Julia Link

Ms. Gokturk

Expos. 6


Getting Ready for School

Taken From- The Ultimate Martian Tour Guide: Earth Edition  


            Eeeep! Eeeep! Eeeep! Another day on this planet begins. Feel free to use your blaster ray gun to silence the abominable ‘alarm clock’. On second thought the blaster gun makes too much of a mess, better use the incinerator. Ash is easy to sweep away. Now that you have gotten out of your temporary hibernation unit, you must tackle the job of cleaning yourself using the awkward Earth shower device. Of course living in this atmosphere your skin will pick up a plethora of impurities and toxins. It is important to wash regularly or risk disease. This knowledge does not make the process any easier. The first problem is regulating water temperature (try to ignore the fact that humans use dihydrogen monoxide to get clean). The faucet will produce a rain of water on command but only in one of two temperatures: scalding and freezing. Mastering the faucet and temperature regulators takes years of practice, because you must make it to school on time you cannot spend years on this project alone. Simply attach the standard temperature moderator (size rr7 seems to work) to the spigot, adjust to the desired degree amount, and turn on the cold water. Step into the shower carefully, despite the rubber foot grips, most shower stalls are slippery and treacherous, tread carefully.  Now, do not think that just because you have turned on the water and are now upright in the stall your troubles are over, on the contrary, they have just begun. The primary cleaning aid on Earth is ‘soap’. Soap is made from animal and other natural fats, the contradiction of using this to remove grease and dirt form their bodies seems to have escaped humans. On top of that Earthlings have a fascination with odors. Every product produced has a distinct smell especially soaps. Try to decide on a dilute smell, and buy soaps that all smell the same. Also, available are soaps that do every thing from exfoliate to reduce wrinkles. Very few of these actually work. Ignore them; your skin doesn’t need enhancement any way. Go with the most natural and least tampered with product.

            After showering and drying yourself you must decide how to dress so that you blend in with the local population. I understand this custom appears strange, but I assure you, it is very necessary. Humans are poorly designed; their most vulnerable parts are found on the exterior of their bodies, and the rest is ‘protected’ by a sensitive easily penetrated skin layer. For this reason they wear layers of clothes. Do not, I repeat, do not leave your shelter or living unit without them.

            What clothes you disguise yourself in will be largely dependant on what gender you have chosen to appear as. Complex culture, rituals, social order, and taboos have evolved out of the Earthling costume of clothing wearing, so be careful. Male dress is fairly simple. A pair of pants covers their lower limbs up to their umbilical cord scars. Some males wear their pants lower, but only some and only at certain times. To keep things easy and to avoid the faux pas lurking around every corner wear your pants up to, but not above, your waist. Next a plain colored shirt to cover you upper body. These shirts come with sleeves ranging in length to cover your upper limbs. Any length is acceptable but typically the length varies inversely with the outside temperature. Put on a pair of comfortable footwear that is seasonally appropriate. For example open shoes should not be worn in cold weather because humans risk “frostbite”, a situation in which their outer extremities (toes and fingers) become so cold that their blood cannot flow through them. These digits most often have to be amputated, a situation which humans wish to avoid. Remember to be patient with the Earthlings. They possess many vestigial organs and parts because they have not finished evolving. Despite the fact that these are useless parts humans are reluctant to part with them.       

            Female Earthlings pose a slightly more difficult problem. They can wear pants, dresses, skirts, stockings, dress pants and an absurd array of shoes, the list goes on, and each garment is only to be worn in specific situations. Dresses are worn for some occasions, the more important the event is, the fancier the dress will be. But casual dresses can be worn to school or other ordinary places. Dress pants can be worn to parties or to work. Stockings go under some dresses and skirts but not others. And shoes, there are so many shoes for women it is hard to keep track of them all. A pair of shoes exists for every conceivable circumstance. Sometimes a pair of shoes is purchased and only worn once, or not at all. Females love to buy unnecessary things to wear. For the sake of simplicity, if you are a female, choose a skirt. Most women wear pants primarily, but skirts are perfectly acceptable and you wouldn’t want to confuse male pants and female pants. Choose a plain skirt without much ornamentation, one that doesn’t call attention to itself. There are many ways a skirt can call attention to itself. One is by being to short or tight. This calls undue attention the body. Another is by being what humans call loud. This will be a garment that is an outrageous or bright color or is in bad taste fashion-wise. Try to avoid loud clothing in any situation no matter your gender. Pick a shirt that compliments the skirt and is appropriate for the season. Also try to find clothes made of natural fibers as these are more comfortable and less irritating to your skin. Now for the shoes; a pair of ‘mules’ or ‘slides’ is generally a safe choice. These will be a pair of open back closed toe shoes ranging in color and sole height. Select ones that match your outfit and above all are comfortable. Comfortable shoes may be hard to come by, but I assure you, they are out there and are well worth the effort of finding.

