Planet of Rooms

Copyright © by Lorne Strider

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far from ours, there was a sun. Around this sun orbited a planet not wholly unlike our own. The inhabitants of this planet called their world "Dirt."

"Dirt" had several land continents, and much of the planet was ocean waters.

The aliens who occupied this planet lived in a culture vastly different from our own. The entirety of their land masses were divided into rooms, large and small.

Each Room was defined by large and sturdy walls that not only inhibited Inter-Room travel and commerce, but also served to contain a level of Manure that reached from wall to wall.

The Manure was dirty and foul-smelling.

The aliens that resided in the rooms seemed uncomfortable living their lives sloughing around in Manure. But, strange as it may seem, they were ferocious in their defense of Manure because it gave them a sense of security. They worried that if there were no Manure, terrible things might happen, and that all would run amok - killing, raping, and plundering.

The level of Manure in the rooms varied. In some rooms, the Manure was up to the necks of the inhabitants. In others, it was only to the waist. In others, it came to just around the ankles.

Never-ending wars between the Rooms ensued. Those Rooms with high levels of Manure believed that other Rooms should have a high level of Manure, and conversely, those with little Manure strove to lower the Manure level in Rooms where it was higher. Because of the wars and political strife, many aliens immigrated and emigrated between the Rooms, as walls were destroyed and rebuilt.

Close scrutiny of the alien culture revealed that certain special and fortunate individuals escaped the Manure entirely by riding upon the backs of others. They usually attained their exalted position by convincing a majority of the aliens in the room that good "Manure management" required immunity from the smell and displeasure of Manure.

The largest Room, with the highest level of Manure, was called the "Union of Odiferous Republics." The inhabitants of Odiferous claimed that "The value of a Manure pie is equal to the value of the labor spent to make it!"

Its inhabitants complained and joked about the Manure at their eye-balls, but none dared confront the "Odiferous" Manure without risk of prison or exile.

One Room on the planet had a relatively low level of Manure. This Room was called Ambrosia. When some aliens in Ambrosia argued that the level of Manure should be lowered even more, there was fierce resistance.

"Without some Manure to contain people, to moderate their actions, to punish their crimes, there would be chaos" cried the ruling factions of Ambrosia. "The question is not of Manure or no Manure," they said, "but of good Manure or bad Manure." When some of the most extreme of the dissidents responded with "Manure is Manure, no matter which Room it's in," other Ambrosian fringe groups yelled "My Room, right or wrong," and "ask not what your Room can do for you, but what you can do for your Room!" and threatened the dissidents with "Love it or leave it!" And the Manure levels continued to rise, year by year.

Ironically, those Rooms with the highest level of Manure were the least tolerant of the dissidents who called for no Manure, or less Manure. In Ambrosia there was more freedom to protest against Manure, but no one took these kooks seriously.

In contrast to those who advocated Rooms with less Manure, there was a growing movement for a "One World Room," where there would be no walls to contain the Manure in sections, but rather a planet with Manure everywhere. Unfortunately, they were unable to agree among themselves as to what the proper level of Manure should be.

The advocates of this doctrine were considered a more respectable crowd but they were just as ineffective in changing their world as the "no Manure" crowd. The "One World Manure" people miscalculated the jealousies of the separate Room Managers and their patriotic inhabitants.

It seemed that the alien "Rooms culture" could have been a feasible system. However, it was not to be.

When the scout ships of the Federation Fleet from Earth landed on the planet, it was in a big mess. The continual warfare over Manure levels had decimated the whole alien race. The walls had crumbled and Manure was flying all over the place.

Captain Goodman of the Federation Fleet filed his report and transmitted it to Earth on the Warp-burst radio beam. The report was long and detailed. As fascinating as it was, accounts of our first contact with an alien culture, Captain Goodman's report was most widely noted for its Post Script.


Alien culture and political systems.


The crew of the Federation found the inhabitants of "Dirt" in a colossal state of disarray and social collapse. The testimony of the floundering aliens, and the unsavory evidence, suggest that a political system that divides a planet into rooms containing manure is dangerous.


The inhabitants of planet Dirt should be made to experience the same benefits of democracy, equality, and social harmony that we of planet Earth enjoy. We must marshal all the Forces of the Federation towards this noble goal.

Anarchist Library - Strider's Other Works