Located in the Pacific Ocean roughly halfway between Lima, Peru and Sydney,
Australia (we don't disclose the precise coordinates for legal, privacy
and foreign tax reasons), the Republic of Shalampax claims as its territory
a small island that, at high tide, consists of a single, perfectly oval
plateau. Sheer, four-meter (13-foot) vertical cliffs define its rim. The
plateau is so small that scientists verify the resolution of their satellites
by seeing if they can make out Shalampax on the images returned by the
Obviously, the probability that a perfectly
oval geological formation will occur naturally is so small that it can be assumed to be an impossibility. This presents a riddle which, if we were the least bit inquisitive, we might try to solve. While nobody knows for certain how the plateau attained its perfect shape, some theories have been advanced, including the following:
- The more religious among us contend that, because it is virtually impossible for such a perfect shape to have been formed by natural forces, it must have been created by Paahlm, our God (see religion). "What's more," they admonish, "because Paahlm is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, it is impossible for us mortals to understand Its Grand Plan and it is sacrilegious for us to even think about it."
- The nostalgic types among us, who regularly lament the passing of "the
good old days," which they define as anything before the current moment,
suggest that our prehistoric forerunners were much more fun loving, ambitious
and creative than we are. Nostalgic Shalampaxians hold that, over the course
of many generations, our ancient ancestors meticulously carved the shape
as a practical joke, chuckling whenever they thought about how their work
would mystify their distant descendants.
- Cynics suggest that, "we're all bloody idiots. There must be hundreds
of plausible natural explanations, but we are all too blindingly stupid
to think of them."
- Still others say, "who the hell cares? Let's go to the pub."
None of these theories account for erosion, which should have altered the shape over time. Our attitude on that subject is, "Never mind. Let someone else ponder that one."
Whatever the reason for its odd shape, we've made good use of our plateau. Our one building (see architecture
) occupies the western two-thirds. The remainder contains the palm patch that provides our sole local crop, coconuts.
© Copyright Klebanoff Associates, Inc. and Joel Klebanoff, 2007-2012. All rights reserved.
Shalampax and Shalampaxian are trademarks of Klebanoff Associates, Inc.