Sunday, December 28, 2014

231. Reality

This time I had to ask him to repeat it because I couldn’t believe my ears. The alien C.W. was actually asking for my help. He is usually quite independent as the loyal reader can attest.

“I need you to notarize some reports,” he said early this morning, throwing a pile of papers on the kitchen table beside my coffee. He was nattily dressed as, hmm, let me see, oh, he was trying for the Paul Krugman look, complete with a well-trimmed beard and expensive wire-rimmed glasses.

“What reports?”

“The ones I have to send in.” He stopped, looked around, and bent over to speak to me privately. “I actually sent them in already but some were returned with a demand for human verification.” He looked around to make sure nobody else was in the room. “That’s where you come in.”

“Who is demanding verification?”

“The Elders.”


“The Falloonian Elders. They doubt my power of conveying or perceiving truth or accuracy.”

“Ah,” I said, “your old veracity problem.”

“It’s not that. This time I am accurate. They are charging Luniadicity.”

“They’re charging what?”

“It’s a Falloonian expression.”

“Meaning what?”

He studied me. “It doesn’t have an exact English translation.”

“A rough one then.”

He pursed his lips and stared at the ceiling. “Rough?”


“Roughly … ‘nobody is that goddam stupid’ and that is a little on the gentle side.”

“Let’s see those reports,” I said, picking up the one on top. It was labeled “Economic Theories – The Supply Side Joke.”

“C.W.,” I said, “what is this?”

“A report on the idiotic reasoning of some of your leaders that a governmental unit can increase its supply of revenue by cutting its supply of revenue.”

He had me there. “Also known as the ‘What’s the Matter With Kansas?’ problem,” I said.

“It’s making your country the laughing stock of the Galaxy,” he said.

“Guess I’ll have to sign off on that one. I laid it aside and looked at the next one. It read, “War as Treatment.” I looked at him and he read my confusion.

“The wars you wage on nouns,” he said, “instead of solving problems.”

“Example?” I said.

“How about the problem of addiction syndrome?”

“The what?”

“It is apparent to everyone who has been reading my reports that your species—some units more than others—has a genetic disposition toward addiction. Our scientists believe it is a remnant from the times when gorging was effi.. effa … effic…”


“Efficacious, because of the unpredictability of food supplies.”


“The modern result is the addictive personality. That is your societal problem.”


“I’m told that the entire membership of the Elders Conference fell out of their chairs laughing when I reported the solution that your species had devised.”

“They laughed at us?”

“Sure. They know the obvious solution to the problem of addiction is treatment and not your silly solution, if I may be uncompromisingly forthright as resembling a worn-down edge.”

“Go ahead and be blunt. How did you describe our solution?”

“The creation of a so-called war on the noun describing the source of addiction, followed by the creation of an international and illegal black market on the source, addressed by a massive inflow of resources to fund police action designed to keep amateur participants out of the business of distributing the source, and finally a refusal to spend resources on treatment due to a lack of funds.”

“Oh,” I said.

“You can see why they laughed.”

“Right,” I said. ‘What’s next?” I picked up the following report. It was labeled simply, “Gungdoitus.”

When I reported that this man was elected to office
by promising that a small revenue stream would
produce a large revenue stream, the Falloonina Elders
almost brought me home. - C.W.
I stared. “What the …?”

“Another Falloonian phrase.”


He thought. “Meaning the condition of having the cure but making it difficult or illegal to use it.”

Now I had him. “Surely you can’t suggest that we do that?”

He looked at me as if I had just said that winds were caused by the fairies fanning themselves.

“Have you ever heard,” he said, and his eyes bored right into mine, “of birth control?”

I slumped and said nothing.

“I hope you have some time,” he said. “We’ve quite a few of these to go.” He picked up one labeled “Transportation.” He grimaced, “No way they’re ever going to believe this one.”
Help our revenue stream. Click an ad.
- Your Pal in Truth: C.W.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

230. Love

Omigosh, C.W. is using the holiday break to study philosophy. Yeegads. When I walked into the living room this morning there was the form of Albert the Analyst, one of his favorites, sitting on the couch in this tweed jacket—the one with the suede patches on the elbows—surrounded by books. He looked at me through horn-rimmed glasses, partly covered with unkempt hair and said, “Peace.” He immediately followed it with, “Humbug.”