            Earthling dress, as I have mentioned before, varies tremendously with the weather and outside temperature. In colder weather they wear many layers to keep their heat in and protect them from the elements. In warmer weather they wear less to let the heat out. It is terribly inefficient, I understand. But it is vital that you play along otherwise they will get suspicious of you. A good way to decide how to dress for the season is to look at the other inhabitants of your area; they will all be dressed within a reasonable degree of sameness. Or you could watch their broadcasts. These must be viewed on televisions or ‘TVs’. I recommend purchasing or gaining access to a TV in any event because it provides invaluable information on the modern culture, news, and concerns of the population. Merits of the TV and other media sources are discussed in depth in chapter 12 please refer to it as necessary.

            So now you have gotten dressed. Do not be fooled into thinking you are ready to leave the house. There is still the little matter of you hair, or lack there of. Very few humans have no hair on their head. Those that do typically fall into one of three categories: ageing males whose bodies can no longer produce hair, sick humans whose medical treatment causes hair loss, and some younger earthlings who are making a statement. This is not a statement you want to make. Also your antenna MUST be hidden at all times I cannot stress this enough. (In the event that your antenna is noticed pretend it is part of a costume. For more survival tactics and what to do if you are found out see chapter 14). To deal with this problem you must get a ‘wig’. A wig is a false hair piece made from other human’s hair. It will be obvious which the male are and which are the female hair pieces. But again, when in doubt, look around. Generally male hair is shorter then female. Predictably female hair comes in a wide range of styles. If you are female choose a shoulder length, strait piece. Remember to keep it simple. Here I will provide one easy to do style for each gender; of course, there a myriad of fashions for each one, and even more for the female. But the one I present is easy and socially acceptable in most situations. If you desire a different look, they are easy to find by looking at pictures and taking in other media. Also you could go to a ‘salon’ these are places in which you pay someone to style and/or color your hair. Be warned: at a salon you hair will go through a vigorous treatment. Please ensure your hair is securely fastened. Using bonding agent Q5p usually works.

            Your male hair should be short, cropped close to your head and slightly wavy. Buy any one of the hundreds of gels or styling products for males. Again avoid one that smells. There is no hope for the natural/synthetic issue in this situation as virtually every affordable product is man made. Do not fret; the wig does not care what you put into it. Use the gel to slick back the hair and hold it in a neat shape. Some males forgo gel altogether, the choice is yours. Just be sure it is combed to remove tangles and appears clean and tidy.

            Female hair, because it is longer, has more options and is more complicated. For this you will need a hair brush and a ‘scrunchie’ these are colored elastics that females use to tie back their hair. Begin by brushing the hair to remove tangles. Then pull all of it back away form your face to form a bundle at the top of your head, toward the back. Hold this hair in place with a scrunchie by first pulling the hair through the loop, then twisting the loop and pulling the hair through again, repeat this twisting and pulling until the hair is secured tightly to your head. You have just created a ‘ponytail’. Leaving the hair this way is acceptable, as long as the hair will not get in your face and be irritating. If the loose hair is bothersome, you can create a second style from this one. Take the extra loose hair and wrap it up against the top of your head, using the scrunchie as a base. Then take a second scrunchie and use it to hold the hair in place. This is called a ‘bun’.   

            Well done! You are now presentable to the rest of the planet. But your morning of preparation is not yet over. Earthlings need to eat at least three times a day to sustain healthy functional bodies. Despite the fact that you will only need to eat once a day attempt to have three meals for the sake of blending in. (Hint: if you eat only a small amount at each meal you may find yourself hungry for the next). The first meal of the day is breakfast, followed by lunch to be eaten around midday, and lastly dinner. Most humans snack in between meals. Avoid this practice; it causes them to become overweight. Humans have developed rituals around eating; unsurprisingly there are specific foods and preparations varying greatly depending on location and even time of day. Yes, not only are there different meals but a different kind of food is consumed at each setting. There is something to be said for this. Humans have come up with many innovative and delicious combinations of food. Unlike our monotonous food, designed to give us everything we need in the most digestible form possible, human fare is quite pleasant. Unfortunately this leads to unnecessary, unhealthy, fatting foods. It is a remarkable phenomenon that, the better humans think their food tastes the worse for them it is. Digesting this food will not be a problem for you as long as you ingest the Earth Food Conversion Pill TM each time you eat. Many humans take medicine when they eat. Your habit will go unnoticed as long as you do not call attention to it.

