Sunday, August 4, 2013

161. Credentials

C.W. is back on his kick of having a career. He thinks that the simple fact of being an alien qualifies him for some area of expertise. Maybe so.

“You are the species, after all,” he pointed out. “that made a Oliver North into a political pundit.

“Well yes.” I had to agree.

“And we won’t mention that TV show about the little fat girl that breaks breezes as her primary talent.”

“You must mean Honey-Boo Boo,” I said. “I have heard she has a tendency to fa…, uh break wind as you say.”

“So let’s talk about standards.” He had taken on one of his wildest forms in months, wearing a rumpled outfit set off by a corduroy jacket with, oh yes, suede patches on the elbows. His wild gray hair stood straight up at least six inches and he wore those half-frame reading glasses that he glared over as he talked.

“I want to be a TV personality,” he said.

“Don’t we all?” I said. “How do you propose it?” We were sitting in front of our farm shop where I had been working with my new woodturning lathe. Two friends had come for a visit and had just left when C.W. appeared.

“I will become a UFOologist,” he said with a bright smile. “It’s a natural, don’t you agree?”

“Uh,” I said. “That sounds a little ridiculous. Whatever gave you such an idea?”

“I saw it on the History Channel,” he said, assuming a defensive air. “They wouldn’t put anything ridiculous on the History Channel, would they?”

“I need to get back to my work.”

“So I need to prepare my credentials,” he said. “Then I can be the expert they interview on these shows about flying saucers visiting Earth.”


“Don’t be dismissive,” he said. “They have it all wrong.”

“What all wrong?”

“About visitors from other galaxies. They avoid this place at all costs.”


“Well, your species has a habit of shooting strangers who wander by.”

“But you’re here.”

“Yes, but I fit in,” he said. “I assimilate.”

I looked him over. “Quite so.” I said. “Now, can I get back to work?”

“What about my credentials?”

“What about them?”

“Should I be registered, certified, or licensed?”

“Are you serious?”

“Registered sounds good,” he said. “Like a ‘registered engineer,’ the ones who design pipelines and such.”

“Sounds a little too close to ‘registered sex offender’ I said.

“I’ve never offended anyone of either sex,” he said.

“Not even when you wanted my wife to star in ‘Desperate Housewives of Arkansas’”?

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll be certified."

“That’s what she keeps saying.”


“Never mind.”

“How about licensed, then? That has a nice ring—Licensed UFOologist—don’t you think.”

“A license to deceive people for personal gain?”

“They license acupuncturists and faith healers, don’t they?”

“Yes, and also dogs that have been vaccinated.”

He was a bit deflated by now. I could sense that his dreams of glory were evaporating. He stood and walked over to our shop building. He looked in and then turned toward me.

Don't fear aliens from another planet, my friends.
If you see one, just say "Klaatu barada nikto."
That is a galactic message of friendship. It means:
"Peace to you. I'm just walking along eating my Skittles."
C.W. - Certified UFOologist
“Who were those men who were here?”

“Just friends,” I said.

“What were you talking about?”

“Woodworking mostly.”

“I was up at the hose,” he said. “Mrs. Big Dope said you were talking about ‘it,’ whatever that is.”

“I can’t imagine,” I said.

“Hey,” he said, brightening as he looked inside the shop. “Look at this mess. I could help you. Maybe I could become a certified organizer. I’ll bet nobody ever thought of that one.”

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