Did You Discover What the Earth People Eat? | The Condé Nast Traveler 207

Act I, Sc. i.

The Upper House of the Extraordinary Assembly of the Munificent Senate of O’rb. A patrician array of Senators gaze down from an amphitheater upon a single figure, isolated on the forum floor. 

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Fellow O’rbians.  What you see before you is Earth; a minor planetoid in the Glabber Nebula of Galaxy N3541, dominated by a primitive life-form known as humans. These are carbon-based polyforms, increasingly fleshy in texture, adhering to a docile herd mentality. They have foresworn binary fission in favor of rudimentary reproduction praxis whereby a small protofrobulus in the median fuselage of one organism is rendered momentarily turgid before being inserted into the pre-moistened flabbulus of another. Gestation is approximately 43 quidlips. Offspring require an entire lifespan to reach maturity and usually fail.

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PRABRA V’NUIK:  Fascinating work, Comrade G’Narth. Are these creatures self-sustaining?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  They process the atmosphere with filters in the upper fuselage. This is supplemented by inhaling the fumes of dried foliage rolled into tubes, ignited and consumed through a vacuole in the anterior facia-orb, foreshortening lifespan but looking cool.

VOP’R BLAHNIK:  So the vacuole is used for both respiration and digestion?

MAKYU G’NARTH: Also communication and fornication.

VOP’R BLAHNIK:  By the Sands of Garblon, this is truly a busy vacuole.

MAKYU G’NARTH:  The orifice is irrigated, studded with small bones and contains a lurid fleshy protuberance not unlike an undersea nodule of Gloon.

(The entire Senate groans in disgust)

PRABRA V’NUIK:  And the reproductive vacuole?  Is it similarly embroidered?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Whilst irrigated, the flabbulus is not ordinarily festooned with bones.

PRABRA V’NUIK:  Thank Jorplips for that!

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Indeed.

ANCH’L BRABNOB:  And are these organisms sustained by means other than respiration?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Yes. They propagate and consume the dead bodies of genetically inferior species around them.

ANCH’L BRABNOB:  Consume?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Stuff them in the food vacuole, my Lord, whereby they are masticated into nutritional slurry.

ANCH’L BRABNOB: (appalled) Hence the small bones and irrigated nodule of Gloon …

(general murmurs of astonishment and disbelief)

VOP’R BLAHNIK:  So let us be clear on this, Comrade G’Narth. These organisms systematically induce less evolved life-forms to reproduce for the sole purpose of placing them into suppurating bodily orifices and grinding them into nutritive matter?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Correct.

ANCH’L BRABNOB:  And the propagation facilities? What kind of things are these?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  They call them ‘Farms’.

ANCH’L BRABNOB:  ‘Farms’? The same word we use to describe our excretory proboscis?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  The very same, My Lord. Inferior organisms are often combined and alchemized with heat, before being ritually consumed upon a sacrificial platform known as the Table.

ANCH’L BRABNOB:  So … ‘Farm … (disgustedly) to Table’?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Exactly. We have recently discovered what appears to be a religious doctrine etched upon hammered vegetative matter which elucidates the prime geographical locations in which these ritual acts of sacrifice are undertaken.

PRABRA V’NUIK:  And what is the name of this odious screed, Comrade G’Narth?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  ‘Where in the World to Eat’ by Condé Nast Traveler. ‘207 of the Greatest Restaurants in the World According to Those Who Eat, Cook and Travel for a Living’.

VOP’R BLAHNIK:  Snappy title.

ANCH’L BRABNOB:  Is it written in a language we understand?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Largely humanoid words of one syllable, my Lord, repetitive and replete with banal illustrations. It is easily assimilated.

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PRABRA V’NUIK:  Comrade G’Narth, can you provide us with examples culled from this scroll of horrors?

Makyu G’Narth places a metal briefcase on the stand in front of him. He disengages a secure clasping device and opens the lid. A hiss of stale air emanates from inside. The audience is rapt. He removes a small, loosely bound stack of papers, sifts studiously through a few pages, then clears his metal throat.

MAKYU G’NARTH:  ‘Noma. Copenhagen, Kingdom of Denmark. Hand-throttled trouser eel, still wriggling, served raw with a rosette of arctic fart radish and a pickled hemorrhoid’.

(a collective gasp of astonishment from the assembly)

PRABRA V’NUIK: (defeated) One more please, Comrade G’Narth. We must know what we are dealing with here.

MAKYU G’NARTH: (turns a few more pages) Table on Ten, Bloomville, New York. The best artisanal pizza I’ve ever had, and herby salads so fresh you can hear them growing. Yes, the owner Inez Valk was a model, and everyone is beautiful and funny and there are movie nights downstairs and guitar playing all summer long and, and …’

ANCH’L BRABNOB:  … and what?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Difficult to say, Anch’l Brabnob. The speaker may have been butchered and eaten before she finished her sentence.

VOP’R BLAHNIK:  What in the Greasy Gonads of Krumpior is … Pizza?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  A bland disc of flattened carbohydrate upon which chopped viscera are placed before being incinerated in a fire of trees. It is consumed with the pressed and fermented body fluids of other organisms.

ANCH’L BRABNOB:  And ‘artisanal’?

MAKYU G’NARTH:  We are unsure. Our scholars suspect it involves humans expressing themselves creatively with excrement.

VOP’R BLAHNIK:  The description of screaming salads will haunt my dreams.

MAKYU G’NARTH:  Priests and priestesses are known to mark their own skins with regrettable hieroglyphs and to promote the establishment of fungus around each others’ food vacuoles.

PRABRA V’NUIK:  It is beyond comprehension. How can a culture become so debased? To have fetishized the merely functional act of nutrition to the point of pornography? What profound emptiness haunts their souls?

VOP’R BLAHNIK:  They are beyond redemption and must be annihilated.

MAKYU G’NARTH:  This should not be difficult, Vop’r Blahnik. Whilst savage in their appetites, years of decadence and cultural malaise have left them flabby and effete. Many even claim to be congenitally allergic to the tissues of the organisms they slaughter. Weak and infantile, addicted to vapid simplicity and two-dimensional prettiness, they will succumb without a struggle.

PRABRA V’NUIK: Arm the warheads. We must show no mercy.

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