Welcome to Earth!

Welcome to Earth!

First of all, you will need some money.

Money is bits of paper that can be exchanged for goods and services: things that you, as a person, will need and/or want.

Where can the money be gotten? Generally, it is to be gotten in the bleakest places. Look for large, cold rooms filled with beige boxes. The beige boxes contain smaller, blinking beige boxes. If you put on a pair of black pants and black shoes, and a shirt with buttons down the front, and sit for seven hours in front of one of these blinking beige boxes, you should receive some money.

Once you have money, it is time to go to a crowded place and drink drinks. The drinks might make you giggle, or they might make you feel dead. It all depends. When you have drunk enough drinks, you will feel sleepy. You will need to sleep, because you’re running out of money! You will need to get up bright and early and drink other drinks that wake you, so that you can be wakeful at your beige box. In this way, you can get more money, so that you can go and drink more drinks to put you back to sleep.

Is this all to Earth, you ask?

Not quite.

After you sit at your beige box for five days, you should have enough money to spend two days buying things (you can also play sports in the park, if it is not cold). When you have bought many things, you can spread them all out on your bed and look at them.

Good. Now it is time to put the things away, because you are running out of money again! Wash your black pants and go to sleep.

Is this all to Earth, you ask again?

Not quite.

Look to your right and left. There are other people there, doing just as you do. It is unlikely that you will enjoy the people to your right and left in the room of beige boxes, but if you look to the right and left in the crowded places where you drink drinks, it is possible that you will find another person you would enjoy going along with from now on, for company.

You probably won’t find such a person, but you might!

If you do, you can have little people with this person, and for two days at the end of every five, you can watch these little people play sports in the park (if it is not cold), and you can buy the little people little things, and spread them out on their beds to look at. People who have done this say it is really the best thing to do.

Beware, though: little people need lots and lots and lots of money!

Is this all to Earth, you ask a third time?

Yes. This is all.

Do you think you will like it?

. . . If not, there is one other option. If you do not care enough about using your money to feel happy about sitting in the beige box each day, you can go to a place on Earth where they haven’t managed to set up such a system for making and spending money yet, and you can help them to get closer to instituting such a system for themselves.

This is called “Peace Corps.”

Is this all, you ask again?

More or less. Welcome, and enjoy!

Post-Its in the Break Room


To whomever left the chocolates in here, the treats have obviously melted and then re-congealed. They are no good.


To whoever left the above note, I brought the chocolates in as a nice gesture. I can’t believe you would actually leave a passive-aggressive, unsigned note complaining about free chocolates. If you don’t like them, don’t eat them.

Signed, Emily.


Please, your “gesture” was a lousy, half-assed one. You knew they’d melted and were no good, so why did you set them out for other people to sample and be disgusted by? Do you seriously expect praise for this?

Wow, anonymous, you’re a real ingrate. Thanks for the chocolates, Emily!

Signed, Bess.

I agree with Bess – an ingrate and a coward.

Signed, Libby.

Bess and Libby:

It’s easy to sign your name when you know your Post-Its will be applauded. I suppose I’m the villain here. But honestly, I got very, very excited to see chocolates. I’d had a horrible day, and the sight of the chocolates lifted my spirits considerably. Only to experience utter revulsion upon tasting the chalky bitterness of spoiled treats. Why does every potentially promising thing turn out in the end to be disappointing shit? Thanks for providing a metaphor for one of life’s cruelest lessons, Emily.


Shut up.

Signed, Richard.


I’m offended that you assume anonymous is a woman. From the pretentious language and obsession with food, I myself would assume that this person is a man.



Only women care about chocolate. Or leave stupid Post-Its.



What? You’re such a moron.




Look, I’ll never bring in chocolates again, melted or otherwise. I promise.


I am diabetic, so I didn’t appreciate the chocolates anyway. In fact, I can’t eat half the things that people bring in and leave around the break room for free. I sort of resent the fact that no one ever thinks of those of us who can’t eat sugar (several people in the office), but I would never leave a stupid note about it.



You just left a stupid note.



Leave the ladies to their cat fight. You and I have better things to be doing.