“Tis the season,” I said.

“That’s what I’m trying to make sense of,” he said. “It happens every year this time.”

“What happens?”

“This time of peace on earth and good will toward men turns so ugly.”

“No it doesn’t”

“Oh,” he said, “but it does. Just look around you. That TV show, the fake news show …”

“The so-called Fox ‘News’ show?”

“That’s the one,” he said. “When’s the last time you saw them promoting an intense feeling of deep romantic affection?”

“Uh,” I said, “I don’t think love is the cornerstone of their business plan.”

“Evidently not,” he said. “And it shows in all the strong feelings of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility we see everywhere we go.”

“Anger is not everywhere,” I said. “Look at all those presents people exchange.”

“Exactly what I’m talking about.”

This took me by surprise. “How so?”

“Just a few moments before you came in,” he said, “one of you neighbors called and I spoke with them.”

“What did they want?”

“It was a woman asking where she might find this particular present for her brother.”

“See,” I said, “that’s exactly what I mean. It’s the season for promoting peace on earth and goodwill by exchanging presents. She wanted you to help her express her love.”

He sighed and looked at me as if I had just said storks bring babies. “She wanted to know,” he said, “where she could buy some of that toilet tissue they sell that has your President Barack Obama’s face printed on each square.”

“Oh dear,” I said.

“She thought it was just what he would want,” he said, “i.e. the perfect gift for the Season of Love.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, suddenly feeling the need to suffer for humankind.

“Oh,” he said, “that’s not all.”

“There’s more?”

“I didn’t ask her, but she told me anyway.”

What better way to celebrate the birth
of the Prince of Peace? - C.W.

“Told you what?”

“What her brother was getting her for Christmas.”

When I didn’t say anything , he continued, “One of those Glock handguns.”

“I see,” I said.

“So,” he went on, “she could shoot herself the first ni…”

“That’s enough,” I said. “I get the picture.”

He leaned back. “Speaking of Christmas presents, though, have you ordered my copy of ‘No Country for Old Men,’ yet?”

Be sure to click an ad ... we must pay for the presents.
Also see and
- C.W.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

229. Imagining War

“What the …?”

Of all the getups and shapes C.W. has taken over the years, this was one of his strangest. Now get this. Imagine a young Don Knotts in the getup of a fearsome fighter pilot, complete with flight suit, helmet, sun visor, and a survival knife strapped to his leg. It was a ludicrous example of extreme opposites, as far as appearance goes.

“You know I told you I couldn’t go walking with you?” he began.

“Uh, yeah.” I was still pretty much speechless.

“I can now,” he said. “When do you want to go?”

Struggling to find words, I stared at him and his garb. “What the …?”

“I’m free to go now,” he said, flinging his helmet toward the couch.

“What happened?”

“I got fired.”

Now this was news. “Fired from what?”

“My job,” he said, crestfallen.

“What job?”

“Flying drones for your military. I was, like, really having fun and they, like, fired me.”

Impressions were assaulting my brain like an artillery bombardment at Verdun. “Give me a second,” I said as I tried to compose myself. After a moment, I managed to get something out. “You were flying drones for the Air Force?”

“It was easy,” he said, “with my computer skills. They recruited me from some high scores on that ‘Call of Duty’ video game. Then they, like, furnished the computers and everything. It was, like, extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.”


“That’s, like, what I said.”

“So how did it work?”

“They, like, gave me this neat uniform and I, like, sat in a great large chair and entered coordinates. I fed information into the computer, sat back, steered, and enjoyed the ride. Then when I had the target in view, I like …”

“I get the picture,” I said. “So what happened?”

“I, uh, entered the wrong coordinates and thought I, like, had the right target.”

“Which was?”

“A hostage situation …the terrorists were, like, torturing one of our female operatives.”


“I was sure I had, like, the secret location in Afghanistan. It was, like, going to be … uh …”




“I was off a little.”

“How little?”

He screwed his face into a questioning expression. “Wrong country?”

“What country?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“But you thought you had the right target?”

“Like, yeah,” he said as if I should have understood.

“A torture scene?”

“Like, really.”

