Also, the exponent of the gravitational coupling constant between an electron and a proton is… “42”
Oh, and THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY DOUGLAS ADAMS is “42” Characters.
The Ultimate Question is the actual question behind the question, “What is the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything?” If we get the answer, what does it mean, what does it matter, and why did we even need it now that we have it? What will substantially change?
There is no meaning to life, as one could argue from a truly objective point of view based on the sum of accepted scientific knowledge. That could change in the future, but in our current time and place in the universe, based on our knowledge, we are just the highly advanced adaptable children of alien bacteria, who were lucky enough to evolve on a planet which developed to be so dynamic that we had the chance to become what we call “higher functioning beings”, able to question our own existence like no other combination of materials ever known..
“I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do any thing. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that any more.”
minism: A socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.
– Pat Robertson
I have single-handedly destroyed the campus police force.
Prior to my prompt and timely arrival to school, the campus police had set up riot barricades and large signs in front of various parking lots that proclaimed, in big, bolded lettering, FULL to everyone who happened to pass, including airplanes and unidentified flying objects hovering around Mars. Next to the great wall of china, this lettering was the second most visible man-made feature from space.
I, being wary of my surroundings, drove towards the parking lot closest to the school. I am lazy and hate walking to places with incredible zeal, so I was determined that I would not park at the only parking garage without a FULL sign in front of it, which was approximately five miles from my nearest classroom. But to my eternal chagrin, the police had barricaded the entrance to the nearest parking lot. There they stood, holding their little waving flags, beckoning me to turn around and park five miles away like drooling cogs in a vast political machine.
It was at this point that I noticed several empty parking spots in the back of the lot. There were about twenty empty spots in the closest lot, yet these incompetent goons were blocking it off with their false FULL sign, viciously denying reality like skeptical philosophers. The lot was full, because their sign said it was full, and they substituted their far-walking reality for my near-parking hopes.
But I have the heart of a bastard embedded somewhere underneath my soul, so I turned into the parking lot anyway, weaving between the barricades and ultimately entering on the wrong side of the road, dodging exiting vehicles aggressively.
Just as I saw a clearing, and I began to press my foot to the gas, one of the campus police officers nimbly stumbled towards my car, his hand extended in the universal sign of authority, his five spread fingers proclaiming, HALT.
Knowing I could do nothing, I obeyed his petty command. He moved his hand in a circular fashion, apparently trying to communicate with me. I stared at him uncomprehendingly. Then, I realized that the circular hand motion was a gesture for “roll down your windows”. I had power windows of course, so the meaning was lost on me. But I figured it out eventually.
After rolling down my windows, the officer tells me, “Miss, this parking lot is full.”
I looked at him in disbelief. I motioned to several of the empty spots. He turned and looked at them dumbly, then turned back to stare at me with a child’s incomprehension. “The parking lot is full.”
“Can I park in that spot right there, the one that is empty, that is a mere five feet from where I am right now?”
He turned around again, stared dumbly, but this time noticed the spot. He fingered his chin and thought.
“Yes,” he finally replied. I had corrupted his version of reality; I had single-handedly destroyed his universe of FULL.
After I parked, I noticed the police were folding up their barricades and motioning cars into the lot. I was the shining beacon of truth, and I had set them free! I truly was making the world safe for democracy…and for parking!
As I was leaving my playwrighting class, and walked across the commons area of my school, I saw a man standing on an embankment and delivering a screed against science. I didn’t know what was going on at first, but then I heard him say, “Fish crawled out on land according to evolution, but how did they evolve LUNGS?” Unfortunately for him, scientists could easily show him creatures that can breathe underwater and on land, but he apparently can’t understand how a creature can do both, and how a fish could do so. Alas, there were no scientists with fish present, so I had to intervene.
By this time, there was a large group of students around him. Most would cry out questions of various sorts, usually irrelevant or stupid questions that he was expecting. For instance, this one guy kept asking questions about how old the Earth is or whether dinosaurs existed, which a guy setting up a screed against science would have convenient answers for. Me? I asked him the hard stuff.
As soon as he said what I was waiting for, I attacked. “Someone had to have created all this; it couldn’t have come from chance! It is too complex!” I then asked him who created God. He looked at me, stunned, then avoided the question by saying “Every building needs a builder!” So I asked him again. If the complexities on Earth need a creator to exist, then wouldn’t God be more complex than anything on Earth, and also need a creator? He didn’t really answer. He said that God existed in another dimension where time doesn’t apply. So I asked him if God was simpler than the universe, for surely if God is complex he couldn’t have always existed or come about by chance. He once again ignored the question though and said evolution was a lie.
At this point, I was frustrated with his inability to answer me directly, so I climbed up next to him and started preaching.
I looked at the crowd gathered before me, and felt the adrenaline, so I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind: Invisible pink elephants in the sky.