All I’m saying is, if life is indeed a desperate wasteland, I’d rather just face that fact honestly and learn to live with it than to try to placate myself with crappy chocolates. If there is to be no exceptional chocolate, let there be no chocolate at all.

I just said, there’ll be no more chocolate.


Attn to all:

I have brought in the cookie. My daughter buy too many. Help for yourself, from Rita.

You’re really opening yourself up to an onslaught, Rita. Learn from my mistakes.


Wow, Rita, these cookies are delicious. Not like some shitty chocolates I know of. Thanks!

Once again, I am unable to share in this bounty.


Thanks for the cookies, Rita. Brian, I left half a veggie-burger for you in the bottom of the trashcan. You’re welcome.



If you’d spend half the time it takes you to leave these Post-Its on washing out your coffee mugs, I might actually get home in time to play with my kids sometimes.



Sorry, this bulletin board is for valued employees only. So are the cookies. Slip up again, and you’re fired.


Richard, you are such a dick.


I never realized you guys were so much fun! Lets all go out for drinks this weekend.


I’m in!


Well, Libby and I want you all to know, you missed a great time on Friday. Your loss.


I’m sooooooo hungry.


Ode to igoogle’s Teahouse Theme

You torture me, teahouse fox. I sit at this desk, nine-to-five, five days a week (if I’m lucky: sometimes much longer), thinking, worrying, slaving and perspiring, and all in pursuit of what? Money? Success? Respect? The ever-elusive American dream?Maybe you’ve got the right idea, teahouse fox. Living your pastoral existence. Picking oranges, doing laundry, having tea on the dock in the evenings. That’s life, right there. You don’t care about money. You don’t care about fame. You don’t even seem to need the companionship of other foxes: fireflies, geese and caterpillars seem to give you all the company you need. You taunt me with your contentment. As I am madly reviewing accounts and formatting spreadsheets, you are rowing your boat around the pond. How Thoreau-ish of you.

I’ve just returned from a horrid afternoon meeting, in which my boss demanded the impossible, ranted incoherently, and dripped sweat onto the Powerpoint slides. You meanwhile, are playing some sort of stringed instrument as you sit on the end of your dock. Some childhood memory stirs in me: my feet swinging through the cool breeze, a glass of lemonade clutched in my little hand, the first evening stars glowing in a purple sky. But most likely, I am merely remembering some Country Time ad: my childhood was spent in front of the television in the den of a suburban McMansion.

Hungover and late today. Boss read me the riot act. Teahouse fox, how do you manage it? Near as I can tell, you do not light your incense and tuck into your sleeping bag until at least 2:00 a.m., yet you are always fishing at the end of your dock long before I am awake. I suppose leading a life of simple pleasures does not necessitate much rest.

I’ve just been to lunch with Sheila from marketing. I’d always been intimidated by her attractiveness, but it turns out, she’s totally down-to-earth, and she seems kind of lonely. She had salmon, and I had a bacon cheeseburger. You’ve probably never had one of those, teahouse fox, and let me tell you, you are missing out. I see you’re doing your laundry again. What are those white things, and how do you get them so filthy that you need to wash them every afternoon? I never see you dirtying any linens. Perhaps you take in other people’s laundry to pay for the rent on your teahouse. Which you never seem to enter.

Yearly reviews today. Great news, teahouse fox! I’ve been promoted!!! I have a new office, with a window. And I got a raise, too! And best of all, I asked Sheila out to a fancy dinner to celebrate, and she said yes!!!! I see you’re taking your usual row around the lake, accompanied by that baby chick. Have fun with that.

You might be interested in this, teahouse fox: I’ve been looking at lakefront properties, just like yours! Except not like yours at all, because these are huge and comfortable, and I would never have to sleep outside the door.

Listen, teahouse fox. We need to talk. Your theme isn’t doing it for me anymore: the never-ending cycle of your simple, daily chores has begun to depress me. I’ve been waiting for you to feel some ambition, get motivated, make something new happen in your life, but frankly, I don’t think you’ve got the drive. We’re just not in the same place anymore, teahouse fox, so I’m going to go with a new theme.

In case you’re wondering, I’m going with Seasonal Scape. The frog and the ladybug chug caffeine and play at least three sports every day. Now, that’s what I call energy!