“The Green Pyramid”

The story of the green pyramid is not for children or babies.

It has greed, nervousness, complicated mathematical formulae, a large green pyramid, nakedness, and the whole world almost getting blown up all over the place. The story begins in Albuquerque, New Mexico, middles somewhere around Buenos Aires, and ends over almost the entire northern hemisphere. We have tried to piece together the events leading up to the green pyramid as best we can using recovered photographs of the principal characters, some bricks wrapped in foil, and a scale model of the green pyramid itself. Historical accuracy was key in this educational presentation of the green pyramid, the era of history that famous professional modern historians now refer to as “the stupidest and most ridiculous thing that ever happened. Period. I’ve become uncomfortable thinking of it just now. Get out of my office.”

And so begins our story.

The story of the green pyramid begins hundreds and hundreds of years ago, probably around the time 1959 AD* in an absurdly-spelled town in the southwest. The principal characters in the story are Ralph Edward Erwin, his wife Venus Erwin, and Gerhard Ricardo, their work associate. The birthdates of these people are unknown, but modern historians believe that they were either in their early teens or their late sixties, depending on when they were born. Ralph Erwin was some kind of a scientist, or an engineer of some kind. He used telephones and other large equipment to do his job. His wife Venus was something called a “stenographer.” Gerhard Ricardo was Mr. Erwin’s employer at the science factory where he was employed.

* During this time in world history, people were still recording dates as “AD,” or “Anno Domini,” meaning “in the year of our Lord.” Professional modern historians refer to this year in its more recognizable format, 2 PGP, or 2 “Pre-Green Pyramid,” meaning “two years before the green pyramid.”

During this time, there was a large amount of tension between the United States of America,* where they lived, and Cuba, an island country that once existed south of a state that historians believe was called Disney World. Nobody knows what exactly the beef was between these two countries, but it was apparently no laughing matter. (Except on late-at-night television chat shows, whose hosts are believed to have made fun of the whole thing quite a lot.) It was because of this political turmoil that Gerhard Ricardo asked all of his employees to stop doing whatever it was they were working on and start coming up with ways to make Cuba piss off.

* Present-day United States of Walton/Murdoch, INC.

This directive troubled Erwin, because he was not at all interested in Cuba and thought the whole thing was very silly. He was more interested in architecture, and coming up with ways to keep the things he built stay fresh so that they would last a long time and not crumble all apart like the ancient Roman buildings he saw pictures of in books. (The foil-wrapped remains of the Van Buren Inc. Building in downtown Newer York are a testament to his ingenious contribution to architecture.) But Erwin was a good scientist and always did what his boss said he needed to do, so he started to think about ways to end the crisis. He thought about numbers. He thought about shapes. Sometimes, the shapes were in the shape of a hat or a piece of furniture. Then one day in an increment of time ancient Americans called “Autumn,” Ralph happened upon an equation that could theoretically make all the particles in every piece of furniture on earth explode all at once. When Gerhard Ricardo heard that one of his employees had invented a furniture bomb, he was “as pleased as punch.”* When Venus Erwin heard that her husband had invented a furniture bomb, she was “as unhappy as licorice.” But by that time, everyone at the factory knew about Ralph’s discovery. Ricardo planned a large celebration. Modern historians debate as to whether or not there was a clown at the celebration. What we do know of the infamous celebration has been pieced together by modern historians from the ancient photographs obtained from the event, hearsay, and brainstorming parties with famous Hollywood screenwriters.

* Before the 378th amendment to the Constitution, similes were legal and quite commonplace.


It was a dark and stormy night, the night of the celebration.

Ricardo was in his element, shaking hands and drinking a lot. Ralph and Venus were there, along with all the other men from Ralph’s sector. But of all the people, only two were nervous, and those were the Erwins. Because before they came to the celebration, Venus had decided that she and her husband should hide the equation somewhere where nobody would look to find it. So Ralph stole the file with the only copy of the equation in it from his office at work, took it home, and Venus baked it inside a cake. Their plan was to give the cake to Ralph’s trusted friend Herbert so he could throw it in the river, but when they arrived at the celebration, everyone saw the cake and demanded to eat it. Historians debate as to whether the cake was “delicious” or “yummy,” but they all agree that sometime during the night, Ricardo got his hands on the file, found the equation, and flew to his secret underground apartment in South America to try it out on some old chairs.

Everyone knows that the earth was not destroyed by exploding furniture that night, but few people know why. Famous modern professional historians speculate that sometime directly after the debacle at the celebration, Venus Erwin had quite a remarkable idea. She hypothesized that she and her husband could go back in time and stop the equation from ever being written down by simply negating all the events between that fateful autumn day and the night of the celebration. And since she was constantly practicing her shorthand, Venus had over the years amassed an enormous scribbled history of everything she and her husband ever did or said. So all it would take to go backward in time would be to read her notes from end to beginning, replacing regular verbs with negative ones. This, she declared, would cancel out everything they’d done and said since Ralph invented the furniture bomb. So they tried it, and it worked. Then they told everyone about how the whole world was almost destroyed, and people were amazed, shocked, confused, and thankful.

Everyone was so thankful in fact, that they all decided to do something nice to symbolize Ralph and Venus’ achievement. So they hired someone to build a huge green pyramid at the top of the earth to symbolize how they had come so close to blowing up the whole planet, but had then been clever enough to figure out how to go back in time and stop themselves from doing it. The pyramid was made out of wood from thousands and thousands of tons of donated furniture from around the world. It was painted green to symbolize how envious the future would be of how great they were. But everyone now knows that the green pyramid floated off into space soon after it was erected because nobody stapled it down to anything.

Ralph and Venus retired in a small town called Wimberley in a state called Texas. Modern historians have deduced that the people of this state believed that matter was exponentially bigger there than anywhere else in the ancient states of America and were all very proud about it. Ralph and Venus’ notes never mention this phenomenon.