At one time, Shalampaxians ate, slept and, in general, lived under the coconut palms that were then spread across our little island, the sparse leaves being the only available protection from the incessant rains that pummeled and still pummel our puny island. When winds began to gather speed, our ancestors would lash themselves to the trees in the hope that the Category 5 hurricane-force winds that have an affinity for our shores would spare our trees and, in turn, them. They also tied themselves to the trees before going to sleep (in an upright position) in order to prevent any gales that may gust in at night from turning their figurative "dead to the world" state into a literal one. Because the number of people greatly exceeded the number of trees, they slept in several concentric rings around each tree.
In 1956 we got the idea that living in a building might be a tad more comfortable.
Designing a roof to put over our heads presented a few challenges. First, we wanted to grow our population to about 4,000, but our island is big enough to accommodate a population of about 2,000 somewhat comfortably, provided none of them suffer from claustrophobia or demophobia
. Our island's size ruled out the use of detached homes, semi-detached homes or townhouses.
Filling most of the island with one large, multistory building, the only reasonable alternative, presented another problem. If it ever burned down, we'd have no emergency shelters to house people. Therefore, fire safety was of utmost concern.
Shalampaxian child-rearing customs presented another problem. Shalampaxian parents love children, but hate raising them (see child rearing
). Changing diapers involves much more work and is much more disgusting an activity than any Shalampaxian is willing to do. When we lived outdoors, infants were left naked. We depended on the unremitting rains to wash away their pee and poop. Housing for families with infants had to provide facilities that accommodate this lifestyle choice, without creating sanitary conditions that would make it impossible for infants to live long enough to become toddlers.
Finally, because wind-speed records are frequently being broken on our island, the building had to be solid as a rock.
Click here to learn how we overcame these challenges.
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