I went on about how science doesn’t REALLY explain rain, and how rain was actually produced by invisible pink elephants in the sky who urinate on us. I explained that I knew this not through reason, but “in my heart”. I then told everyone that if we refused to worship the invisible elephants in the sky, they would cease to urinate on us and there would be no more rain. While I was going on about all this, the other guy who was preaching just remained relatively speechless, trying to say things in interjection, but his timid voice was overcome by my booming one, as I was really, really pumped by now.
Then a girl came up to me and told me to come down. She whispered that someone had called the campus security force, so I stayed down from then on.
So, then the guy started talking again when he saw with relief that I had gotten down, but he refused to look at me, and he avoided me at all costs, even though I was right in front of him at his feet, when everyone else had made quite a wide circle around him. At one point he said that man and dinosaur had existed at the same time. He said a fossil was found with a man’s footprint above a dinosaur’s. He said that further proof was that people once wrote of dragons, and these were actually dinosaurs.
When he said this, I yelled loudly, “HOLY CRAP, DO UNICORNS EXIST TOO?” And he ignored me. So then I continued by asking him if centaurs, fairies, goblins, and ogres exist, because these are often in the same stories with dragons. He said they don’t exist. And then I started shouting out that just because he doesn’t have “proof” that they don’t exist doesn’t mean they don’t exist! And he proceeded to ignore me again for mocking him. He looked very uncomfortable. I feel sorry for the poor bastard. God shouldn’t be allowed to make people so stupid.
Anyway, then I had to go to class. Forty minutes later, as I was leaving, I heard someone shout from behind me, “Worship the invisible elephant!” and turned to see a guy with a defiant fist in the air.
I can just see it. This is going to be the next big religion. WATCH OUT SCIENTOLOGY!
This is for all you parents of young children out there. Single parents, newlyweds, unmarried parents, doesn’t matter.
You may be noticing some changes in your life now that The Baby has arrived. I’m not talking about the lack of sleep, sex, or free time, either. I’m talking about the way your friends and maybe some of your relatives have mysteriously vanished from your life.
Why are those of us without kids deserting you like fleas springing off the cooling carcass of a roadkill rodent? Well . . . I hate to break it to you but
WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR BABY.
This is not meant to be cruel. Really. We understand that Baby is the center of your life. She should be. You are now A Parent. You had best do your job and parent that little critter, because to those of us without children, the only thing worse than a child is an ill-behaved child. Believe us. We want you to parent.
But it would be civilized of you to respect those of us who have no interest in parenting or children.
So. Let us now discuss:
Some of us, though not all, are freaked out by the idea of a small life-form growing inside a human body. It puts us in mind of things like The Fly, Alien, and the Flukeman episode of the X-Files. We don’t necessarily appreciate being constantly reminded that “you” are an “us” whenever McFetus kicks you in the spleen.
For those of us who don’t really choke on the whole parasite issue (and I am one), there are still other sticking points. Please do not discuss your physical symptoms in great detail unless you have 100% knowledge that everyone within earshot wants to know about your projectile morning sickness, swollen feet, peeling nipples, or recurrent yeast infections. And never, ever mention hemorrhoids. All right? Thank you. Trading pregnancy horror stories with the woman in the next cubicle only makes us doubt your sanity for voluntarily subjecting yourself to such horror. These are matters between you and your doctor. And speaking of doctors . . .
We are your friends. Perhaps we are even your family. We love you. But we do not want to hold your hand while a doctor with a 17-inch-long titanium needle takes core samples from your frog-mottled, basketball-sized belly. We don’t want to be there for the pussy-wand cervical ultrasound, or, actually, any ultrasound, which resembles a moving x-ray of an alien, or perhaps spirit photography of the writhing of the tortured souls in Satan’s colon. Huge eyeholes and disjointed vertebrae are the stuff of nightmares. And we are all, almost to a one of us, already quite disturbed enough.
Furthermore, waiting rooms at the obstetricians are horrific places for us, plastered with prints of infants robbed of whatever dignity they may have possessed by that soulless nightmare that is Anne Geddes, populated with pregnant women and their attendant children, who scream loudly, throw things, and use the slime-smeared Fisher Price toys to play “fetch” with wandering streptococcus and e. coli bacteria the size of dachshunds.
Ask your mother to go with you to the doctor for checkups. Ask the baby’s daddy. Do not ask us.
Labor And Its Aftermath
By now we know that you have a real-live baby inside you. We also realize that it must come out at some point, because it is very, very hard to fit a Playstation inside a woman, and studies show that even newborn infants are capable of incessantly pestering their parents for a video game console.
