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The Lonesome Planet Travelers Advisory

 Here is the latest update, brought to you by the Lonesome Planet Travelers Advisory Board, as certified by the Local Group. Those of you who – like us – have been here awhile may find little new here, but remember it’s our task to set the newcomers straight. Things are a little different here than you may be used to back home..




 Keep your blurifiers on at all times – you never know who is carrying a camera these days. Some of these people even have cameras in their phones, although our researches have yet to determine why.

 Having said that, buzzing Air Force jets and installations is fine – they never tell anyone what they see, as per our agreement.

 Finally, I know the big head/almond eye masks are a pain, but please, people, keep them on. If they saw our real faces…well, let’s just say it would engender a really negative reaction. How negative? Remember the robot rebellions of the Lost Arm? Like that.




 Mutilations. OK, we’ve all been there. Fun is fun, but there have to be some rules. Cows, now are OK to mutilate – we all know we can’t resist those lips, those genitals! One of my podsisters does things with a cow’s genitals that are only legal in the Lesser Magellenic Cloud. That’s right – the Lesser!

 Off limits, however, are dogs (of course), pandas (still), giraffes (again), three-toed sloths (for obvious reasons), and adolescent beluga whales (don’t ask).




 Of course, now and then we just have to abduct a local. Again, The Advisory Group is not one to stand in the way of tradition. Please remember, however, that only some of the locals are eligible for abduction. Stick to the smaller northern continent, and remember that people in poor, country neighborhoods make the best abductees. The rule of thumbs: “If you live in a trailer, it’s OK to nail yah.” Don’t take anyone from a gated community, and if you take a public figure, such as a politician or pop star, do not send them home again afterwards. Instead, consider replacing them with a symboid or replimonster.

 What’s OK to stick where? Inserts are fine, but make them small. Nasal passages and teeth are the most popular places, but why not get creative? The natives have several other interesting cavities! Unfortunately, some few of the natives have discovered that wearing tinfoil hats blocks some of our control-rays, so check out the penetrating power of your transmitter before spending a lot on fancy inserts.

 Now, as to what may be done with abductees. Exams are fine, and sexual practices are expected. Eating or collecting trophies, however, is frowned upon.

 Just a reminder: It’s fun to give the abductees a little lost time – a mystery to occupy their thoughts.

 Please don’t bother the Men in Black – remember, they’re on our side. If they weren’t covering our tracks, things would be a lot more complicated than they are already. Ditto the big fast food chains – which are, incidentally, another great source for the nether parts of cows.




 A warning: Don’t drink the water that is made available for public consumption in certain parts of the planet. It very well may contain fluoride. More than one visitor has come home with enflamed gums, swollen pulgassods, and an awkward gait after sipping a local beverage. And stay away from Dr Pepper unless you have a private place and an open-minded partner handy.

 Vaccinations may be a pain in the asses, but they are required for anyone who expects to come into close contact with the natives. Slime-based lifeforms, as always, may use suppositories in lieu of injected vaccines.




 With the ratification of the Concord of C57D, construction of pranks such as Stonehenge, black transforming monoliths, and pyramids of the types placed in Egypt, Mexico, and Atlantis are now tightly regulated. Unfortunately, at present only those travelers with expensive legal counsel and copious amounts of patience should consider such activities.


I hope these guidelines will help you make the most of your visit here. This planet can be a wonderful vacation spot, but we all must keep in mind that we are only visitors here. Take nothing but memories and cow genitals, and leave nothing but confused natives and enigmatic patterns in croplands. And let’s keep those crop circle messages clean, by the way. It’s just common courtesy.

This story originally appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Sci Fi

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