The Instruction Manual for Spaceship Earth 

~By God! (No, By God a.k.a. Our Lord...)
I was in my attic the other day, looking for my dad's old Frank Zappa eight-tracks (hey, I know a good thing when I see it!) when a strange thing occurred. Over in the corner, from underneath a stack of 'Svensk ByxorIdag' magazines - my uncle used to collect Swedish bellbottoms - and a crate full of Scorpions and Supertramp records, issued a noise. It sounded a bit like a chorus of Teutonic gods, snarfing Lime Crush from their nostrils, while simultaneously trying to muffle the sound against the underside of an infinitely bored box tortoise. Needless to say, I was intrigued. So I warily made my way over, past wooden clogs my brother had abandoned years ago in favor of his current 247-hole Docs (we were once a very ethnic family, before being bitten by the virii of our respective subcultures), and, moving the miscellany out of the way, peered in.

Destiny bounded out and bit me on the nose.

Reeling backwards, clutching the injured facial projection, I tripped over my dad's ancient 'radiotransistor' and flailed my arm pathetically on my way down to reality. I picked myself up and tryed to massage some mania back into my brain (as it's my natural state and I feel lost without it), then returned, a bit more cautiously, to the remarkable object which sat in Destiny's lap in that dusty corner of my attic.

When I tell you what it was, no doubt you'll retort with the likes of, "Oh, sure. That's the kind of story I'd tell my ailing grandmother when I have to find ways to amuse myself at the senior's home." And to that, I say, "You evil spawn of the underworld! How dare you play mindgames with one so clearly lacking in mental facilities! Such a thing is akin to drowning kittens for personal pleasure!". What I found, amazingly enough, was something that environmentalist yuppies and tree-hugging hippies have been searching for since the beginning of 1964, at least.

As surely as Lovecraft discovered the Necrinomicon, I located that most mysterious of guidebooks, the Instruction Manual for Spaceship Earth.

By now, the more skeptical of you have left the room in disgust, and probably have already bought your tickets to see "How To Make An American Quilt" or some such boring drivel as that. Well, to you, I say, "Bah.". To those remaining, I see the confused looks upon your countenances, and I implore you to ask any questions that you might have at this time.

You sir, in the back, yes, you with the duck in the canvas bag... no, sir. I've never taken any mind-altering drugs... Yes, sir, I have always looked like this... Please sir, before you start to frighten the rest of the audience, please sit down or leave. Thank you, sir. I hope you enjoyed your evening. Now, are there any other burning questions?

Yes, the girl with the purple tattoos on her face... What's that, you say? In high school they taught you that Earth HAD no Instruction Manual? Well, that just goes to show you what a moronic institute the public school system is. I must say, any teacher who spews out facts that like must be a complete gandering buffoon with no trace of intelligence in their cramped skulls... What, your father is a teacher? And you actually respect him? ... Please, make a donation at the desk on your way out.

Time for our last question... Anyone? All right, you there, the midget wearing nothing but silver-sequined riding boots... Ah, yes. A very intelligent and profound query indeed. Why was it in MY attic, of all places? I'll be getting to that in a moment, sir. But while I collect my thoughts, please feel free to indulge in the free buffet snack table at the back of the room. I believe we have some wax and creamed papaya-flavored potato chips, and a plate of fried octopus rings from 1982.

Now, if you're all settled and have disposed of your vomit bags, I'll continue.

As I pulled out the large leatherclad book I was overwhelmed with awe, and seeing as how it was about 2 billion years old and festering with maggots, a bit of disgust as well. I brushed away the leaping white demons and gazed in reverence at the gold-embossed title:

THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL FOR SPACESHIP EARTH: The Most Important Things That You Humans Never Knew By, God

What a find! Not only was the book an incredible find in itself, but it proved the existence of God by a landslide! I mean, it had actually been written by Him, as proved by the following three things:

ONE, the publication date clearly stated "First printing before Time itself existed."

TWO, the publisher house was, and I quote, "God, Inc. Initial distribution in Heaven."

And THREE, the copyright warning read: "Any reproduction of the publication, in part or entirity, by any mechanical or electronic means for personal or corporate profit is prohibited, and any person doing so will be struck down by the Holy Lightning of the Lord and banished to an eternity in Hell."

And if that doesn't prove that God wrote it, I don't know what would. The question, though, as to why it was in my attic underneath my family's rotting nostalgia, was quite beyond me. I was overcome with a sick obsession for the answer, and immediately prepared to inquire all of the greatest and wisest minds in contemporary Occidentia. Finding none, I decided to expand my search to include the whole world as well.

After a dozen tiring years of asking all of the wise men I could find (who usually were found in sanitariums or at the summit of mountains in Tibet) and receiving no answer that made sense (the Great Umpho of Newhaven Asylum, for example, suggested "examining the blue llamas before the could escape my ear canals.". I found this answer needlessly meaningless and bizarre.), I was ready to give up. Before abandoning my quest of twelve years, though, I went to the greatest mind of all, whom I had been saving for last: Zug, the Wise Guru of Trent, New Jersey.

I entered his inner sanctum in deference, and with my eyes downcast in honor of his glowing esteem, handed him the book. He accepted it and began to browse through it, making a museful sound occasionally. I think he then looked down at me - I'm not sure, because my eyes were still downcast - and sagely spoke.

"What's your question, kid? And why are you staring at my floor like that? Are you some nut from Vancouver, or something?"