While we understand that labor is a given, please do not discuss details of your birthing plan/labor in great detail. In fact, all we need to know on this subject is A) is it going to be at home or in a hospital? and B) it’s not going to be anytime soon, is it? We don’t want to know if you’re planning to donate the umbilical cord to charity, have the optional bowel-blasting enema, or are arguing the pros and cons of having an episiotomy.
If the child has already been born, we don’t want to know what you did with its placenta, whether the doctor shaved your hoo-ha, or how far he had to stick his hand in you to break your water. Save that talk for someplace far, far from us. You are only worsening our horror of the whole pregnancy/labor/child thing. Trust us on this one.
I should not have to tell you that actual videos of the event will be greeted with screams of horror roughly equivalent to those that would emanate from the vicinity of one of those little fun-park diving pools full of plastic balls, if you were to throw a few hungry Komodo dragons in along with the toddlers. Please do not even ask us to view videos of the birth. If we wanted to see a naked, bloody coochie with a human head poking out of it, we would simply open up a book of art by H. R. Giger and have done.
Pictures of your child, whether taken in utero or at little Bobby’s third birthday party, interest us far, far less than pictures of your cats or dogs, or even pictures of your birds or leopard geckos. We simply do not relate to children. If we did, we would have them. Please accept that we mean no harm when we show no interest in your baby’s portrait. While we’re at it, please do not assume that the 1,764th picture of Mini-Me is going to convince us to go out and madly reproduce.
Visits to the Childfree
Our homes are not childproof. And the real stunner is that there is no reason for them to be. Not even when you visit. Bring objects for your child to play with, do not allow him to play with our toys/bric-a-brac/animal bones.
We realize that kids get hungry roughly every half hour. A bottle or something is fine. In very liberal childfree households, such as my own, breastfeeding is even encouraged. But if you must offer the child food or drink, and it is an ambulatory child, please ask us where the food or drink is safest served. Many of us are proud of our carpets and upholstery. Even if we are not, we still don’t want grape juice and zwieback on our cat-hair covered afghan. Thanks.
For the parents of older children, be aware that in our house, our rules come before yours. Inform your child of this, and control her appropriately. Do not be surprised if we choose to discipline the child ourselves, or even ask you to leave, if you refuse to do it yourself. Failure to observe this cardinal rule is perhaps the greatest source of friction between new and non-parents.
The simplest solution is to supervise your child at all times. Many of us leave dangerous chemicals, animals, or weapons lying around our house, confident that those who live there would not drink, molest, or fall upon said items. Out of courtesy, the most hazardous items will probably be removed when guests are around, but it is not a stretch to say that Junior is likely to kill himself if he gets too curious about what is in the gun rack, under the sink, or, for instance, in the cages clearly labeled “SCORPIONS” and “COTTONMOUTH.”
Which brings us to the subject of . . .
We feel about our pets the way most people feel about human larvae. Respect this connection, do not mock or belittle it. To us, our cat or dog or ferret or rat or cobra is just as precious to us as Junior is to you.
Do not allow your child to abuse our pets. Whether at our homes, or when walking our dogs, cats, ferrets, rats or snakes, your child should ask if it is safe to approach the animal in question, and wait for an answer before shrieking and grabbing at my pet with its nasty little pincers. What your child thinks is “petting” is probably far rougher handling than our pathetic, hairy (or hairless) little child-surrogates are used to. Restrain your untrained apelet, and we will prevent Fluffy from tearing out his eyes.
Also, try to prevent them from making loud shrieking sounds around our pets. Excited children sound much like squealing rabbits, and this has been known to drive some dogs to kill. As much fun as this would be as an organized sport, it is not yet recognized in the U.S., and it is also hell on carpets.
Children, being small animals themselves, also pose a threat to pets. If your child were to bite my cat, I would have to have your child tested for rabies, and no matter what your parents told you when that dog bit you in fourth grade, the way they test for rabies does not involve keeping the animal “for observation.” It involves removing the brain and checking for shrinkage. I imagine your child might find this inconvenient, though this would give him a place to store those fistfuls of goldfish crackers all children seem to carry around.
In fact . . . it actually might be best not to bring your child to our house at all. Simply call us on the phone.
If your child is fussing, tend to it. Do not ask us to hold more than a few moments at a time, or more than once or twice in a given conversation. If it is a bad time, call us back when the child is napping or playing in the street.
Under no circumstances should you yell at your children while you are on the phone with us. Exceptions can be made if you use very colorful language (“Get your pinworm-infested ass in here, you rutting, scrotum-faced, nut-licking chimpfuck!”) but since you are now A Parent and unlikely to do that, we would prefer to be spared the shouting. The same goes for holding screaming babies. Talk to us some other time. Your child would benefit from your undivided attention while he passes that broken glass he swallowed when you weren’t looking.
