Greegs & Ladders
isn’t saying much, considering most of you can only name nine on a good day. A fairly
pathetic feat, when you imagine the mind-blowingly infinite sea of planets there are out
there, but every species has to start somewhere I suppose. (Pluto is a planet by the way, not
sure what it did to your astronomers to deserve being demoted.)
This planet exists (existed, will exist) in a solar system quite unlike your own. There
are fifty-nine suns in this one solar system. (Or at least there will be some day, and
definitely was when I was there). There are as many as forty-seven planets revolving
around each of these suns. Four suns have no planets at all doing anything around them.
Near the middle of this vast network of gaseous orbs and rocks there is one sun about five
times the size of your own. This sun has thirty-eight planets performing gravitational hula-
hoops around it. Eleven of these planets support ‘life’ as you would define it. In truth,
everything is ‘alive’ (and dead for that matter) but I won’t try and persuade you otherwise.
You seem fairly set in your ways. Fairly certain of your definitions. Fairly resilient in your
steadfast determination to continue believing in your institutions, your corporations, your
religions, your political leaders, and most astonishingly… your investment bankers. So I
shan’t attempt to convince you otherwise. Instead, I will just tell you this little story.
Once upon one of these eleven planets there existed a population of Greegs.
Greegs are a mutation, much like yourself. Not a rare group by any means, you’ll find
them many places in the vastness of space... unlike yourself.
However, it is extremely rare that Greegs will actually find themselves the most
intellectually evolved creatures on a thriving planet. In most scenarios Greeg populations
would be kept under tight control for fear of wreaking havoc on their planet and the other
species on it. They are used primarily as carnival attractions. In small numbers they are
harmless and amusing. Sound familiar?
Completely oblivious to this universal normality, The Greegs on this planet found
themselves to be dominant and unchecked. They were indeed running the show. Without
a multitude of other species keeping their population under control and letting them know
how inferior they were, these particular Greegs found themselves blissfully suffering from
delusions of grandeur and overdosing on self -importance.
Even though they were sharing a solar system with 59 other suns and could plainly see
several, habitable planets with the naked eye… they were quite certain that their planet
was the only one that ever did, ever would, and did currently contain life.
To really make things almost sad, The Greegs believed something else: That all of the
other suns and planets and galaxies and universes; all the big things, all the small things,
and everything in between that ever did exist in the whole entirety of everything and
anywhere… were put there just for them. A kind of mobile for The Greegs to look at and go
‘Well, isn’t that nice and pretty… thanks for that.’
To make things infuriatingly, impossibly, really just plain difficult to comprehend even
a little bit, The Greegs also held another collective opinion. They actually, genuinely
believed (with a straight face nonetheless) that they were the smartest and cleverest
creatures to ever exist. What a laugh!
Above all though. Above all of their beliefs and primitive understandings of their place
in the grand scheme of things, The Greegs suffered from one delusion greater than any
Everything The Greegs did, every action they took, every decision they made, was