I raised my eyes fractionally, and asked, "O Great Zug, Wisest of the Wise, Smartest of the Smart, Most Profound of All Profoundity on the face of the pathetically underworthy planet, Highest Mind of-"

"Okay, I get sick of the hero worship already. You know that they've got a line of action figures in my likeness? F'Pete's sake, I walk through Toys 'R Us and see crap like, "Now YOU Too Can Play The Role of the Mighty Zug!", "Be The First Kid On Your Block To Buy The Great Zug Action Figure and His Zen Power Bike!" Hokey Dinah, whatever happened to good old G.I. Joe and Joe Q. Jr's fixation with rampant violence and destruction? Why did they have to move into the perfectly innocent realm of the metaphysical?" His muttering trailed off into a series of random grunts and snorts.

"Sir, what is the meaning of this book? Why was it found in my attic, of all places?"

"Well..." the little wizened man rubbed his chin ponderously. "That's a tough one. Perhaps if I read through the book..."

"Read through the book! What a wonderful idea!"

He gave me an odd stare. "You mean you haven't? What kind of a dunce are you?"

I grabbed the book from his hands, and pelted out as screams of, "Hey, come back here! I was about to solve all your problems for you! Come on, I'll tell you your fortune for free if you let me borrow the book for the weekend!" cascaded through the air.

I settled myself in the shade of a majestic oak tree which was promptly struck by lightning and split in half (did I mention that Trent, New Jersey was at the eye of a hurricane at the moment?) and opened the book to read. By the time I was done, I had been zapped at least thirty-eight times, and was soaked so thouroughly I wasn't sure if I'd ever stop dripping... And as it turned out, I never did. Such are the sacrifices one must make for True Knowledge. Please ignore that puddle forming at the bottom of the podium.

I am here to outline some of the points I came across in The Instruction Manual for Spaceship Earth. Please pay close attention, and take notes when necessary. You'll never hear this information again, unless you pay $45.85 for a copy of The Instruction Manual on your way out, soon to hit bookstore shelves in the middle of next August.

  1. Earth is indeed a spaceship. The inhabitants were never meant to figure it out, because if they did they'd probably get very hoighty-toighty about it all and start annoying the heck out of God with all their carrying on about how THEIR planet is a spaceship too, while everyone else was miserably stuck on a planet that, well... wasn't. Why is it a spaceship? Well, hidden underneath Australia and Greenland there are gigantic thrusters that manoeuver it through space when the respective inhabitants of each land mass are sleeping. If any Greenlanders or Australians are up late at night partying or hacking or drinking or whatever, and feel a significant shift under their feet as they're lurching to the toilet to vomit their guts out, guess what: it's not the seven whiskey and cokes you just downed, it's the planet changing direction.
  2. It doesn't matter what destruction humans wreak upon the atmosphere or water forms or land, because every two thousand years God will send a gigantic naturally-formed nuclear disaster to wipe out all life and civilization. In this way everything will start afresh and unblemished.
  3. The computation centers for navigation, ship functions, and processing can be found in their respective locations: Jimmy Richard's IBM laptop in his bedroom closet in Phoenix, Arizona; the Paris Department of Sanitation Control Systems; and lastly, any computer with a permanent hookup to the Internet. These function chips will expand and branch out every two dozen years or so, except for the processing chip which has more than enough available resources on the Internet.
  4. There is a large asteroid hurtling towards your house right now, and I'm not going to tell you when it's going to hit. Nyah nyah.
  5. It's not the dolphins who are in charge, nor the mice, snails, maggots, or even humans. Believe it or not, the lemurs are. Lemurs, you know: those little monkey-type things with the big eyes. They explode when you feed them avocados, you know? But don't try it; it just makes them mad.
  6. The entire purpose of the Middle East was to be a nuclear power storage facility, and guess what? It's probably the only function on the planet that's fulfilling it's purpose satisfactorily.
  7. All aspects of social, political, sexual, and racial life make absolutely no difference to the working and navigation of the planet. Where is it going? Nowhere in particular, it was just hurtling through space aimlessly for a while, then got stuck in Sol's orbit. By the year 1998, it should have built up the thrust to break free and continue hurtling aimlessly. As previously mentioned, though, nothing any humans achieve will change this fact one way or another: the Earth will hurtle through space regardless. Moral: Everything you do is meaningless. Die now.
  8. There is actually no reason at all for the existence of either Poland, nor ducks. Both resulted out of a complete accident: one because of odd tidal patterns and a completely unprec edented tectonic plate shift, and the other because God was experimenting on a new form of chicken - a project which he planned on scrapping, but somehow a flock of them got free. None of this information was ever released to the public, mostly because God didn't want a bunch of angry Polacks or mallards on His hands.
  9. Believe it or not, butterflies flapping their wings in China are the greatest cause of hurricanes in the world today.
  10. Everyone is wrong about everything.
Of course, these are only a few of the basic points outlined in more detail in my reissue of the book, "The Instruction Manual For Spaceship Earth". Did I mention that you could pick it up for $45.85 at the front desk on your way out? It will also be available in bookstores around August, so please keep an eye out for that and mention it to your friends and family.

Yes, sir, Mr. Midget, sir? You have a question? ... No, I don't think God will strike me down with Holy Lightning because I copied his book for personal profit, even though it says so into the copyright notice. No, I strongly believe that He wanted me to wr-

<ZAP>

oh well. you get the idea.

comments?

AUTHOR: Coyote