Do not put your child on the phone. If we wanted to speak to her, we would ask. We cannot understand her baby-talk. Also, it may be cute, but children have no volume control and over the phone any noise it makes sounds grating and shrill. Many of us work in phone service and have to speak to incomprehensible, drooling idiots on a daily basis. Voluntarily inflicting such conversation upon us outside of work hours is not, as they say in the old Gaelic sagas, the act of a friend. Communication, when it occurs, is best left to the adults.
A whistling gulf opens up between the new parent and her former friends. And often, the wedge in the crevice is simple misunderstanding.
This section could fill a book in itself. But what it essentially boils down to is this:
When you say “You should have children!” or any of its variations, such as “It’s different when they’re your own,” and “You’ll change your mind someday,” we hear something totally different. What we hear is “I have no respect for you. I never did. I wish a bleak and horrible existence upon you. In fact, I wish you to live in stifled misery akin to the most brutal and relentless slavery until the very hour of your death.”
When we say “I don’t plan on having children,” what we mean is “Ever.” Not “Maybe.” Not “Someday.” It is “Ever.” Period.
Whether we will change our minds someday or not is irrelevant. If we said that sort of thing while you were pregnant, you would never forgive us. Especially if we gave you coat hangers for the baby shower. Just in case.
Which brings us to our next point.
For some reason, expecting parents often fear that those without children will be offended if they are not invited to a baby shower. This is not the case. We prefer not to be invited. If you wish to send us an invitation, please make sure it is some atrocious color and is plastered with stickers. This makes it easier to identify while still in the mailbox, so that we can remove it with tongs and deposit it into the nearest trash receptacle. If we really, really like you, and you are lucky, we will open it with a strained smile and wonder how soon would be too soon to call up with an excuse. Also make sure it arrives well in advance. This is not because we need time to shop. No, we have no children, we have plenty of time to shop. It is so we can arrange to contract explosive diarrhea on the day of the party, so that we can avoid it.
We don’t hate you. We just hate baby showers. I mean it. They are a carnival of horrors. Imagine how you would feel if you were put into a shrinking, grandmother-scented lime-green room that emitted a high-pitched shrieking sound, while the Balrog, with a cattle-prod, forced you to perform fellatio on a two-headed clown. Now imagine the clown has frosting-smeared fingers and a live eel for a penis. That is how we feel about baby showers.
There is nothing fun to us about being closeted with all your female friends and relatives and all their children, playing inane games that involve diapers and pureed vegetables, and being forced to make small-talk with various well-meaning harpies while avoiding the sticky, groping attentions of the very creatures we dislike the most. Even eating in such an environment is hazardous, as any and all food prepared, or even left lying out around children, is suspect. The slightest lapse of vigilance or judgement on our part is likely to result in small fingers diving into our cheesecake. Fingers which have, more than likely, been recently acquainted with one sphincter or another.
We don’t want to watch you open presents, either. “Oh, look, it’s a combination enema bulb and formula warmer! Just what we needed!”
Give us your permission not to attend. We will buy you a gift and wish you and your child the best of health.
But, let’s be realistic . . .
Your child will spend most of its time sick. While you may percieve your child as a gift from the gods, the rest of us know better, and do not want to share in your “gift”‘s gifts. Please keep your child home when it is sick. Do not bring it to work, take it to the store, or, heaven forfend, bring it into our houses and allow it to touch things that we own.
This is not open to debate. Taking a sick child out of the house will result in vomiting 99.9% of the time.
When I was sick as a kid, I caught it all from other kids. As an adult, guess what? I’m still catching diseases from kids! Yes, your daughter is darling in that dress. She is a plague-maiden. Keep her far, far from us when she is ill.
Or even when she isn’t.
Parenting is hard work, isn’t it?
Do you find yourself complaining to friends and coworkers about the complications of parenthood? Life got you down? Kid sick? Is he making bad grades? You’re sick and tired of cleaning dishes and changing diapers? You aren’t getting laid and haven’t even been able to masturbate because you have to leave the bathroom door open to hear the kids, or because little Jason keeps taking the batteries out of your Turbo-Vibe 3,000? Guess what? The reason we’re listening is called Schadenfreude, and it means we are laughing at your pain.
You signed up for it. Don’t expect yards of sympathy from those of us who have thought better of it before it happened. We will still make reassuring noises, and may even volunteer to help, but you must never, never forget that we are deeply glad we are not you!
When I was at city park the other day, I saw two guys make an obvious certain social transaction right in the middle of everything, guy counted up money while other guy scaled up weight.
Ummm… really? Really? Seriously? WTF.
Anyways not two minutes after the exchange the entire area was like a carnival of police lights and sirens, and these two guys were totally busted…horribly.
This one guy screaming in a high pitched voice:
“Don’t let the dog chew me! Please, please let the dog stay in the car…I, I, I cant get bit, please sir.”
HAHA! Whoa. Sketchy shit calls for more sketchy shit.