|The Really WIld and Exciting Adventures of the Peacenik Vogon, Part One|
Allow me to introduce myself, or I will shoot you.
My name is Pythia Pugguts, a female Vogon.
(As if there's actually a difference between the males and females. Our clothes and bods are identically ugly.) I have been stuck here on Earth for some five months now.
SOMEONE GET ME OFF THIS PLANET BEFORE I GO INSANE!!!
When I first landed, I was with these guys. One of 'em, I call him Four-eyes because he has two heads. (He likes the name Zaphod better, and made me use that one for this story. Oh well, I owed him one anyway.) The other one, I call Drunken Idiot, because he is one. (He prefers to be called Ford Prefect. I don't give a jewelled crab whether he likes my nick for him or not, but I use the name Ford anyway. Drunken Idiot takes too long to type.) Zaphod has got two kids who are stuck together, literally. They started out as twins, but wound up Siamese twins after a freak accident with a boomerang, a fire extinguisher, a lawn mower, and a fusion facilitation field. Considering how unlikely it is to get all these articles in the same place at the same time, I wonder whether or not it was an accident after all. We call them Zig and Zag, because... well, I guess because that's thier names. Nobody seems to be upset about the kids sharing a body, but Zaphod, in an attack of self-consciousness, bought a parrot puppet to disguise his left-hand head with. That head rarely does anything but drink *Atomansplitzers, anyway, so it's no major inconvenience to Zaphod or anyone else.
They are slackers and losers, all three/five of them, but they do have one talent for which I admire them.
In the face of adversity, they can party down.
Actually, they can party in the face of adversity, prosperity, catastrophe, epiphany, Monopoly, lobotomy, and just about everything else that ends with an "ee" sound.
However, I never would have had to discover their propensity for parties, nor their aversion to becoming productive members of society, had my cryogenic pod not crashed directly into their ship. Further, I never would have had to crash into their ship had I not decided to become Vogsphere's first and last peacenik. Long story short, my war against having any more wars collapsed a few centuries ago. In response to this crisis, I was loaded into a pod and shot out into space, in hopes that one day I would awaken and restore the Vogon Empire. As of right now, this goal has become sidetracked and convoluted by the whims of the Universe, which I am about to relate to you in detail.
**************************************************(asterisks are fun!)
STOMP, STOMP, STOMP, STOMP.
Some hours after the collision, I tromped towards the galley, looking for something to devour that would make me feel less bored.
I postioned myself squarely in front of the Cryo-Fridge. After reflecting on the futility of life, I opened the door and peered inside.
About fifteen minutes later, Ford, with a ice bag held against his head, also went into the galley. I was still standing there, my eyebrows frosting over.
I continued staring vacantly at a gob of cream cheese.
Ford coughed some more.
Stubbornly, I waved the door around a bit, pretending to be looking for something, but at this point only standing there because it ticked Ford off.
I don't like Ford much, in case you hadn't figured that out yet. I had only seen him conscious for a few minutes since my arival on board Zaphod's salvage ship, but already I didn't like him. Nor, for that matter, do I really like anyone else in the Universe, but I have a special niche of dislike for him. It is a high honor to achieve that niche, and I wanted him to know that.
"I hate you," I said flatly, still tormenting the cream cheese with my scutiny.
"Okay," he said promptly. He turned around and walked out, still needing to refill his ice bag, and still without breakfast, but no longer caring about either of these things. All he cared about was getting me out of the ship fast as possible, even if that meant shoving me out of the airlock. The last time he had dealt with my species, they had been trying to obliterate his existence. Good on them, for what my opinion is worth.
I slammed the door closed, absently opened and closed a few cabinet doors, and decided to go back to bed. I wasn't that hungry. Maybe things would look more encouraging after killing a few more hours with sleep. Then I realized I couldn't go back to sleep.
I had been sleeping for the past two centuries and was too wide awake to settle down again.
"Blast it all to Vog," I grumbled, and stomped out of the galley.
I stomped up to the bridge to watch some TV. TV had been an effective way to reduce my brain to a zombie-like state before; who was to say it wouldn't work again?
The ship gave a sickening lurch.
I scowled. The ship hadn't lurched becuase it was under attack, veering off course, or evading a meteor. It had lurched because the ship's computer was a Sense-O-Nav system. Apparently, it did not relish the idea of sensing my body to get its diretions.
"Yeah, I'll get you for that later," I growled. I plopped my slimy, rubbery bulk onto a rather cheap and steadily disintegrating shag chair, which whined pitifully at my sitting on it.
I smacked the chair and it hushed up.
My blubbery hand plopped onto what I figured had to be the remote control. The sickening green sausages I proudly call my fingers wrapped round it and punched a few buttons.
The screen, which had until that moment been showing a gray hunk of rock on the display, switched to an image of a targeting system taking aim at a small planetoid.
I sighed. "Not another war of the worlds flick," I muttered. (I mutter to myself a lot. Most people think that is a sign of insanity. They are right, of course.) I punched another button.
The display now showed the gray hunk of rock again, except half of it had been blown off.
It took my murky, wallowing brain some time to connect these images.
"Whoops," I muttered at last.
Ford came huffing into the room. "What the zark just happened?" He gave the screen a cursory glance, and then performed the most satisfying double take known to the history of the Universe. Let me tell you, his reaction provided me the most amusing moment I'd had out of the past five million. "You just blew up Earth's only moon!" Ford yelled, after his comedic ocular action had ended.
