To: Weezewob, Poet Laureate of the
third moon, Krang, of the planet Shoopiwopp
From: Flightless Bird Publishing House
CC: Flightless Bird Publishing House Legal Dept.
Attch: 'The fable of Luck ammendments.doc' 53Kb
Subject: Reluctant refusal
I'm afraid I have to refuse your submission
for our upcoming anthology of Universal Fables. You may not
be aware of this, but our primary market are the carbon based
sentient life forms on the Boobies Planets of Ultimate DOOOM!1
lolz!. As I'm sure you well know, they are a species of limited
perspective and knowledge and many of the references and allusions
you make will be beyond their comprehension. This is why I
cannot accept your submission. However, I have reattached
your submission with several footnotes that, if woven into
the fable without disrupting the flow, may make it suitable
for our main audience and therefore the publication itself.
If you can, please resubmit and I will reconsider.
All the best.
PS. I loved your poem 'Ode to the unnamed
shade of purple that refracts from the third ring of Krang
on nights when the hundred year long storms end and the feeling
I get looking at them when I've drunk too much'. I thought
it was both descriptive and emotional.
It was a quiet evening on Earth II1. The tidal mountain
ranges were just starting their slow drift up towards the
red sun. Long thin shadows fell over the face of an old Hrungg
by the name of Thul, who was sat on his porch watching his
grandson, Mixxou, wave a stick around while pretending to
The stick snapped suddenly, shocking
a flock of crystal pigeons into iridescent flight.
"Ah! I have all the luck of a
parasite on the anus of a Space Worm!" whined Mixxou.
"Ohh," Thul's tone was low
and gently mocking as he leant out towards his grandson. "As
bad as all that?"
"Yes. My games are always ruined
when I'm having the most fun. I was just about to slay the
Robot Overlord of the Graxitan Sado-Prison planet and rescue
this year's winner of Ms. Strangely Alluring Invertebrate.
Curse my luck!"
As the tidal mountains crept higher,
the shadows on Thul's face grew deeper. His voice lost its
mocking edge. "You should never curse your luck."
"Why not, Grandpa?"
"Because your luck might curse
Somehow, this did not have the intended
effect on Mixxou. He started to dance around and throw his
limbs around in joyful worship of himself.
"Nonsense, Grandpa. We can't be
cursed by luck. Each Hrungg is the master of his own destiny.
Our religious texts say so."
"Stardust!" retorted Thul.
"Those are just tales they tell young Hrungg to turn
them into hard working, miserable, collective contributors
rather than contented, fatalistic slackers."
"Like you, Grandpa?"
"Exactly like me. I haven't had
to do a day of work in my life and I'm damn happy.
"Tell me, why are you a Hrungg?
Why were you born on Earth II with all the faculties needed
to enjoy its great bounties? Why weren't you born on the industry
planet of Adeedas where children are alive only moments before
they're working on the production lines2 for just
enough money to keep paying for the carb-protein slush they
pump into them intravenously2, without hope of ever leaving2?
And when they die they get turned into shoes!2"
Mixxou had stopped dancing. "Well,
I don't know. I just was."
"It was luck. That's what it was."
Thul's voice softened again. As he leant back in his chair,
Mixxou was drawn towards him, like a fish submitting to the
pull of a master angler. "Listen, young Hrungg, and I'll
tell you about a being that never cursed his luck, but was,
in fact, cursed by Luck.
"There have been a lot of unlucky
beings in the universe, even unlucky planets, but there has
never yet been a being more unlucky and wretched than TQ!RXD3.
TQ!RXD was a member of the Naa race."
"I've never heard of the Naa,
Grandpa. Are you making all this up?"
"You know I'm lazy, Mixxou, lazier
than the moss that grows on the stomach of a giant sloth,
so why would I bother making a fiction when the Universe is
as weird as it is?"
"Anyway, you haven't heard of
the Naa race for good reason, but I'll get to that later.
