For now, I like the idea of referring to body sharing in the story as collaborating. This will be the term coined by the government to give a sense that body sharing is a positive opportunity for its participants with a focus on working together for a communal goal; for the greater good. With that in mind, below are the government issued rules.
10 Simple Rules for Harmonious, Happy & Healthy Collaboration
- No smoking
Since the discovery of tobacco, smoking has enjoyed an exponentially ‘cool’ reputation and inexplicable legal protection as a ‘human right’; simultaneously it has taken the lives of increasing numbers of our human family through various health effects including cancer, heart disease and strokes. Let us be the ones to end the madness! If you or someone you love wishes to protect their right to smoke then ask yourself: is more important to you than protecting your children? All governments must find a balance between preserving the safety and the freedoms of their people. By banning the consumption of tobacco in any form, your government hopes to build a future where the human family no longer views smoking as their inalienable right but as a distant and amusing pastime of their antiquated elders. Besides supporting the health and longevity of your collaborators, wouldn’t you like to help support a smoke free future for our descendants? We thought so.
- No alcohol consumption beyond daily unitary guidelines
All we’re asking is that in the interests of maintaining a reasonable calorie intake, avoiding associated health risks and preventing irrational decision making, you stick to 6 units of alcohol per week. A harder one to stomach than a ban on tobacco, we know. Both tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol consumption have detrimental health effects but – we get it – while the former holds a place in the hearts of the human family purely because of its addictive quality, the latter’s popularity is partly due to, well, the fact that it can be a lot of fun! But ask yourself a question: did you need alcohol to have a good time when you were a child? No? We thought so. And when you think of your childhood do you think of a time of deprivation, boredom and misery? We didn’t think so. Let’s aspire to bring some of that optimism and energy of childhood into our adult lives. Some might call turning our backs on alcohol the rejection of British heritage and tradition. We call it evolution.
- No recreational drug use
In the light of Rule 2, we feel this one requires little explanation. In the ‘Cons’ corner we have: illness! Bankruptcy! Destruction of relationships! The encouragement of a criminal underbelly! Violence! Death! In the ‘Pros’ corner we have: “but it’s fun, mann!” Which side are you on?
- Responsible nutrition
Don’t worry: we’re not going to nanny you on this one and tell you you can’t eat carbohydrates after 5pm or that you can never have that second slice of cheesecake again. But participating in collaboration does give you the benefit of having your nutritional intake automatically monitored and we’re always looking to reward our healthiest family members! Keep it lean, clean and green guys and your body, your collaborators and your government will thank you!
- No unauthorised tattoos or piercings
This one’s just good manners: would you be happy to wake up and find the name of a band you hated branded on your flesh without your permission? We do our best to facilitate harmonious collaborations by matching you to similar personality types but there’s no accounting for taste. If you want to get inked, then the old adage still remains true: it’s your body. But remember: it’s not just your body, and any such decisions will need to be made collaboratively. See Appendix 174 in The Happy Collaborator’s Guidebook for further information on how to apply for a tattoo.
- Regulated sleep schedules
When one door closes, another opens. Sometimes it can be difficult to be the Cinderella who turns on her heel and leaves the party early, but at the heart of successful collaboration is compromise and a respect for your collaborators. To ensure consistency and fairness (and your much needed beauty sleep!) your chip will be deactivated at 11pm on a daily basis and will reboot for one of your collaborators at 7am sharp the next morning. That’s our end of the deal. We promise to keep you safe, healthy and virus free as long as you keep up your side of things: getting yourself back to a safe and comfortable place for your collaborator to wake up in.
- No unauthorised travel
This one’s a toughie. We know how fun that spirit of adventure can be. But would it be fun to wake up in some far flung hostel bed, baffled by your surroundings and clueless as to how to get home? That’s your adventure from the perspective of your collaborators. Understand us: we love to get away from it all just as much as you do. But just like your mama taught you, it isn’t fun unless it’s fun for everybody, and that’s the ethos behind our insistance on thoroughly planned and authorised travel. See Appendix 23 in The Happy Collaborator’s Guidebook for further information on how to gain authorisation.
- No unprotected sex
Let’s be frank: sex is a hell of a lot of fun, right? Our ancestors have gained us a reputation with the rest of the world for being uptight about what goes on ‘between the sheets’ but the way we see it is: why not throw away the unnatural chemicals our parents used to have a good time and embrace the lurrrve chemicals Mother Nature installed in us for recreation instead? The ethos behind collaboration is not just about embracing the idea of sharing a body. It’s about embracing the idea of a human family. We’re all friends here, guys! Go out, have fun, collaborate! But use a condom: avoiding STIs for you and your collaborators is just good sense. There’s no excuse for carelessness.
- Arranged relationships
Eventually we all want to settle down, right? It used to take two to tango but now, we’re sorry to say, it takes six! Monogamous relationships deserve to be treated with respect and it’s important to make sure that everyone’s happy with their match. That’s why committing to a relationship with any sort of long term prospect without the consent of your collaborators is strictly prohibited. If you’re looking for something a little more serious then refer to Appendix 428 in The Happy Collaborator’s Guidebook for further information on how we can find the perfect match to help you (all of you!) fall in love and stay in love.
- Shared pregnancies
This one’s a gift! Only a third of the morning sickness, a third of the fatigue and only a one in three chance of having to deliver! Now that’s what we call evolution. You don’t need us to tell you that pregnancy affects your body in a big way. And parenthood? Well that’s kind of a big deal too! With than in mind, we’re sure you can understand that any pregnancies not agreed on collaboratively will be terminated. Remember: this is for your protection. When you do feel ready for the biggest ride of your life, refer to Appendix 554 in The Happy Collaborator’s Guidebook for further information on how to communicate collaboratively about taking that big step.