A Traveller's Guide to the Other World
Thank you for purchasing this brochure – a handy, up-to-date, and comprehensive guide to that most enchanting of travel destinations, the Other World. This unique location offers much in the way of entertainment, adventure, and scenic locations, all for a shoestring budget. Using the basic precautions outlined in this brochure, a trip to the Other World can become a once in a lifetime experience.
(Our lawyers advise us to inform you that the above phrase can be true on multiple levels. Don't let that dissuade you.)
By this stage, you must be wondering "How do I actually get to the Other World? Isn't a holiday like this normally prohibitively expensive?" Most holidays are – but not this one. Getting to the Other World requires no financial investment on your part, and if you follow our guidelines, is a remarkably simple process!
(Once again, we have been advised by our lawyers to mention that while getting to the Other World requires no investment, attempting to leave it can result in sudden, drastic costs. They're impertinent, our lawyers, and they ought to know when to shut up.)
To get to the Other World, simply follow these simple steps.
* To begin with, entering the Other World is most easily done when you have recently moved home and find yourself in an unfamiliar new place. This is necessary for your host to become aware of your presence.
* Entering the Other World also requires a certain level of dissatisfaction with your new circumstances, whether due to neglect by your parents or guardians, frustration at your unfamiliar setting, prolonged contact with irritating new acquaintances, or all of the above.
* If you aren't actually dissatisfied with your current life, then try faking it. Walk around your new home with a clearly bored expression, let loose the occasional groan of frustration, and reply to entreaties with sarcasm and spite. Doing so should work wonders in attracting your host's attention.
* After following the above steps, a doll in your image should shortly make its way to you from a mysterious source. Please keep this doll on your person for at least a day. This will allow your host to gain an accurate impression of your conditions and what can be done to improve them.
* In the course of the above steps, we also advise you to seek out a small door in the house. This will be the means by which you enter the Other World.
Once you have completed all of the above, then simply fall asleep. Halfway through the night, you should be woken and directed to the small door. Now you will be able to enter the Other World.
Once you have entered the Other World, you should be contacted shortly by your host, who will greet you in a friendly manner and introduce you to the Other World. By this stage, three things should be readily obvious to you.
* Your surroundings are similar to the house you left behind, but have been improved upon in every way. Colours are more vibrant, more interesting objects exist, and anything capable of inducing boredom has been removed with scientific precision.
* The inhabitants of the Other World bear a remarkable similarity to your own immediate family and neighbours, but are more attentive, welcoming, and recipient to your needs. Annoying quirks have also been ironed out, so that nothing need stand between you and complete pleasure in their company.
* Every single one of these inhabitants, including your host, has buttons in place of eyes. Although this can be initially off-putting, it can be ignored after a while. We do, however, recommend that you don't forget it entirely, for reasons that will soon become apparent.
Your host will traditionally begin by treating you to an excellent meal, in the company of other inhabitants of the Other World. After this meal, you'll be free to explore the wonders of the Other World, entirely to your own satisfaction.
Points of Interest
After having begun your visit, you will quickly become aware of a number of attractions available in the Other World. Each of these attractions has been specifically designed to cater to your own tastes and pleasures, although some of the attractions common to most Other Worlds include the following.
* A fully stocked kitchen, where your host will be happy to prepare you a full meal at any time. The food available will invariably be better than the food at home in nearly every aspect. (Common questions arise at this point, most often "Where exactly does the food come from?" Don't ask stupid questions if you don't want stupid answers.)
* A circus, where a neighbour will provide entertainment in the form of specially-trained animals performing music and circus acts. Please be advised – although the animals can play music, they have not been trained to do requests. Getting an orchestra of jumping mice to ironically perform 'What's New Pussycat?' isn't going to happen, regardless of how much it may amuse you. Learn to live with disappointment.
* A theatre, where other neighbours will constantly perform musical numbers and acrobatics, for the pleasure of yourself and a audience of Scottish Terriers (once again, don't ask stupid questions). Be warned – some of the acts can be a little risqué. Depending on the age and appeal of your neighbours, this isn't necessarily a good thing.
* A garden, full of living plants, elaborate sculptures, and a cheerful gardener typically taking the form of one of your parents. Rides on a flying tractor are also available by request.
* Cats can also be found in the Other World, having travelled by special means of their own. Your host will regard them as vermin, though you may hold different views on the matter. Cats in the Other World can also talk, though this also isn't necessarily a good thing. Less intelligent cats can be monotonous in their conversation, intelligent cats can be annoyingly cryptic.
Once you have satisfied yourself in the Other World for an evening or night, then you can leave by either falling asleep or going through the little door by which you entered.
Ending Your Visit
After a certain number of visits to the Other World (three is traditional) your host will offer you the chance to stay there permanently. This, however, will come with a cost. Your host will insist, in exchange for their hospitality, that buttons (available in a range of colours) are sewn into your own eyes.
We highly recommend that you terminate your visits to the Other World at this point, and make an orderly exit as quickly as possible. Be advised – your host will typically disable sleeping as a means of egress at this point. The only way will be through the little door.
Some of you reading this will be unconvinced by this course of action. "Why leave this wonderful place?" you might ask. "Surely having buttons sewn into my eyes isn't too high a price to pay." Let us describe what you're considering in detail. YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT HAVING BUTTONS SEWN OVER YOUR EXPOSED EYES WHILE YOU ARE STILL AWAKE AND CONSCIOUS. This is not a good idea in any way, shape, or form. If you are giving serious consideration to the matter, then you also need to give serious consideration to having your head examined. That said, if you've agreed to the procedure, then terminal idiocy is really the least of your problems.
Exit the Other World as quickly as possible, learn a moral lesson about appreciating what you have, and enjoy your good memories of your holiday.
At this point, you should be made aware that some hosts will resent your escape, and may try to lure you back into the Other World by kidnapping your loved ones.
You should do several things in this case.
* Do not contact the authorities to report the exact circumstances of the kidnapping. Depending on your age, you will either be advised by the friendly desk sergeant to make a nice mug of hot cocoa to make the nightmares go away, or you will be visited by a team of policemen with the intention of performing a drugs search. You do not need this.
* Prepare yourself for a journey back to the Other World. Any odds and ends you can pick up could prove useful, as will some sort of personal protection.
* Speak with your formerly-irritating neighbours, who may have some valuable insight or vital item to offer. Take what you can – every little helps in a rescue mission.
Once your preparations are complete, make your way back through the little door, and confront your former host. You have the option of challenging your host to a game in order to win your loved ones back – hosts are competitive creatures, and will hardly ever refuse.
Although the traditional game format consists of finding certain souls scattered through the Other World within a time limit, there's no harm in proposing an alternative game that plays to your strengths. Playing a game of chess for each soul is feasible, as is any other competition against your host you care to name.
(We don't advise challenging your host to an arm-wrestle. Hosts often have little sense of fair play, as well as sharp, metallic hands.)
Playing in the traditional format, however, will reintroduce you to the Other World. It will largely be the same as before, with one salient difference; everything will try to kill you. We advise not letting this happen. Use your wits and collection of odds and ends to your advantage, and don't play fair. Your host won't.
Once you've won the challenge, your host might confront you one last time, in an effort to recoup their losses. This shouldn't pose too much difficulty for your host, who is nightmarishly fast, strong, tough, and possessed of a predator's instinct. Either cripple them quickly and make your escape, or make your peace with your maker. Once you have left, you can enjoy the memories of your visit. And, best of all, everything in the real world will look so interesting and un-dangerous by comparison.
We hope you enjoyed your visit to the Other World (those of you who made it out alive) and we look forward to more journeys to other exciting locations from you in the future.