“Pamphlet for New Humans,” by Mercedes Lucero

Apr 18th, 2018 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Pamphlet for New Humans
(United States Version)

So you’re a new human in the world. Welcome! This pamphlet contains some important information you should know.

What to Expect

  1. We wish you the best of luck with your continued survival. We tried to make health insurance affordable, trust us. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of YouTube videos that have step-by-step instructions for how to make casts, remove dead or damaged skin tissue, and create asthma nebulizers with plastic water bottles. We don’t know too many people who have actually tried the DIY heart defibrillator but it’s out there.
  2. We’re still working on toxic-free homes, materials, and products. You’ll be glad to hear that we just now finally removed the arsenic from some treated wood products after a decades-long legislative battle with the manufacturers. However, there are just a few other (minor) precautions to be aware of. You may have allergic or unpleasant reactions to the following: T-shirts, cribs, beds, toys, curtain rods, spoons, shampoo, doorknobs, cellular devices, most walls, and the outside. Sorry we haven’t quite gotten to everything, yet. There’s also a strange rise in methane gas that we haven’t figured out what to do about. In any case, your safest bet is to learn how to have fun indoors.
  3. When it comes to the nuclear stuff, don’t worry. That initial feeling of alarm will begin to grow so familiar, it’ll start to feel normal! Our heart rate doesn’t even go up anymore when we hear phrases like “nuclear warfare” and “mass destruction.” There’s no need for panic but as soon as possible, you should collect a 14-day food supply, a radio, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, toilet paper, two-weeks worth of water, and a book you’ve been meaning to read that hasn’t been banned in your state.
  4. Don’t drink the tap water.
  5. Good news, new human! We finally discovered an answer to the long-held question of whether benefits will be around when you retire. They won’t. However, many seniors have found jobs in rising industries. Take garbage design, for instance. With the overflow of landfills, garbage design has become quite lucrative. We happen to think the mattresses made of old stuffed animals are actually pretty comfortable.
  6. In lieu of goals and dreams, we suggest becoming Facebook friends with someone who is worse off than you are in the hopes you’ll feel better about yourself.

We understand that this may be quite overwhelming for a new human like you. New humans are becoming rare these days. In fact, there are only about 300 of these pamphlets printed each year. We hope that because of your status, you appreciate our efforts to provide some vital information upfront, especially as you begin the journey ahead.


Mercedes Lucero is the author of Stereometry (Another New Calligraphy 2018) and the chapbook, In the Garden of Broken Things (Flutter Press 2016).  She is the 2017 winner of the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award for Poetry and her writing can be found in Puerto del Sol, The Pinch, Heavy Feather Review, and Curbside Splendor among others. You can see more of her work at www.mercedeslucero.com. (Photo by Jeffrey McKee.)

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