Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
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Planet Of The Gorns
From The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson
Imagine you live on a planet where the dominant species is far more
intellectually sophisticated than human beings but often keeps humans as
companion animals. They are called the Gorns. They communicate with
each other via a combination of telepathy, eye movements and high-pitched
squeaks, unintelligible and unlearnable by humans, whose brains are
prepared for verbal language acquisition only. What humans sometimes learn
is the meaning of individual sounds by repeated association with things of
relevance to them. The Gorns and humans bond strongly but there are many
Gorn rules that humans must try to assimilate with limited information and
usually high stakes.
You are one of the lucky humans who lives with the Gorns in their dwelling.
Many other humans are chained to small cabanas in the yard or kept in
outdoor pens of varying size. They have become so socially starved that they
cannot control their emotions when a Gorn goes near them. Because of this
behavior, the Gorns agree that they could never be house-humans. They are
The dwelling you share with your Gorn family is filled with numerous water-
filled porcelain bowls, complete with flushers. Every time you try to urinate
in one. though, any nearby Gorn attacks you. You learn to only use the toilet
When there are no Gorns present. Sometimes they come home and stuff your
head down the toilet for no apparent reason. You hate this and start sucking
up to the Gorns when they come home to try and stave this off but they view
his as increasing evidence of your guilt.
You are also punished for watching videos, reading certain books, talking to
other human beings, eating pizza or cheesecake, and writing letters. These are
all considered behavior problems by the Gorns. To avoid going crazy, once
again you wait until they are not around to try doing anything you wish to do.
While they are around, you sit quietly, staring straight ahead. Because they
witness this good behavior you are so obviously capable of, they attribute to
"spite" the video watching and other transgressions that occur when you are
alone. Obviously you resent being left alone, they figure. You are walked
several times a day and left crossword-puzzle books to do. You have never
used them because you hate crosswords; the Gorns think you're ignoring
them out of revenge.
Worst of all, you like them. They are, after all, often nice to you. But when
you smile at them, they punish you, likewise for shaking hands. If you
apologize they punish you again. You have not seen another human since
you were a small child. When you see one on the street you are curious,
excited and sometimes afraid. You really don't know how to act. So, the
Gorn you live with keeps you away from other humans. Your social skills
Finally, you are brought to training school. A large part of the training
consists of having your air briefly cut off by a metal chain around your neck.
They are sure you understand every squeak and telepathic communication
they make because you sometimes get it right. You are guessing and hate the
training. You feel stressed out a lot of the time. One day, you see a Gorn
approaching with the training collar in hand. You have PMS, a sore neck and
you just don't feel up to the baffling coercion about to ensue. You tell them
in your sternest voice to please leave you alone and go away. The Gorns are
shocked by this unprovoked aggressive behavior. They thought you had a
They put you in one of their vehicles and take you for a drive. You watch the
attractive planetary landscape going by and wonder where you are going. The
vehicle stops and you are led into a building filled with the smell of human
sweat and excrement. Humans are everywhere in small cages. Some are
nervous, some depressed, most watch the goings on from their prisons. Your
Gorns, with whom you have lived your entire life, hand you over to strangers
who drag you to a small room. You are terrified and yell for your Gorn family
to help you. They turn and walk out the door of the building. You are held down
and given a lethal injection. It is, after all, the humane way to do it.
Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild
Last edited by davetgabby; 06-13-2010 at 02:43 PM.