I lolled my head back and groaned. "I hate Mondays," I said, hoping to stave off further drivel.
Ford turned his head towards me at a speed he hoped would express his complete confidence in my immense stupidity. "It's Wednesday, you moron."
Like I cared. I had finally succumbed to the epic proportions of my boredom and fallen into an impentrable sleep.
If Ford had possessed the faculty of spontaneous combustion, he would have employed it at about that point.
The following was related to me later, in a fit of regretful retrospect. Funny, how no one ever knows they are doing the wrong thing until after they have done it.
Zaphod entered the bridge to find a seething semi-cousin and a snoring Vogon, the latter messing up his favorite chair. He waited for Ford to notice him.
No soap. Ford was busy at the moment, mentally generating insults against the pile of lard lying before him. That took a lot of generating- I have spent years in amassing a marvelous accumulation of lard.
Zaphod tapped Ford on the shoulder. Ford nearly took Zaphod's arm off by about-facing in a huff. Ford rarely ever gets mad, but when he does, he makes up for all the time he isn't.
"You see? You see? What did I tell you? Let's get the forklift and cart her out of here before she comes to!" he insisted.
Zaphod made peace signs with two of his hands and crossed his fingers for luck with the third. He had known Ford for some time and so realized it took a team of twenty lawyers armed with Uzis to make him do something he didn't want to when he was angry. Fortunately, since Zaphod was still very drunk from the night before, he was prepared to give it a try anyway. "Chill, man," he started his slurred spiel. "Look, you know I have a killer 'kickin' it' instinct, right?"
"Last time you used your 'kickin' it' instinct, Trillian left you with nothing but two kids and a washcloth on Synth-World No. 2," Ford snapped.
Zaphod sighed. "Man, would you listen to yourself? You're starting to sound like Marvin... God rest his bolts." He tried to put a convincing hand on Ford's shoulder, missed, and trying again, missed again. "My 'kickin'it' instinct, which is as keen as it has always been..."
"That's what I'm afraid of," Ford interrupted, watching Zaphod pick up and drop his left hand, unable to make it land on anything.
"My instinct, which is as koon... uh, cane, can, Cancun... errr, acute as ever," Zaphod recaptiulated woozily, "is telling me we should go kick it on the planet for a while."
"Well, you go tell your 'kickin' it' instinct there is no way that I am ever going to set foot on that planet again," Ford insisted firmly. "Inexplicably, it always gets blown up while I am on it, and yet reappears on some location of the dimensional plane as is convenient. The reappearing part doesn't disturb me so much as knowing that eventually, somebody will try again to blow it up, and I would prefer to be elsewhere... say about as far from here as possible... when that happens. And furthermore..."
Zaphod immediately tuned out, which he did automatically whenever Ford said "and furthermore." That was a definite signal that he was about to say something totally useless. He waited for Ford's mouth to stop moving and only then did he deliver the zinger. "Look, if I promise to leave the green girl on the planet, will you stop whining?"
Ford, who had been drawing a breath capable of inflating a zeppelin for his next litany, let it out in a whoosh that blew Zaphod's toupees away.
Ford stared in shock. Zaphod stood stock-still in equal shock as he watched the hairpieces get sucked into the air vents, never to be seen again. The two stood absolutely still for fully ten minutes until I began to wake up. Zaphod dove for the floor behind the seat as Ford smirked evilly.
I remember muttering some more about who-cares-what and rolling over onto my stomach before returning to a comatose state.
Ford stood poised over my inert form. "Zaphod, unless you swear that I will not have to go to that planet, I will wake her up right now."
Zaphod clapped his hands over his heads. "Like I care what a Vogon thinks about male-pattern baldness! I refuse to take this ship out of orbit unless we go down and buy two new rugs, stat!" He paused for a moment. "I'm the only one with the password to the ship's Sense-O-Nav system, remember."
Ford rolled his eyes. "Let's suspend reality for one second and pretend I will even consider going down there. That would still leave us with the problem of where to go that no one will notice she- (he waved at me) -is green, you have two heads, and I am usually drunk, high, or both."
Zaphod mulled that over for a second. Abruptly, I then awoke and heaved my abundant self out of the seat. "I'm bored," I announced.
The guys were probably thinking, "What else is new?"
I told them what else was new. "I think I wanna go wreck something." I tromped sulkily away, leaving them to figure out how to end the gaping silence I left behind.
Zaphod watched me march through the one talking door he had installed on his salvage ship. It emitted a warm, friendly glow and commenced the job it knew best: the utterance of completely annoying phrases. "I am glad to know that I have..."
"SHUT UP!" I screamed, launching into a volley of acerbic expletives. In the middle of my tirade, the door began to smoke and then, finally, explode in a shower of offended sparks. I gave the scorched frame an appraising look. "Somehow, that wasn't as satisfying as I had hoped it would be," I decided. "I'm gonna blow up something else now." I resumed my tromping.
Sans-hair Zaphod looked up at Ford. "To California?"
"To California," Ford conceded at last.
TO BE CONTINUED
*Atomansplitzer: An alchoholic drink I concocted myself. Designed specifically for killing brain cells. No drink in existance can get a person roaring drunk in five seconds, but the 'Splitzer comes close. Avid drinkers can accuse me of sacrilage if they like, but I think it squashes the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster like a ton of gold bricks.
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