“How could you confuse that?”

He looked at the floor. Then he looked around. Finally he looked at me. “It was a movie set.”

“A what?” I must have yelled.

“Chill,” he said, “a movie set. But it sure looked like a torture scene.”


“I, like, can’t tell you that.”

“What kind of movie?”

A neat job and I never got air sick. - C.W.
“It was one with lots of action.” Then he did the strangest thing. He took on a wistful look as if reliving a pleasant memory. “I really did them good,” he said.

“But it was a movie set with innocent people.”

“Yeah,” he said, “but it was still, like, awesome.” He shrugged.

“Did you learn the name of the movie?”

“Yeah,” it was some sort of travel adventure.”

“A travel show?”

“Yeah, something called ‘Bhaarati does Bombay.’”
Click an ad... I have to pay for the uniform - C.W.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

229. Doctrines

“Hey, you want to listen to some music?”

“Can’t,” C.W. said, looking up from the kitchen table. “Got some orders to fill.” Uh oh. I sensed another of his get-rich schemes, especially as he had assumed the shape of the little guy on TV that does the OxiClean commercials. He had a huge Bible to one side of my laptop and several stacks of papers on the other. He immediately returned to what he had been doing.

“Mind if I ask what you are up to this time?”

It obviously annoyed him, but he looked up to answer the question. “I’m helping those with troubled spiritual or immaterial parts of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.”

Did I tell you that he has been having trouble with his Galactic Universal Translator?

“You need a GUT check,” I said, “and how, exactly are you helping those with troubled souls?”

He didn’t answer, just handed me the top three sheets from a stack of papers, all clipped to an envelope. I looked them over.

The first sheet was a letter, I suppose from one of his “clients.” It read: Dear Sirs: I have started a small church that I hope will become a large one with a world-wide following. I am having trouble making my members give me money. The men say that their wives insist on buying food and clothes for their children instead. Please design me a doctrine to address this.” It was signed “Unobeyed.”

I flipped to the second sheet. The first thing that caught my eye was the letterhead. It read, “Doctrine Designers, Incorporated,” and listed my name as president. “What the …” I began.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “It’s just a nominal office. I needed an ordained minister’s license and they wouldn’t accept an application from a Falloonian, so I got you one. Online. It was at or for a low price.”

“I don’t care how cheap it was. I didn’t say you could make me a preacher.”

“Not a preacher,” he said, “a follower of our ‘Fisher of Men and Women Doctrine.’ Don’t you read your Bible?”

It was useless. I continued reading. “Dear Unobeyed: You best introduce the Doctrine of ‘Peter’s Anger.’ Cite the Book of Acts, Chapter Five verses One through Eleven. When your flocks see what Peter did to Ananias and Sapphira, they will know how much you love them and will surely fall in line.” My signature followed, as “Minister of Doctrine.”

I fumed, but looked at the third sheet as he continued to type. It was a bill for a thousand dollars. “Uh,” I said. “How are we going to divide up the money?”

“I thought fifty-fifty,” he said.

Doctrines are like clothes. You just feel
better when they fit you  well. - C.W.
“Hmm. I continued reading. The next was from “Troubled.” It read, “Dear Minister of Doctrine: I enjoy travelling with my companion and visiting the major cities in the country. We make money by giving speeches that we call ‘Dealing With the Thorn.’ Since we have begun counseling attendees not to have heterosexual sex, we have been attacked and beaten several times. Could you please help us with a doctrine that will make them quit”

“C.W.,” I said. “This has got to stop now. Right now.”

“Can’t yet,” he said, “You’re about to solve a problem a client is having with his disrespectful children.” He picked up another sheet. “And here’s one from a man who doesn’t like to be kidded about being bald.” He fished another letter out. “Here’s a good one. It’s from a poor boat builder who starts thinking his daughters are cute when he gets to drinking.”

“Now, “I said. “It stops now.”

“Careful you don’t violate our ‘Apostate Doctrine’ and get in real trouble,” he said. “We do serve other religions, you know.”
Please click on an ad. Big Dope has left me unemployed again. - C.W.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

228. Viewpoints

“Hey, want to go for a walk?” C.W. came bounding in almost breathless looking like an ad for L.L. Bean, complete with red plaid shirt and classy hiking shoes. He resembled an outdoor George Clooney. We were spending a long holiday weekend at our farm and he was primed and ready for action, probably a little bored as well.