For some scientifically inexplicable reason4, the
evolutionary path of the Naa had given them weak and irritable
bowels and had also left them shaped like the Human letter
'C', with their excretion organs situated directly above their
heads. Consequently, they were always shitting on themselves.
Also, and equally as inexplicably, they had some of the most
sensitive sexual organs ever evolvedso sensitive that
they would break off after one use!"
Thul let this fact sink in before he
continued. "TQ!RXD was born with the largest sexual organ
of any Naa. It was so large its tip dragged on the abrasive
surface of their planet. While impressive, this meant he was
in almost constant agony. Due to the one-time nature of sexual
intercourse, the Naa had no concept of masturbation, so TQ!RXD
dragged his burden without any hope of relief. Every sexless
day he pulled himself through the dirt, wiped thick green
excrement from his face and thought very little about the
Universe except: 'Bugger.'
"That is, until the day the Naa
noticed another star in the sky. A star that was slowly getting
bigger, and the bigger it got, the faster it got bigger. The
greatest minds the Naa had pondered this phenomenon endlessly.
Finally, an analogous thinker likened the new star's growth
to staring directly up at their own falling excrementthe
consequences became suddenly very clear and, at the same time,
"What do you mean, Grandpa?"
"Can't you work it out? Are you
stupider than a shit swilling Naa?"
"Cut it out. Just tell me what
"It was a bloody great meteor!
It was going to slam right into their planet and wipe them
"Like the dinosaurs on the Boobies
Planet of Ultimate DOOOM!1 lolz!?"
"What is this sudden rash of foolishness,
Mixxou? You must know that meteor tale is a myth and the dinosaurs
were killed by marauding Leprechauns changing the climate.
"To continue, hopefully without
further pointless interruption, this was a time of great joy
for the Naabelieve it or not. Their religious tradition
said that after their death they would be resurrected in a
new form, without any memory of their previous lives except
an eternal gratefulness at just being clean. Nonsense, obviously.5
"However, nothing spreads faster
than nonsense, so it was decided that a single Naa would be
sent to spread their religious teachings in a glorious messianic
mission. Naturally, no one wanted to go. Being constantly
covered in shit meant that no single Naa had enough ego to
want to either run or maintain a government, so this decision
was made the same way all major decisions were made, by drawing
straws. Out of the seven billion and one Naa, TQ!RXD lost.
"The reason only a single Naa
could be forced to go was that there was only one ship on
the planet. It had been abandoned and left generally unmolested
after its pilot stepped outside and laughed himself to deathfor
reasons that were unclear to the Naa."
"What were they, Grandpa?"
"The ship was run by a Yossenburg
oscillation utility 2 engine..."
Mixxou's jaw dropped. "A You26
"A You2 engine," Thul repeated.
"So the pilot had gone crazy..."
"Exactly, now you're thinking.
Of course, the Naa had never heard of a You2 engine or its
terrible effects, so they sent TQ!RXD away without a single
flicker of conscience and waited with open arms for their
apocalypse, which came shortly after.
"The ship that TQ!RXD was on had
been programmed to travel to the next nearest inhabitable
and inhabited planet, which happened to be Xtal. But on the
way there something terrible happened, worse even than the
musak that slowly eroded TQ!RXD's sanity."
"He was boarded by pirates and
they flayed his skin!"
"He was bombarded by Murphy7
"What's worse than Murphy radiation?"
"What's worse is never knowing
why your ship's infallible computer suddenly became fallible
and directed your course a mere thousand miles to the left8,
resulting in a five year longer journey than originally calculated.
And after those five years," Thul continued, "crash
landing on a desert island where the only company were biting
flies with needles for legs and a fetish for excrement! It
can always get worse.
"TQ!RXD spent days dragging his
sexual organ over the hot sands, looking for any other sentient
life to talk to. Finally, in the distance, he saw another
figure; it was emaciated and its old eyes were grey and filmy,
but it was intelligent and definitely alive enough to listen.
