THE LIFE OF GUIDO
or
A slug among us

Last year, we accepted into our Family a traveler from far, far away. You could say it was a far, far scape he traveled from to get here. He has been called many names, the nicer of which are Guido, Fluffy, Buckwheat, Spanky and Sparky. He was a ruler where he came from. Somewhere in the area of six hundred billion subjects at last count. The background picture holds a clue as to his given name, which we won't use here in order to protect the meek and unselfish. We are told there were fifteen before him similarly named.

Herein is the tale of his travels on our backward little planet, told in pictures and captions.
Look and learn. - Adam and Tami

(Hit spacebar and arrow keys to scroll. It's faster.)
His new subjects excitedly awaited His Pomposity's disemboxation.
He was everything they expected… and more.
Due reverence was bestowed upon him…
… but not by all.
"How's it hangin', Spanky?" she dared to utter. This was our sovereign's first experience with an American. He was magnanimous and spared her: He sensed he could perhaps learn much of Earth customs "from such a female," as he put it. (She refused to disrobe for him, however. The translator microbes couldn't tell him the exact meaning of what she said, but the gist was clear.)
After a journey of so many light-years, the sovereign must be hungry… he assured us that his skin is supposed to be that color…
We soon noticed a predilection for being pampered. This was temporarily tolerated, as he was not used to our ways.
He began to notice personality traits similar to his own: for instance, pride. "I'll do well here," he mused.
To give him a glimpse of Earth culture, we Delved into some of the more arcane examples of science fiction entertainment. He seemed amused, yet bored. Why not: he's BEEN there. Said he, "They didn't get the blue bitch's skin colour quite right."
"They step through THIS?? No, no, no, wormholes don't work like that! They open up all on their own, at the least convenient times, I might add — What? What the yaughts are you talking about? You CAN SO travel both ways through an open wormhole, I've DONE it!!! Well, Cry-ton and Erin and Pilot did it, went straight through some Skarrins going the other way…" His pronunciation was atrocious, but who were we to argue…
"What are they so upset about? Looks like a standard post-transport checkup to me — oh, right, you people can barely escape your own gravity. I wonder what tasty beasts swim on the planet these creatures are from: what did you call them? Dalmations? Termites?"
"What is it with you humans? You're always jumping in way over your head, taking on projects you don't have the minutest understanding of, and quicker than you can say [he uttered something that sounded like "hezz monna"] you've got someone else in your head controlling you!"
"I'm with the bald creature: what IS a truck? You Earth creatures have so many words for the same thing! Oh, it means 'lorry'? Why didn't he just SAY that?" Apparently, dialects don't exist in his corner of the galaxy, only accents.
"Wait: what are those little creatures sitting on the control panel? Are they alive? Are they edible? They're toys? What are they doing in the Command Center? You call it a what? A bridge? That makes no sense, bridges are for traversing rivers or gorges…" Clearly, his Flatulence still had much to learn about Earth That Was.
The next morning, His new loyal subjects hung upon his every mystifying word, as he regaled them with tales that began like, "During my first conjugation with my two hundred thirTEENTH wife…" or "Then there was the time we were waiting for that [some words resembling 'far bot'] Human to give up on any worm holes appearing, and then one DID open up and he got sucked right in…" "Dominar, what's a conjugation?"
We showed him Adam's current opera assignment. "You call this music?? It's pure [he said something that sounds like "wren" but obviously means something much less cute]!!! I had thirty wives who farted prettier sounds than this!" Adam assured him his opinion was not unique.
We tried to explain the concept of sports to the Royal by showing him the reigning world champion of the greatest sport on the planet in action. He commented, "We had a similar activity back home, but we didn't use inanimate things like rock. How many casualties are there per cycle in this activity? None? Then where's the risk??"
On his first excursion outside our metropolis, His Lowness took time to survey a part of his dominion that quite reminded him of a water orchard back at his palace. "Tell me more about the culture that produced this bridge. What?! They eat LEVIATHANS???? Barbaric."
The sovereign was distracted from his morning meal by the din of some waterfowl exiting the adjacent pond… but not for long. "Three stomachs require assiduous attention, you know…".
We persuaded the amphibian to accompany us to a luau (tropical island theme party, for those without translator microbes) to meet some of our more elightened human friends, but he took more of a shine to this little fellow who left him in stitches. Aloha.
Sparky's first Big Road Trip. "Can we get a move on? These straps aren't made of the softest fabric, you know! And why don't you have hover chairs on this rock? How do you expect to accomplish anything if you haven't tamed gravity?"
A splendid collation with Adam's immediate progenitors, Howard and Pat. Buckwheat found them rather intelligent for Humans.
"Too bad this planet only has one sun. Still, the colors aren't bad." Incidentally, Howard is holding a Durian, the King of Fruits, but our august guest was not impressed with the flavor - or as he put it, "a flavour akin to [we think he said "two bray"] tissue. What? This one was bland? I should say so. Fetch me another." Adam didn't try to explain why not every village in the country has a Chinatown.

