it repeatedly in order to fracture the shell. However the mac-mac monkeys have a different method of achieving this.

By orally generating an ultrasonic noise at a loud volume they are able to use the shockwaves to cause the fruit to vibrate and crack. Then it is simply a case of hitting the weakened shell with a rock, which takes less time as its less tough. At times they also use variations of this as a means of fighting by “shouting” at each other in ultrasonics. It’s like a non-physical version of punching each other. Although it’s not physically active, extended use of ultrasonics can tire the mac-macs or strain the apparatus required to generate it so normally they use standard audible calls which don’t sound that unlike Earth monkeys: ‘whoo-p whoo-p, ee ee ee’.


An arrow shot across the blue. Like a sea.  A gigantic logo hovered in the air for a moment accompanied by a short loud tune seeming to emanate from the air itself. It subsided quickly and the logo vanished. The islands rose into place, massive text inscribed across the face of them. The arrow shot towards one of the islands. The pixels scurried away to safety. The arrow landed and a ‘click click’  emanated from far away. The island turned blue and a huge white plane came into being. A massive surface.

More islands rose out of it, peppering the surface with colour. A huge X and a line. A wide shaft was sunk into the middle of the white. It was perfectly oblong. The pixels were drawn into it without thinking. They formed words with their combined bodies. A thousand miles high.

Above this was the giant text. Colourful. It said ‘Google’.

I minimised the browser and opened Microsoft Word, scattering the unfortunate pixels again.

By David Goodwin, Original publication date Thursday, 10 July 2014

Imagine alternative worlds, giant insects, planets with absurd rulers and information for the visitor to Earth