Despite the discarded and sad atmosphere that hung around
the figure, TQ!RXD approached and started to share his tale
"TQ!RXD poured out his heart,
describing every throe of melancholy and pain he had ever
experienced. His life with the Naa, the paradise stolen from
himtwice!and the unexpected musak of the last
five and a bit years. When TQ!RXD finished with a sigh, he
locked eyes with the other figure and waited, expectantly.
"The other figure punched him
in the face."
"No!" exclaimed Mixxou. "Who
could be so heartless?"
"Who indeed? Except a being who,
until that moment, believed itself to be the most unlucky
being in the Universe. You see, after punching TQ!RXD in the
face, that being experienced a moment of Schadenfreude so
pure that it caused it to cry tears of unsullied joy until
the moment it died several days later from dehydration. Still,
that was preferable to TQ!RXD's lot, which was to stay on
that island until the flies ate him."
"That's horrible, Grandpa!"
"It gets worse!"
"How can it get worse?"
"Haven't you listened? It can
always get worse."
"What would you have done, on
that island, if you were TQ!RXD?"
"Well, every day I would have
woken up and cursed luck until I could speak no more. Then
I would write messages in the sand cursing luck until I could
move no more. Then I would curse luck in my mind until I could
think no more and fell asleep. Then I would dream about my
day and cursing luck until I woke up. The next morning, I
would do it all again. I would curse luck until the moment
"And then, young Mixxou, you would
be within your right to do so. But what if you had no conception
of luck, didn't even know what it was?"
Mixxou was struck dumb.
"The Naas didn't have a concept
of luck! TQ!RXD had never heard of it! Maybe that was why
it chose him to curse. But the point is, TQ!RXD had nothing
to curse, no one to rally against, no one to blame! I've heard
you curse me and your parents, which is the proper and natural
thing to do. But TQ!RXD had nothing! Nothing except his suffering
and a lifetime to think it over. And it gets worse!"
"No Grandpa, it can't!"
"I can always get worse, especially
if you're cursed! Now you know the story of TQ!RXD, you know
never to curse your luck. In some small way, that shit covered
little monster has made the Universe slightly better. His
life has had at least a bit of purposewhich is an enviable
thing. But because of his curse, one day a creature will be
born with even worse luck than him!"
"How would that make him any more
"Because then no one would bother
telling his story anymore. He will be forgotten forever! That
is the very nature of luckit can always be worse! And
it will never end either, there will be a succession of beings
with worse and worse luck, as long as there's a universe and
things living in it. And then there's probably an entire other
universe with luck even worse than this one! So never curse
your luck and it may never curse youbut only if you're
The tidal mountains reached their highest
point, washing Earth II in night, leaving only the chuckling
voice of Thul in a darkness almost as black as his sense of
humour, which if TQ!RXD had possessed, it would have made
him the luckiest being alive.
1) Despite its name, Earth II was not
settled by humans. It had been discovered by Grabulag of the
Hrungg species even before human ancestors had lost their
gills. Grabulag thought the name had a nice ring to it. However,
this point was later ignored by the Human Empire who started
a long and bitter legal confrontation with the Hrungg species
that left several billion dead on each side. The conflict
was finally resolved after the Human Empire shifted to internet
polling for all their governmental referenda, and the planet
Earth, including all numerical derivatives in the Human Empire,
were renamed 'Boobies Planet of Ultimate DOOOM!1 lolz!'.
3) TQ!RXD is impossible to pronounce
properly without at least three lungs and a gullet flexible
enough to accommodate an entire snooker set, including the
table. The closest approximation would be the sound of fingernails
on a black board, if the black board was a hundred feet high,
crammed inside the skull of the listener, and the fingernails
had at least three types of incurable fungus. In fact, the
name is so horrific it creates its own measurable force; the
force responsible for the tone of voice self-righteous beings
use when they say something that is technically correct but
also as socially inadequate as rape, in an orphanage, for
terminally ill children.