“Can’t,” I said.

“Why not? You aren’t doing anything.”

Actually I was writing but forget that. “Can’t walk around here,” I said. “Deer season.”


“Deer season. There are folks that would shoot an alien just to have their picture with your body in the county paper.”

He plopped onto a couch. “May I say,” he began, “that your species is a bit weird?”

“Pray do,” I said. “Just don’t include me.”

“Oh, you are as bad as the rest.”

I ignored him.

“For example,” he said. “When any issue comes up, you tend to pick a point of view and stick with it no matter what the facts say.”

“Do not.”

“Oh yes you do.”

“Do not.”

“Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton?”

He took me by surprise. I thought. “Eric Clapton, everybody knows that.”

“What if Clapton himself said ‘Hendrix?’”

“Eric Clapton.”

“What if ‘Rolling Stone Magazine’ said Hendrix?”

“Eric Clapton,” I said. “Now I have work to do.”

“Are you planning to produce a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers?”

“If I decide to produce a book,” I said, “you won’t be in it.”

“Why not?”

“You aren’t interesting enough.”

“I’m more interesting than you.”

“Are not.”

“Am,” he said. “How many of your readers have suggested that you write a book about yourself?”

“Well,” I said, “none yet but that’s not to say they won’t be interested when it is finished.”

“Yeah,” he said, “and Rush Limbaugh might discover that it’s fun to talk about the goodness of humankind.”
“It could happen,” I said.

“And Bill O'Reilly might actually read one of those books he has ‘written’ as well and start acting like the subjects of them.”

“Well I do write all my stuff,” I said.

“And,” he  said, “how many of your readers have suggested that you include me in a book?”

I thought. “This month or all together?”

“Let’s just say in the last couple of months.”

“Oh,” I said, “quite a few.”


“I’d be the laughing stock of America,” I said.

“No,” he said, “Sarah Palin has that title all sewed up.”

“Don’t you have something to do?”

“I could read something,” he said. “Dickens or Austin?”

Will Big Dope ever accept the truth? - C.W.
My worn copy of “Great Expectations” was in view. I saw the trap and could see the joy on his face when he repeated my answer to my wife. “Actually either is acceptable,” I said. “I prefer modern American writers.”

“Gatsby or Grapes of Fierce Anger?”

“Are you trying to provoke me?”

“Maybe I’ll just watch a little television while you write.” Before I could protest, he grabbed the TV remote and punched a button. Immediately the contorted face of Nancy Grace appeared. We both watched in disbelief as she convicted a person of gross sins against humanity and vowed that it would all come out in the trial. C.W. leaned forward and took it in with a wry smile. He turned to me and cocked his head, or at least the shape of the head he had chosen for today.

“Guilty or not guilty?” he said.
and of course: click an ad. We always need new hiking attire. - C.W.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

