I recently had the opportunity to visit Planet F.
For those of you who have never been there, Planet F is not in our solar system. It is not even in our galaxy. It is quite a hike to get there. The planet has a formal name, but everyone just calls it Planet F, because unlike most planets, Planet F is completely flat. It is shaped like a flying pancake. I am completely serious. Depending on your approach from outer space you might see a perfect circle, a wide ellipse, a narrow ellipse, or a straight line.
Planet F is much like our own planet in many respects. It has almost the same inhabitable surface area, and its population is 8 billion people, or at least it was at the time of my landing, according to the captain of my ship. (As opposed to our earth’s population of about 7 billion.)
The people living there look just like humans. They are cordial, hospitable, and fun loving, and I found myself feeling right at home as soon as I arrived. My host family, and everyone I met, went out of their way to welcome me. They were very interested in hearing about earth’s food, and music, and art. Not so interested in our politics or religion. I must say, in this regard their conversation was rather flat. Any talk of politics left them staring blankly, and the idea of a higher power or deity was a complete revelation to them. On Planet F things are handled differently. For instance, there was some discussion about overcrowding on their planet. It seems that recently some people had ventured too close to the edge of the planet and had fallen off! Something needed to be done, for sure.
On Planet F, every person is equal, and every person who has reached the age of reason has a part in the decision making process. The age of reason is considered to be around 7 years old. Their sense of equality is truly remarkable. There is no governmental structure, no hierarchy, no cast system or class distinction, certainly no royalty or anything resembling authority.
What they do have is a highly developed interpersonal consciousness similar to what we might call “group think “. Decisions are made by unspoken general consensus, and are implemented immediately.
I forgot to mention one striking feature of the landscape that is impossible to miss when one is approaching the planet from the air: an enormous plaza in the center of the planet’s residential district. I am talking about a flat plaza roughly the size of our state of Texas! This plaza sits on what I assume to be the axis of the planet itself.
It was here that we all gathered on the third day of my visit. The topic was overcrowding, and every citizen on the planet gathered here to address the issue.
I must admit, the process, and its implementation, were quite disturbing to me, but I realize that I am not qualified to judge or comment upon the anthropology of another culture, much less another planet. So I will simply report what I observed, without comment.
On entering the plaza, every person, all 8 billion individuals, was given a small cup of sweet liquid. The drink was positively intoxicating. It delivered an intensely pleasurable rush and a feeling of absolute wellbeing.
From out of this huge gathering, young women began to emerge and take their place in the center of the square. They were accompanied by their infant children, all those youngsters between the ages of newborn and 6 years old. Approximately one billion children, or 12.5% of the entire population, were present with their mothers in that inner circle, if you can imagine! Also accompanying each mother was a Medical Practitioner (MP) in a white coat.
Almost before I could blink my eyes, The MPs took hold of the children, and with enormous strength and skill, broke their necks in one swift movement. Then, using their small medical kit, they proceeded to dismember the body completely, laying the torso on the ground, crisscrossing the dismembered arms and legs on top, and capping off the little pile with the head. Removing their white coats and laying them next to the pile, the MPs moved away and joined the surrounding crowd, disappearing into it’s midst. This was all done, as I mentioned, in full view of, and with the full consent of, the entire population of Planet F. The process took less than 10 minutes.
The young women, the mothers, with expressionless faces, now abandoned their dead children and also stepped away into the waiting crowd, to the sound of muted applause. I will refrain from making any comments here.
Although the next step in the process seemed macabre and totally unnecessary, I will once again hold my tongue. Counters, or certifiers, now came forth to count the individual body parts, making sure that each pile contained a torso, two arms, two legs, and a head. The rational for this step was to make sure that no mother secretly carried away a tiny arm, or leg, for sentimental reasons. This would have been considered a huge medical risk, and if any harm were to come to one of those mothers there would have been some explaining to do.
Once a pile was certified, the soiled white lab coat was draped over the tiny mound as a sign of respect and honor. An announcement was made over the loudspeaker acknowledging the children who had given so much for the common good, and the young mothers who had made such a valiant sacrifice in order to ensure the future happiness, and indeed the future existence, of all the planet’s grateful inhabitants.
I stuck around to watch the cleanup. Front-end loaders were brought in to scoop up the remains and load them into dump trucks. The cargo was then driven to the very rim of the planet and dumped over the edge. Once the plaza was hosed down and swept clean, everyone went home to dinner.
The effects of the liquid drink lingered for several days, days filled with fun activities like rock concerts and festivals and trips to exciting theme parks. Before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye to my new friends and head home.
Planet F is really a great place to visit. I’m thinking I may return. For all you older folks, the planet has much to recommend it as a retirement community. Property is reasonably priced, there is a flat tax rate, and they offer an endless array of amusements for seniors. And the cost of your “final arrangements” is practically nil.