Mimicking the good manner of Mercury in an illustrated etiquette guidebook for the good of the Universe...

We live in a selfish, uncivil and apathetic age where people are rude, inconsiderate and dehumanised. People just don't care and aren't as nice to themselves, others and the Universe as they should be. I, thus, feel the urge to get all control freakish and ultra-pious on everyone's angry ass and write a guidebook for good behaviour, sending out some social instruction to usher in a new age of civility.

It's fun coming up with rules and I can see why people have enjoyed forming new countries and religions so much (I'm going to have a blast when I create my own kingdom and establish my own cult worship). For now though I'm interested in looking at etiquette and good manners so I mentally connected to the beings of the planet Mercury and filtered their codes into today's picture book script. The outcome is "The Mercurian Guide to Good Manners" and it's a pretty decent manifesto. It's daft, of course, but alongside the daftness there are actually some half-decent ideas that should possibly be adopted on our own planet.

I'm channelling the spirit of instruction manuals and 'self-help' guidebooks - in particular the vintage kind that have titles like "How to be a Manly Man, My Gentleman" and "The Domestic Goddess Chapterbook for the Truly Charming Perfect Housewife". This, though, is intended to be more along the lines of a children's picture book in terms of its format, the rules and codes exemplified by quirky drawings of Mercurians observing or not observing the good moral behaviour. As an example of Mercurian good manners...

When you’re thinking during conversation, squint your right eye. This will let others know you’re thinking deeply and not rudely ignoring them.

They've got a good point. It's also understandable that cursing the heat or the Sun for its brightness is a taboo considering how close Mercurians are to our Solar star. There are many more but other Earthlings will just have to wait until the full things is published, ideally with excellent accompanying illustrations to provide clear instruction.

Today's lessons on the picture book trail, then - it's fun to create rules and customs and it's a nice experience mentally placing yourself beyond the stratosphere and approaching life from a more cosmic perspective. I feel more at one with the Universe, and I feel like a better person...

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