227. Privilege

            “I’ve been thinking,” C.W. said.
            Oh hell. “About what?” We were taking advantage of a break in the cold weather to walk along the riverside park in Little Rock. The air was crisp, the leaves on the maple trees a flaming red, and the paths clear of his enemies, the bicyclists. He often takes on a shape much like that of Johnny Depp in times like this, a joke that causes many stares and an occasional stalking. He, of course, was smoking, blowing the smoke my way to irritate me.
            “I’ve been thinking I might stay here,” he said. “I mean after my assignment is finished.”
            Oh hell. “And what makes you think you might do that?”  I said.
            “I’ve grown accustomed to your face,” he said. I turned quickly to see if he was kidding. He was.
            “And aside from that?”
            “Your species needs help,” he said. “Maybe I could be a pundit, or columnist, or run for office.”
            Oh hell. “Why do you think we need help?”
            “Oh please,” he said. “You have people elected to your national congress who think the universe is 6,000 years old.” He took a puff and blew the smoke toward the distant skyscrapers. “And they are allowed to breed children, drive cars, and operate TV remotes. Scary.”
            “You’ve got a point,” I said.
            “And you’ve got some really ignorant ones at the state level,” he said.
            He was making me despondent. “So,” I said, “will they let you stay, the Falloonian Elders?”
            “I have to make application,” he said. “And I have to choose a permanent shape and personality. And, I have to have sponsors who will vouch for me. You and Mrs. Big Dope will, won’t you?”
            Oh hell. “Have you thought about your permanent shape?” I said.
            “Some,” he said. “I, of course would be male, earning power and all that.”
            “Anything else?”
            “Caucasian. That opens a lot of doors,” he said, “and removes any limitations.”
            “A degree from Harvard would help.”
            “You’ll have to ask them about that,” I said.
            “I have,” he said. “I just have to send the check.”
            “Good for you,” I said. “Is that all you need? Any physical specifications?”
            “Yes, I think it would help if I were tall.”
            “Hmm,” I said, “probably. Anything else?”
            “A big pe …”
            “Look,” I said. “A speedboat was pulling a water skier in a wetsuit down the river. “That’s something you don’t see often, this time of year. But what were you saying?”
            He thought. “A trust fund,” he said, “I will need a trust fund.”
            “Don’t look to me for that,” I said.
            “Oh the Elders would arrange that. They seemed anxious to grant me permanency here.”
            “I can imagine,” I said. “So that about does it then?”
            “If I plan to run for office, I need a stint in the military.”
            Oh hell. “And?”
            “That presents a bit of a problem,” he said.
            “How so?”
            “We don’t have violence in Falloonia. I’m not sure how I would respond.”
            “Well you won’t know until you try.” I was thinking of four years of freedom.
            “Maybe I could just become an avid hunter instead,” he said. “That seems to work as a proxy.”
Everyone is crazy about
a self-made man. - C.W.
            “That involves violence,” I said.
            “Yes, but it is unilateral violence. That is the best kind.”
            “Say,” I said. “You’ve thought this thing out pretty carefully.”
            “I’m prepared to pull myself up by my own bootstraps, as George W. Bush used to say. Only two decisions to go,” he said.
            “Only two?”
            “Yes, finding a wife and choosing a church home,” he said, “appearances, you know.”
            “That shouldn’t be hard,” I said.
            “I don’t know, he said. “Those Baptist women are awfully pretty, but you know how much I like to dance.”
            Oh hell.
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Also check out

Sunday, November 16, 2014

226. Corporationhood

“Man, we’ve got to get into this religion racket.”

“Some of my friends wouldn’t call it a racket,” I said.

“What would you call it?” C.W. was all turned out in expensive clothes (Heaven knows where he got them), a fake platinum watch, and a haircut that looked like three plates of spaghetti piled on top of one another.

“Some call it a pursuit of spirituality,” I said, “a search for grace.”

“Oh, that’s them old-timey folks,” he said. “I’m talking about modern times. I tell, you, there’s gold in those pews.”

“How so?”

He closed his eyes as if praying for understanding. “Don’t you read the news?”

“I quit … too depressing.”

“Well,” he said, “the evangelism stars are aligning themselves.”

“Uh,” I said, “I think you are mixing metaphors or something like that.”

“Whatever,” he said. “The time is right.”

“The time is right for what?”

“My new religion.”

“I see. You are going to start a new religion.”

“Yes. And I need some rent money for a tabernacle.”

“I’m not sure there are many tabernacles for rent around here.”

“Oh, a simple coliseum will do for now.”

“And this new church will be called what?”

“The Church of the Corporate Covenant.”

“The what?”

“You heard me.” He said. “It’s a church for corporation people only we will allow other types of people as well.”

“And whose idea was this?”

“I got it from your Superior To All Others Court.”

“Our Supreme Court?”

“Why do you repeat me so often?”

“A habit, I suppose. But how is our Supreme Court going to help you start a church?”

“Not help, enable.”

“How so?”

“Haven’t you heard? Corporations have human feelings like everyone else, including religious feelings.”


“Laws must respect those and make allowances.”


“What corporation wants to pay taxes?”

“Uh …”

“What corporation wants to allow a woman to run it?”

“Well …”

“What corporation in American wants to pay higher wages than does a corporation in Sri Lanka?”

“Ah …”

“And black folks, give me a break. They steal more than they produce. Ask Bill O’Reilly If we didn’t have to hire them, corporate profits would soar.”

