Sunday March 28, 2004
Book 5: The Scrapyard of Insufferable Arrogance — Part I: Hand to Mouth
Note: The term "prandialist" as used in this strip refers to a Yomingan political movement-turned-insurrection which holds as one of its chief tenets that food should be freely available for everyone, and that no-one should go hungry. As principles go it's not a bad one, but the devil is in the details -- specifically the details of the proposed "Prandial Act," which would make it illegal to take any form of payment, barter or otherwise, in exchange for food.

The upside is that if the Prandialists win, eventually soup-kitchen denizens will be eating just as well as everyone else.


Narrator: From a couple hundred thousand klicks away the planet Yoming looks like a paradise.
Narrator: Of course, any inhabited planet looks like paradise froma distance, assuming the one doing the looking has evolved an aesthetic sense in keeping with principles of survival.
Narrator: Races who think smog, slash-and-burn tracks, mushroom clouds, glass craters, and pustulent, diseased flesh are pretty tend tocosmetically select against themselves with dramatic effect. It's cool to watch, but not pretty.
Narrator: The Yomingans seem sensible enough up close. Even their selfish genes got sensible, and put a hand right where living hand-to-mouth could be simplified.
Narrator: Like most sensible sophonts they invented civilization.
Narrator: With civilization came civilty, civil service, and of course civil war.
Narrator: They're in the middle of one right now.
Benninyninji: I want some protection!
Hunnig: The army is defending critical facilities, sir. We can't spare troops to guard your store.
Benninyninji: That mob of Prandialists is less than a day out! What's a helpless merchant to do?
Hunnig: Spend some money and hire help.
Benninyninji: But all the affordable mercenaries are gone!
Hunnig: Actually, most of them are dead. You get what you pay for.
Benninyninji: Fine. I'll hire the best mercenaries in the galaxy!
Narrator: Nope. Go ahead and guess who he hires instead.