The Planet Sardon: A Travelogue

This is taken from the travel guide to the Planet on the fourth elliptical plane, right after Pardon, although the visual rhyme happens to be a coincidence because both planetary names are jokes:

Sardon is one of the least lovely of the planets in the Bruno Solar System, due to a lack of water, comfortable hotels, and restaurants that sell meals that rise above the level of edible. All that being true, the Sardonians have a long and illustrious history as Classicists, and most who travel there do so in order to add citations to their scholarly papers.

In the academic realm, you will discover labyrinthine library corridors that have confused more than one of Earth’s elite intellectuals, although it has been said that the intellectuals who never return remain on Sardon because they have finally found their own particular idea of heaven. Those who escape usually do so with a few hastily scrawled citations; the exact citations in most cases don’t matter at all, even if the dissertation asserts to understand the morphing properties of Platonic Celluform, while the citation is taken from the encyclopedia of plant genetics. Any citation culled from the libraries of Sardon will pass muster with Earthly peer-reviewed journals.

The climate is dry and hot, and most residents live in underground caves. The Sardonians’ passably edible diet consists of root vegetables grown in mist houses. One restaurant boasts a “rainbow of marrows”, but reviews of such have claimed that the “rainbow” is simply another Sardonicism, otherwise known as the peoples’ idea of a joke.

Summer is the worst time to visit, and not because the weather changes perceptibly on Sardon. Rather, summer is when the Academics are on vacation and, therefore, on their annual pilgrimages to their many and massive underground cathedrals, which are not as aesthetic as an Earthling might hope, being little better than enormous dirt hollows lit by bare bulbs that swing over glass cases. However, the glass cases are filled with ancient religious texts. These annual pilgrimages leave any and all less-than-proficient hotels empty of proprietors.

If the traveler is a religious scholar, the massive cathedrals provide the necessary root vegetables in two varieties, mashed with salt or mashed sans salt, as well as cots that can be purchased by the hour. In fact, religious scholars from numerous solar systems have attempted studying the Sardonica, or the religious tomes under glass, but few have come away with any understanding into the divine, or even what is moral or not among the Sardonian people. The texts seem to be filled with pithy expressions advising various courses of action that the people never follow or, if they do, they do so under the auspices of a rigorous social understanding. The Sardonians understand what nobody else can: that is, why the advice must be or, conversely, not be taken seriously, and outsiders are likely to suffer ridicule when they fail to comprehend the difference.

Many of Earth’s religious pilgrims have returned from Sardon with startling testimonies of the planet’s popular entertainment sector, which involves the self-flagellation of foreigners. Through this venue, pilgrims have come to see the light–literally–as they emerge from the underground cathedrals followed by Sardonian mockers. Most foreign pilgrims are brought to their knees, crying for pardon–Pardon me for my crimes against knowledge! Pardon me for my crimes against beauty!–thereby giving the Sardonians the opportunity to yell their oft repeated punchline: For Pardon, take a left through the atmosphere, you’ll arrive in no time at all, while knowing full well that their tourists will burn up before they ascend to 10,000 feet.

In short, the planet Sardon is your destination if you’re looking to be the entertainment or your own lost tour guide, or if muddying the waters of enlightenment is your idea of clarity. In other words, this is the place for do-it-yourself intellectuals who have a talent for misunderstanding the finest Earthly logic.

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4 comments

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