Tuesday, July 12, 2005

How People Came To Be Able To Walk In Any Direction.

Once upon a time, people could only walk in one direction: North.
No one ever turned East or West or walked backwards or even gave a
sidelong glance. Everyone went North - that's just the way it was.
After a while, people started clumping up at the North Pole. At
first Ivan and Marie showed up, and things weren't so bad. Then the
Jones family, the Andersens, the McCoys and the Hatfields all showed
up, and it got to be a little crowded. Not too bad, just like the
elevator at Macy's on the day after Thanksgiving. And since there
was something of a party atmosphere, people broke out the brandy and
lutefish and a good time was had by all.
The next day the city of Milwaukee showed up, simultaneously
with most of Helsinki and St. Petersberg. Things were getting a bit
stuffy. Over the next week, the entire population of the Northern
Hemisphere were there, elbowing and shoving like frantic shoppers
over the last worthy item.
Soon all of humanity were crowded onto the North Pole. The
incredible concentration of mass flipped the Earth on its side
and it began to twist and turn like a chihuahua rubbing off a
bee sting. All the people were scattered about in every direction,
facing any which way and tumbling eratically all the time. It was
a maelstrom.
The madly tumbling Earth upset the rest of the planets, for all
mass generates gravity waves. The Earth twisting and flopping like
a fish on the dock set off chaotic waves like a bunch of kids playing
Marco Polo. It was pretty annoying.
The Sun and the Planets all reached out simultaneously and dragged
their hands on the Earth, making it slow down, and move in a regular
fashion. Soon the Earth was sedately spinning away, plunging around
the Sun in a proper fashion. The Planets went back to their gardens,
and the Sun to its search for Iron, and everyone was content.
On Earth, meanwhile, the people had been left scattered all over
the globe, holding onto the rocks and plants while the hands of
the Planets pressed on the Earth. When things calmed down, everyone
stood up, looked every which way, and walked...
People no longer faced only North, but could turn completely
around, and move any which way.
This is how people came to be able to walk in any direction.

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