Big question

During her time in Ærria – the hidden dimension of Non-Existence – Vivian Amberville confronted with many a challenge. Some of these challenges, implicitly, included one or more of the following: a) believing that what her eyes and ears were telling her had not been the result of a psychedelic drug; b) accepting that she had, indeed, originated from Planet Teapot; and c) accepting the jarring, mind-boggling and completely unavoidable cultural shock.

For a civilization capable of directly influencing the fabric of reality, the Alariankind entertained rather bizarre concerns. One would have expected that for the average Alarian, the greatest mystery of the universe revolved around questions like:

What is the purpose of life?

What happens after death?

Or, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

The Alarians, however, often found themselves preoccupied by an even greater mystery: what lay under a Tuuk’tan’s loincloth?

The Alarians didn’t care about big questions. Heck, they dealt with them on a regular basis. To the being capable of weaving threads of influence into the fabric of the cosmos, pondering life’s greatest mysteries felt like “bringing your work home”. Totally uncool, bro!

If given a numbered list, the origin and purpose of life and the universe would only sit under number 42 in point of importance, with little chance of climbing higher. Not with questions such as: “Am I going to be wealthy?” and “Will I ever find a consort?” occupying more pressing positions (2 and 6, respectively). In that regard, the Alarians were not much different than humans.

But what exactly did lie under a Tuuk’tan’s loincloth? Why would a lowly beast of questionable intelligence feel the need to hide their genitalia from unsuspecting onlookers? Did it have anything to do with the metaphorical censoring of an otherwise-adult fantasy world due to the last-minute inclusion of a younger audience? Could it be that the absence of loincloth-wearing in creatures that walk around butt-naked could prevent filming crews from shooting big screen adaptations? Why should imaginary creatures wear clothes? Cui bono fuisset?Who would benefit from loincloth enforcement?

The more she thought about it, the more Vivian Amberville felt her world had stopped making sense. Who decided all these things? Who made all these rules? Why the loincloth?

It was a strange feeling indeed, but at times Vivian felt like she didn’t even have control over herself. It was like an invisible hand in the sky had been writing her life’s story for as long as she could remember; a hand that incidentally had decided the Tuuk’ta’ne were going to wear loincloths and that was that.

As for the biggest question in Alarian ethos – what lay under a Tuuk’tan’s loincloth? – one possible answer could be: the mighty protruding member of the Editor’s Cut.

- Louise Blackwick

Advent 2017