4) In fact, there was a very simple
explanation for the Naa's evolutionary quirks. A bitter and
alcoholic creator-God had won custody of their souls from
His creator-God-Wife in one of the Universe's most questionable
lawsuits. A few generations later, after the alcoholic God's
design had been revealed, there was a speedy appeal and it
was decided that, after death, the Naa's souls' fate would
belong to the Wife.
5) Thul's dismissal of the facts stemmed
from a successful propaganda attack instigated by the Universe's
largest organised religious crime family (now revealed but
still largely believed). The campaign was started against
the Naa religion after cosmologists discovered that the planet
Xtal, known informally as 'the planet of infinite repose and
chocolate so good it'll melt your face', appeared, ex nihilo,
and with fully evolved eco-systems and sentient life, the
exact moment the Naa's home planet was destroyed.
6) The You2 engines were the first
100% safe and reliable engines ever created. They were the
brain child of the famous scientist Rodan of the Moozhart
race. By harmonizing with waves of naturally occurring radiation,
they were capable of faster than light speedseven better
than that, Rodan claimed they were totally emission freeand
even better than that, they were cheap and easy to produce.
It turned out that Rodan had been wrong. Several industry
planets had to be melted down after less than a few years
of production due to the massive legal costs6a
of ships running You2 engines. The You2 engines, it turned
out, did indeed have emissionsthey produced faint and
tinny musak that could not be silenced or dampened.
6a) The legal costs of running a ship
with a You2 engine were incurred by the 100,000% increase
in all cases of homicide, cannibalism and wearing socks with
sandals that the musak was culpable for. Not a single plea
of temporary insanity was rejected when a ship's crew had
been listening to You2.6b
6b) Rodan was excused for making the
original claim and any subsequent legal costs after tests
showed that the whole Moozhart race was, oddly enough, deaf
to the precise wavelengths of musak produced by the engines.
7) Murphy radiation is emitted whenever
a being unwittingly offends someone in conversation, it is
also released in lethal amounts if a piece of toast lands
butter side up. It is a little known fact that only planets
obeying Murphy's law - a much misunderstood phenomenoncan
sustain sentient life. This is partly because all research
was hushed by the Universal Syndicate of Governments after
it was discovered suicide bombers were smuggling toasters
onto political ships, being easier to conceal and construct
than actual bombs.7a
The effect of Murphy radiation is to
cause a sense of embarrassment so acute and humiliating that
the sufferer's organs stop working. In very high exposures,
total spontaneous combustion is not rare. In either case,
these anti-intuitive survival techniques have been clinically
proven, with ethically dubious trials on sentient plasma beings
without organs or combustible material, as preferable to the
intense psychological damage that would otherwise be suffered.
7a) This is no longer an issue as Murphy
field generators are now standard on all ships capable of
8) The reasons for the ship's miscalculation
have recently been calculated. It seems that the cause was
the procession of one quite improbable8a event by another
nearly impossible8b event.
8a) The quite improbable event was
a Hrungg working out the exact equation of the Chaos Theory,
which once formalised and written down would have afforded
her complete control of the physical universe. This may seem
surprising, but it was once quite easy to work out the Chaotic
Formula; that is until the famous anarchist, Odo, worked it
out. Instead of manipulating it to redress all social, political,
economic and social inequalities, she used the Chaotic Formula
to make the Chaotic Formula impossible to work out. This impressed
all of her anarchist friends, but made her pretty much the
most hated person in the Universeexcept for the boy
living at 3 Lawrence Grove on the Boobies Planet of Ultimate
DOOOM!1 lolz!, who is unequivocally the most hated being in
8b) The nearly impossible event was
the same Hrungg slipping on a banana peel and fatally, though
8c) The reasons for the banana peel
being there in the first place are yet to be calculated.
9) Official winner of the 'Most Hated
Being in the Universe by Virtue of Their Virtues Alone, but
Not of Their Actionswhich is Another Matter Altogether'
Award three years running, and winner of the 'Hated for the
Other Matter Altogether' Award 2006 and 2007.