“Corporate profits are already soaring.”

“But just wait,” he said, “until we don’t have to hire cripples anymore.”

“C.W., I can’t believe I hear you saying these things.”

“I’m merely speaking for the Lord of Corporations. I’m a way-pointer on the path to salvation.”

I was beginning to understand. “So you will set up a church that objects to all these restrictions on religious grounds.”

Isn't it thrilling? your new
Civil Rights movement. - C.W.
“In exact terms, without vagueness.”

“And exactly why do you think it will work?”

“Because you are a Level Nineteen Species.”

“A level what?”

“A species that has been walking upright for less than half a million years. It’s a Galactic Council term. It indicates provisionality.”


“You may not have long so let’s get busy.”

Click on an ad. We need money for our adventures.
And check our
- C.W.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

225. New Words

C.W. likes to make up words, which is humorous given the problems he has with his GUT (his Galactic Universal Translator). It is affected at times by sunspots. That can produce some interesting communications such as the one I found this morning.

“I have gone for an act of moving at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn, never having both feet off the ground at once, and have left you some notes on the kitchen piece of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs, providing a level surface on which objects may be placed, and that can be used for such purposes as eating, writing, working, or playing games.”

So, while he was out walking I looked on the kitchen table and found a report entitled “New Articles of Communication Needed by the North American Species of Homo Sapiens.” I had just started reading it when he walked in, shaped as a hunter in camouflage and bright orange. He tossed his hat aside and said, “I see you found my brief record of facts, topics, or thoughts, written down as an aid to memory.”

“I found your notes and you need to adjust your translator.”

He said, “I trust my GUT. What do you think of my new words?”

“I dunno, “ I said. “I just started on them. Where did you get the idea for this one, ‘Connecdeficia?’”

“Ah,” he said, “The lack of ability to connect mental dots. That’s a badly needed one.”

“Where did you come up with it?”

“From exit interviews at your last political election.”

“Exit interviews? I didn’t know you did exit interviews.”

“Oh yes,” he said. “You won’t believe what I heard your neighbors say when I asked them what they despised most in modern America.”


“I hate poor children. I really hate poor Hispanic children. And I really, really hate poor black children. And, oh yeas I truly despise the use of contraceptives.”

            After thinking for a moment, I said, “You may have a point there.” I looked at his notes. "What’s this next one, ‘Nonapplicational?’”

“Oh that’s simple. I singled out some voters who had family members dependent on governmental largesse.”


“Yes, it’s a much softer word than ‘welfare,’ don’t you think?”

“Maybe so, maybe not, but go ahead.”

“Typical was the interviewee whose grandmother had been kept alive by what you call your ‘Medicaid Program’ for the last thirty years of her life.”


“The granddaughter voted for the party that promised to eliminate the program.”

“So her grandmother’s case was ..?”


Nonapplicational,” I interrupted.


“You know,” I said, “of all the hair-brained schemes you have had, this one might be the least so.”

“Brains have hair?”

“It’s an expression,” I said. “What’s this next one, ‘Nasaladectomous’ or something like that?”

“It’s what you call an adjective,” he said. “It modifies an action whereby one  ...”

“Cuts off his nose …”

“To spite his visage,” he said. “I got this one from talking to veterans like you.”


“You won’t believe how many said they voted for a candidate simply because he was a veteran.”


“This one in particular had cast several votes previously denying benefits for veterans.”

“They voted for him anyway?”

“ Yes,” he said, “in a classic case of …”


It was getting interesting. I looked at his motes. “Amouraprobe?”

He shook his head. “This was the strangest of all. Tell me,” he said, “would you vote for a candidate who vowed to have the government insert a metal probe into your penis for no reason?”

I gasped. “Heavens no,” I said.

“Would you like to guess how many women voted for a candidate who has vowed to insert such a probe into their …?”

A creature after my own heart. - C.W.
“Enough,” I said. “I get the picture.”

“So the word describes a phenomenon whereby the love of a physical threat produces adulation and loyalty.”

“Well,” I said, “what’s next?”

“I have to submit my recommendations to the Office of Moronascurity.”

“The what?”