For breakfast the Earthling youths generally eat one of three things; cereal, toast, or Pop Tarts. ‘Cereal’ is a grain product, usually clumps of processed wheat. It is eaten with the nourishing liquid of cows[Marker][1][Marker], called ‘milk’. As usual the Earthlings have developed an unbelievable range of products all called ‘cereal’. Some are sweet, some are eaten warm, some are for children, or have extra added vitamins and fruits, still others are found in bar form only, and are eaten sans milk. Unless you are willing to spend time sampling each kind until you have found one that is suitable to your taste and nutrition needs, I suggest you eat either the toast or the pop tarts.

            ‘Toast’ is a fairly basic human food. A slice of their bread is simply heated until it is without moisture and is crispy. Butter or jam, a milk and fruit derivative respectively, are often spread across one side to add a delightful flavor. Earthlings use a ‘toaster’ to heat their bread. Unless you are very good at delicate work with the blaster gun, if you do not possess a toaster skip to the pop tart meal. ‘Pop tarts’ have the dual benefits of being socially acceptable and ready to eat. They are a sugar filled pastry often with more frosting on top, quite tasty. These can be toasted (their name is derived from their action of popping out of the toaster), but also can be eaten raw. NOTE: Other breakfasts include; yogurt (a milk product), fresh fruit, and chicken eggs. I have only discussed the foods common for secondary school children to eat.  

            Upon completion of breakfast you must brush your teeth for obvious hygienic reasons. Humans do not have developed teeth cleaning technologies. They still use the old fashioned single brush and separate paste method favored by our grandparents. Bringing your own oral-hygiene device will be too cumbersome and obvious so you’ll have to settle for their inferior methods. Upon reaching the toothbrush and toothpaste section of the supplies store you will be faced with overwhelming options. Again most products do the exact same thing. By any standard toothbrush that is big enough for your mouth and any tube of toothpaste with an appealing flavor. The flavors choices are typically a range of mints and orange, other fruit flavors and bubblegum can be found for children. Once in your washroom at home squeeze enough toothpaste onto the brush to cover the head. Wet the head and use it to scrub your mouth clean. Two or three such scrubbings are recommended per day as one is never sufficient. Spread them out through your day to maintain a clean oral cavity and fresh breath.

            Before leaving you must do one last thing, pack a school bag or ‘backpack’. Obviously it must contain all the tools you will need for school: appropriate books, note books, writing utensil, etc. In addition to these here is a list of recommended tools from home that could be useful. NOTE: your use of these must go undetected.

1.      Blaster gun

2.      Disinfectant- Earthlings have poor disease control and even with your vaccinations it pays to be cautious.

3.      Levitation device

4.      Freeze beam

5.      Translator- in addition to a regular language translator, I strongly suggest to those of you attending school a slang, translator. It is an invaluable tool, not only for comprehension but also for usage and blending in.

6.      Communicator- naturally you should never be off the home planet without it on your person. Just be sure your antenna is hidden under you wig at all times.

7.      Earth Food Conversion Pills TM

8.      Memory eraser- this should be used in EMERGENCY situations only. It can cause many problems and raise suspicions higher if not used correctly. (For in depth discussion of the memory eraser see chapter 14.) 

The four transportation methods available to earth schoolchildren are: their parents, driving themselves in a car, taking the bus, or walking. You will be walking. Getting a ride from your parents is clearly not an option, like wise you cannot drive yourself to school. Earthlings are hyper-conscience of identification, your false papers will be sufficient in most situations, but will not hold up under the scrutiny of the Department of Motor Vehicles. This department represents a very complicated set of laws and is notoriously difficult to deal with. The DMV is not a place you would want to visit anyway. That leaves you with the options of taking the bus or walking. Taking the bus involves waking up early and interacting with humans at that time. I have found it incredibly difficult to maintain cover so early in the active cycle. Besides it is much faster to walk. In your case you will be flying. The common hover shoes will serve you well in this situation. Walk when Earthlings are around to see you, but as soon as no one is looking transfer to hover mode and speed up as desired.(HINT: traveling at light speed is not only efficient but undetectable to humans as well.)

            Once you arrive at school prepare for another thousand challenges. Hopefully, if you have prepared well and followed my directions you will be able to meet them. If not there is always chapter 14. I would like to mention here that I have created these instructions assuming you have landed in The United States of America, in the Earth’s northwestern hemisphere. While humans will be the same fundamentally everywhere on Earth, their customs and cultures will vary greatly depending on location. I have chosen The United States because it has the most diverse population, where you will most easily blend in. Also American culture seems contagious, most other countries have adopted some form of it, or had it forced on them. The directions will serve you well in most of Europe and most major industrialized area. Of course local fashion will change rapidly, all I can tell you in that respect is to look around and do as the locals do. Keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine. Now, onward to school!