The Herodotus Complex
Chapter 3: The Winslow
The Winslow is a small, green, fuzzy, reptilian creature measuring 66 centimeters from nose to tail.The preceding four paragraphs are all that is really KNOWN about The Winslow. Upon this bare framework have been hung the combined irrationalities of the known Galaxy.
The Winslow is worshipped, hated, adored and feared with an intensity that sentients usually reserve for that final five minutes before their sun goes nova.
This depth of feeling is all the more incomprehensible, as The Winslow does not vanquish evil, provide a code of ethics, heal the afflicted, blight the crops, convert the heathen, call down the lightning, corrupt the innocent, eat the moon, answer the phone before it rings, or indeed, display ANY of the fourteen Accepted Signs of Divinity (except, of course, for number fourteen itself, which is: Be The Winslow).
There are endless reasons given why The Winslow is so singularly regarded, but a depressingly large number of these have a circular aspect to them that quickly makes one's head throb (The Winslow is divine because it is the same size, color and shape as the Perfect Lizard of Love, which incidently, is The Winslow).
When all of that sort of reasoning is sifted out, we are left with these three facts:
Everybody in the Galaxy has been told that The Winslow is this Amazing Being, which EVERYBODY should want, or at the very least, keep anybody else from having. Take this to its illogical extreme and you get religious hysteria, interplanetary jihads, unspeakable genetic experiments, et cetera, which is not conductive to Business As Usual.
Naturally, if you wanted to put a stop to this nonsense, your best bet would be to go to the most advanced, powerful, and supremely logical beings you could find, show them the wretched creature, and hope that once they had a good laugh, they would talk a little sense into everybody else in an enlightened, Superior Being sort of way.
This might even have worked, except that our local Omnipotent Superbeings, The Prime Movers, declare that The Winslow is the most important being in creation.
They refuse to say WHY, but do mention that it is not for ANY of the reasons anyone THINKS it is.
This is the sort of enigmatic, condescending and totally useless statement that makes a large majority of the scientists and philosophers of The Gallimaufry yearn to pound The Prime Movers' ever-so-superior heads in with a large cosmic tire iron.
Quoted from Phil Foglio's masterfully funny comic book series, Buck Godot: Zap Gun For Hire. Buy it now from Studio Foglio!