“Where they obscure the meaning of words and terms so that the …”

“I understand.”

“It’s simple matter of Lambafication,” he said.” New wine is not put into old wineskins. Didn’t one of your persons regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of god say that?”

“One of our prophets did indeed,” I said. “Now, if you will excuse me, I think I’ll go for a walk and try to make the thought of amouraprobe become nonapplicational.

Click an ad ... I need cash for my businesses.
And check out
- C.W.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

224. History

            “I see where they are going to quit teaching the history of your country in New York public schools,” C.W. said as we lounged in the living room reading.
            “That’s nice,” I said. Actually I was reading history and half-listening to him. He was in his “lounging form,” a cross between Gore Vidal and how he supposed Charles Darwin would have looked.
            “No, really,” he said. “they say it doesn’t contribute to standardized test results so it doesn’t need to be taught. Is that a good idea?”
            “Some people in …, where did you say? They must think it is.”
            “New York,” he said. “But others will surely follow.”
            “Why do you say that?” He was beginning to draw my attention.
            “Don’t you remember when your people started emphasizing history in public schools?”
            “Years ago?”
            “A big push, according to the article I read, came during what you call World War One.”
            “Oh really?”
            “Seems your people worried that all the new immigrants coming into your country didn’t understand your great history.”
            “And thanks to that effort, so many people now know about the massive employment programs you had back in the early days of your nation for immigrants from underdeveloped countries in Africa.”
            “Employment programs?”
            “Surely you know about those.”
            “Employment programs? That’s what you call them?”
            “That’s what the expert on that news show you don’t like calls them, and he teaches history at a university.”
            “And calls them ‘employment programs?””
            “Sometimes he calls them ‘employment opportunities.’ After all, you did furnish free transportation here, room and board while being trained for work, and a living wage during the process.”
            “And you believe that?”
            “Doesn’t matter what I believe. I’m just an alien. But the folks around here that I talk to believe it. And they vote.”
            “You are making me despondent.”
            “Many of those I talk to also understand, because of the teaching of history, about the war that resulted when northern industrialists decided to confiscate southern farms and eliminate the so-called ‘middle-man’ in manufacturing and food processing.”
            “Say what?”
            “I don’t blame them for resisting. Do you?”
            “Where do you hear such nonsense?”
            “At the coffee shop. You should go with me some time. You could even learn about how hard it was to turn back the hordes of stone-age savages that invaded the country from Russia in the 1600s, trying to annihilate your early settlers.”
            “You know this is bull…, that it is all wrong, don’t you?”
            “So you are saying maybe the teaching of history isn’t such a good idea?”
            “That’s not what I’m saying at all.”
            “What are you saying?”
            I said, “We should try to understand it and learn from it, history that is.”
            “Why? It’s not on the Common Core tests. Why should you teach it? How does knowledge of history help you operate a computer?”
            “It helps,” I said, “understand Americans who changed history, people like Susan B. Anthony, and Abraham Lincoln. In my lifetime, there was Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Kennedy.”
            “Yeah, Lyndon Johnson’s wife paid Charles Manson to kill him, didn’t she?”
            “Where do you hear this stuff?”
            “Different places,” he said. “I get around.”
We'll soon get rid of these antiquated things
called teachers. What part can they play in
passing standardized tests? - C.W.
            “You don’t get around to the library, it seems.”
            “The what?”
            “Oh my god.”
            “Just kidding,” He said. “But don’t worry about the libraries. I heard they cost too much and they are going to shut them down. The authorities can put everything you need to know on your personal computer, according to what career they determine for you.”
            I hung my head. “And just who will determine these careers?”
            “Not who. What.”
            “What will determine these careers?”
            “Why standardized test scores, of course. Michelle Rhee is working on them right now, I hear.”
            “Isn’t that a sort of, oh say … an educational version of a ‘circular firing squad,’ standardized tests determining what courses you should take to pass standardized tests?”
            “Hey,” he said as he started to transmogrify into his favorite form of Reggie the Young Conservative, “it’s your country. I’m just an alien.”

Hit an ad. Keep knowledge alive.
Also, check out
- C.W.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

223. Ad Man

C.W. has never quite given up on his dream of becoming an ad man. This latest burst of enthusiasm developed from his viewing so many political ads that ran in our state. He was in his “Ad Man” form the other morning as I was busy with computer-aided drafting and half paying attention.