 
  Do you mind, out of the way, I was looking at something over there! And get me more sugar for this, this… cough-phee!"
Your driving yesterday made me sick! I'm going with you father."
"Another sumptuous repast with humans of Culture, though this particular hamlet is rather devoid of same. Did they really just paint over Opera Street? Just like that? [a word resembling "feck kicks" – even in English it sounds nasty]." (Pat had painted an enchanting trompe-l'oeuil of a street on the outside of her gallery building, which was promptly whitewashed by the new owners once the sale was complete.)
"You certainly enjoy sitting among plants, don't you?"
"Better call those Men who dress In Black. Looks like that [some epithet that rhymes with "talc"] Serleena has returned."
Back home, we acquaint Guido with a true kindred spirit - even if he does have just the one stomach.
He travels, he eats, and he's hungry for more, oh yes indeed … and he requires NO reservations!
"Impressive head armour on this beast. Reminds me of my youth by the sea: I'd snap up three or four like this at a dive… Oh, wait, you're not going to COOK it before eating it, are you? What, again? Are you [those same words that sound like 'far bot']?!?!" (We once again couldn't help noticing Buckwheat's odd accent, not quite British, almost as if he were from somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere…)
At another distinguished domicile, we introduced him to the Classic Couch Potato Concept. "See, Sparky, after a long day's work we come to dens like this one, not to procreate or hibernate, but to relax and recharge for the next day, because tomorrow is a Work Day."
"Then let the relaxing begin."
Aye aye, sir. We start with supporting this country's oldest brewery, and watching a sport which, though not the greatest, is nevertheless the most popular in this country (though not planet-wide), at least while it's in season.
"So which is the national pastime, that game they're playing or you watching them play it? While drinking -- *cough* *cough* -- fizzy fell-up nectar and putting smoke in your lungs?"

"You catch on quick, Buckwheat."

"No wonder you're all so fat and unhealthy."

"Hey, watch it, garbage can!"

"Well, at least in this sport, people can get hurt, judging from the war helmet he's wearing."
"Why does that image have no color?" "Sometimes black and white is more artistic." "The phrel it is. Well then, what color skin does that man have? He's not [sounded like "ne-bar-rhee"], is he?" "We call it black." "Are you BLIND?? He's grey at best ... What weapon is he carrying?" "That's a sax, it's a musical instrument." "And I'm a peace keeper!! Look, it has triggers on it, sights..." "Well, they also call it an ax, but that goes for any musical instrument." After we played him some music featuring this man playing instrument, he said, "I TOLD you it was a weapon! A sonic pulse cannon. But he handles it well."
When this little fellow showed up, our exoguest took an immediate shine to him, feeling what can only be described as a kinship, and promptly named him Frodeaux. "What do you mean, you don't spell it that way? Who's the dominar here?" We figured, in light of copyright issues, we'd better let him have his way.
The start of another great trek we persuaded him to join us on ( just me and him on the way out, but he insisted "Frodeaux" not leave his side. Ever. In this life or the next.) "I want to stay home and meet that Anthony person and eat pigs. What's there to see on this trip that's any better than the last trip? There are giant molluscs out there? Not the kind that kill you if the portions are shared, or I shan't go. I won't go through that again." We swore that geoducks have no such effect, not on this planet anyway. "Oh, very well. Command this thing to move, then."
Indiana. "Just give camping a chance, you'll like it. And eat that sandwich, it's good. Don't look at me like that."
Western Iowa. "I don't think these mats are as comfortable as you have represented. And are those humans in the other tents ever going to shut that horrible music off? I thought camping was supposed to be peaceful."
Those horrible humans never did shut the music off, with the result that Fluffy and boon companion slept the entire next day. Since we were traversing the Breadbasket Terroritories, they didn't miss much, just some lotuses at the Nebraska border. (His twitching foot did not terribly hamper the piloting of the vessel; in any case I didn't tell him about it.)
The Black Hills. "Oh, wonderful. Why bother setting it up at all, why don't we just sleep in this car thing? Actually, I think that's what Frodeaux and I will do. It'll be quieter at least." (We were in fact the only occupants of the entire campground that night.)
Fish Creek, western Montana. "Now this is more like it. We're going out into that water to get something decent to eat. Don't wait up for us." Frodeaux also met a cousin, a Spotted Frog, Rana pretiosa: how they can move in water that cold I don't know. (Personal note: prettiest campsite I ever saw anywhere. The sun set right at the notch.)
"I want off this rock. Does that thing work?"

"No, not since the Cold War."

"What do you mean, cold war? I thought you humans had no space fleets."

"Well, we have a few shuttles."

"These ... shuttles: they are a formidable craft?"

"Oh yeah. But no weapons."

"Then what the yaughts is a cold war??"

"A war that's won without ever firing a shot."

"That's the most idiotic thing I've heard yet. War is war."

How true that is.
"Well, what about that?" "No, not since the Arquillians removed the hyperdrive after the near-miss with that Bug in Queens." "Yaughts."
Still determined to leave, he insisted we try flying him away on this human-powered vehicle. He just had this feeling that at the right angle it would go airborne. We found this oddly coincidental since we were looking out over Elliott Bay. Needless to say, it didn't work, but no one was hurt. The issue of the inadequacy of bike helmets to stave off the vacuum of space was thus avoided.
Hangin' with some of the local critters.
"Look, Spanky, that way is Australia." "So?"
A side trip to a neighboring country. In line for the ferry. She never did give Guido any of that croissant. It was very early and she'd had no sleep.
"I trust your room will be as good as this one. What? We're sharing??? Not on your life."
The Place of Yellow Stones. (Nothing — yet — to do with Curling.) Bison Sloppy Joe and local beer for dinner before the Big Event.
"Is that all it does?"
"Just wait. These people haven't all gathered here for nothing."
"Wake up, Fluffy, it's happening!"
"That's disgusting."
His Augustness did allow that this was a picturesque evening, though damned cold.

"Just the one moon, eh?"

"That's right."

"I suppose I could get used to it..."
There came a journey where His Hineyness could not come along, as the local transport concern did not accept Brandars, borinium ingots or even corvidium as payment. But we did have vid-screen hookup, next best thing to being there.
"Enjoying yourself, are you?"
"I'm here on business."
"Yes, of course you are..."






THE ADVENTURE WILL CONTINUE.
DON'T GET YOUR MIVONX IN A TWIST.