Xanax

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Xanax is a trans-solar planet which has the mass of Mars, the atmospheric density of Titan, and the clean aquamarine flavor of Neptune. In some places it smells of espresso with chocolate and in other places it has a hint of orange zest. Often heard are the sounds of gongs and panflutes. It has a well-established tourist board -- the Xanax Combobulation of Tourism -- and this article will rely on the XCT's Guide to Beautiful Xanax for much of its information, as NASA has not seen fit to probe this very interesting planet.

Formation and Geology

Carl Sagan posthumously investigated Xanax using his ectoplasmic spirit abilities, and he believes that the planet originated as a huge currant bun in the Eccles Gap between Mars and Jupiter. Gravitational stress and continual bombardment by meteoric vodka soon increased the size of proto-Xanax to the Jellybelly limit. Collapsing quickly to a pentagonal sphere, Xanax cloaked itself in pleasant airs while the heaviest emo and Goth poetry sank to its core.

There, over the millennia, these feculent black poems have been transformed into snowflake-shaped crystals of sparkling metaphorium. It always pays to revise your writing.

PurpFronds

Morning in the equatorial highlands of Xanax.

Of the planetary surface the Guide says:
"At night the lands of Xanax glisten under a sky so full of stars it itches. Freudian mountains plunge their mossy clefts skyward; gentle lilac seas lick the jasmine sands with soft slobbery noises in the pregnant night. And the breeze comes tumbling down the mountainside like a flock of chocolate walruses."
"Day breaks over the land with the sound of pennywhistles and a pervasive sprinkling of cinnamon. The purple fronds unfurl, the mists go all coy, and the windfliers strap their kites to their shelly shoulders and climb the escarpments to go a-sailing. And the wind comes gyrating across the plains like a clump of geriatric giraffes."

Geological processes work differently on Xanax. While on Earth erosion is commonly characterized as cutting, gouging, ripping, defenestrating, or slicing, on Xanax the usual descriptions include licking, slurping, palpating, or mouthing. Xanaxians would never say "The glacier has cut a terrible gouge in the face of the mountain". They would instead note that "The glucose has licked a lascivious slurp all down the mountain's cheek".

The origin of the small seas of Xanax remain unknown. The Guide says:

"Relics perhaps of the most primitive emotions, the round (mostly) and shallow (usually) seas of Xanax formed before any geology existed to record their birth. Their savagery (if any) has evaporated; their despair (if it existed) has dissolved; and what remains is wholly lubricious and has the temperament of warm jello."

Climate

Xanax shares Earth's orbit but cannot be seen by normal methods because it always stays on other side of the Sun. Its weather is similar to Earth's except in being calmer, more sensible, and less sarcastic.

There is neither rain nor snow. Instead, an orange-flavored dew rises from the ground at intervals of its own choosing. In In the highest mountains the meditation of this dew forms deposits of white icing -- nearly pure glucose -- which softly ooze up and down the mountainsides.

Xanaxian Culture

The society of Xanax relies on the concept of gorm, which on Earth survives only in the negative word gormless -- a synonym for cowardice. The partly arthropod, partly molluscan Xanaxians consider gorm to be a sort of coffee-enhanced but quiet steadfastness in the face of entropy. A creature with gorm faces the heat-death of the entire universe calmly, and takes out the garbage.

"The great hero-savior of Xanax mythology was Haajduk the Ticklish. 'Twas he who lost his galoshes in the mudflats and, finding it a fine joke, pulled the gentle Xanaxian mountains up out of the rocky ovarian depths by the the hair of their pinnacles so as to give the topography some relief. 'Twas he who cleft the cliffs and set the sky to itching. He it was who the partipotent Freds of the Universe made immortally happy in order to wash away the sins of all Xanax. That's a hell of a lot better mythology than a torturer-God who sends His own Son to be murdered for the same purpose, isn't it? Well, isn't it?"

The Guide is not particularly impressed with Christianity.

"After Haajduk there are no other heroes on Xanax. Or, rather, everyone has to take their personal gorm into their own seven tentacles, five pedipalps, and three pseudopincers...and deal with it. That, according to the partially credible scriptures of the Partipotent Freds, is the price of forgiveness: you have to grow up and act responsibly. You don't get to count on special treatment from a Deity who is prejudiced in your favor by the flavor of your church. You have to grow up."

The Guide is also a bit preachy, we feel.

At any rate, as a result of this nonhuman creed Xanaxians are particularly averse to hatred and violence. Xanaxians are good listeners. They're a little bit uncertain about everything. They often clasp their pseudopincers in their tentacles when they have something to say, and start by saying things like "I really don't know for sure, but it seems to me that" and "Well, even the Freds don't know but I might proceed as if" and "It is as certain as the dew rising at ten o'clock" -- which of course means as uncertain as anything can be.

Relationship to Earthlings

WindSailor

Windfliers descending from the Pidgy Ween escarpment to a small floating village on the Buckyboy Sea.

What can be said here? The majority of Earthlings are unshakably convinced that theirs is the most hospitable, life-friendly, sophisticated, and cultured planet in the solar system. A plain majority believe that the ultimate deities dote on Earth in general and mankind in particular.

They dismiss Xanax as a fiction, or if they admit that it exists then they think it must be inferior.

"Scientists have recently confirmed what Xanaxians know from birth: a stay on beautiful Xanax relieves anxiety, erases panic, and ameliorates depression. Even a person who, on Earth, is a confirmed agoraphobe can come to Xanax and enjoy windflying from the cliffs or pinnacle-dancing on the mammary mountains. Agoraphobia becomes impossible in the pleasant and orange-flavored landscape of Xanax."

Frankly, there is quite a lot more to even our little solar system than Earthlings know. In 1970 everyone thought the outer moons of the Solar System were dead rock and ice; no one expected the violent volcanoes of Io or the uncratered ice of Europa. No one expected the sooty geysers of Triton. And no one expected the Spanish Inquisition.

We Earthlings had best just take some deep breaths and calm down. We're OK, but we're not the best; we're pretty bad, but we're not the worst. And take the Guide's advice: visit beautiful Xanax soon.

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Confirmed (Solar System): Sun | Mercury | Venus | Earth (The Moon) | Mars | Jupiter | Saturn | Uranus | Neptune
Confirmed (Extrasolar): Darwin IV | Discworld | Milky Way | Planet of the Apes | Planet Google | Planet Hollywood | Pizza Planet | Dystopia | Techneta | Roseanne
Dwarf planets: Pluto | 2003 UB313 | Jay Leno's Chin | Xanax
Unconfirmed: Garnox | Mantoobia | Unicron
Denied by CIA and IAU: Neopia | MyAnus | YourAnus
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Members of the Federation: Vulcan | Qo'noS
Invisible Planets:
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