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!


  1. Mike says:

    I would find this less depressing if my cubicle wasn’t literally beige.


  2. Emily says:

    Very Vonnegut. Why does this piece make me smile so, when it should make me frown?


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