“They seem to be stuck in a loop, so to speak,” he said as an ad ended in which a candidate for state attorney general promised to destroy the President if elected.

“Yep,” I said as I clipped the unneeded ends of some lines. “There,” I said. We won’t need those any longer.”

“My point exactly,” he said.

“Good.” I said, selecting several objects and moving them to a new location. “We can save them and use them over here.”

“That’s what I’m thinking,” he said.

“It’s always good to reuse old things,” I said, “even old ideas.” I imported a drawing block I had used in a previous project and inserted into my new drawing. “There. Perfect.”

“I thought you would agree,” he said.

“With what?”

“My plan to expand the political ad paradigm to other products.”

“Say what?”

“You said it yourself. It’s wise to reuse good ideas.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Just look,” he said, and he produced a portfolio he had brought with him. Gold-embossed lettering on the cover said, “Red States Advertising Group.” He opened it and drew out an ad mockup for me to see. It was a large drawing of a tube of toothpaste. The copy read, “Barack Obama uses Colgate toothpaste. So, choose Crest: White teeth for white folks.”

“Are you out of your fu …?”

A female voice from the next room said, “I can hear you in there.”

“Are you crazy?”

“Don’t like that? How’s this?” He laid the first down and picked up another. It was a photo of a brand new pickup truck with a young Caucasian couple standing alongside and beaming. The copy read, “While Barack rides around in his Lincoln, you’ll enjoy your Chevy pickup, the ride of choice for real Americans.”

I was speechless.

He continued with another. “Here’s one of my more popular ones.” It was a photo of First Lady Michelle Obama with an Aunt Jemima headdress. It read, “Michelle says ‘Eat Healthy.’ Let’s show her. Enjoy a Big Mac, fries, and milkshake with your family. Show that uppity female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals.

“Uh, you don’t have the exact word and you couldn’t use it if you did.”

“Why not?”

“It isn’t fitting and it bodes ill of you. You can't call America's First Lady that.”

“That’s what they call her down at campaign headquarters.”

My aim is to cleanse the advertising
industry of old ideas. - C.W.
“Maybe so, but not in this house.”

“Drats,” he said. “You probably won’t like this one either. He held up a shot of the President’s daughters, all dressed up in gorgeous evening wear, under the heading, “These Obama kids may say ‘Black is Beautiful’ We say, ‘White is perfect.’ Ivory flakes, pure and proud.”

“I’m not sure they still make Ivory Flakes.”

“That’s okay. Purex has already put in a bid.” He tossed it aside and flashed an ad for a company called “Nobama Temps: Your source for cheap temporary labor. Low salary, no benefits, no promises, and tax deductible. The next best thing to owning a slave.”

That’s all I could stand. I started to leave the room, but he yelled out behind me. “One more, look at this sure-fire winner.”

I couldn’t help myself. Turning as I reached the door, I saw a poster featuring a huge .45 caliber, semi-automatic pistol beside an open box of cartridges, several of them scattered alongside the box.

The copy read simply, “Obama, Obama, Obama. The worst. Remington guns and ammo. The best.”
Click an ad and help a needy Alien.
Also check out
- C.W.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

222. Explanations

Oh no, it was “Explanation Day.” I can always tell I’m in for it when C.W. appears as a faint resemblance of Thurgood Marshall. We had decided to meet for a short walk along a downtown park. He had been in hiding for a few days while we entertained out-of-state friends and I was feeling a little blue after their departure and not wanting to talk much. I had hoped he might entertain me with another of his get-rich schemes and I could just listen.

It was not to be.

“Good morning sir,” he said.

Oh no, formality. It would be especially taxing,

“Good morning. What you been up to?”

“I greet you with much new insight,” he said. Oh boy.

“And how did you gain such insight?”

“From walking to and fro upon the earth,”

When he “goes Biblical,” on me, it is going to be a long day.

“You seem to be such an intelligent species in some ways,” he said.


“Yes,” he said. “Your advancement from blue algae to a species capable of mechanically escaping the gravitational force of your home planet with manned craft in a little over four billion years is remarkable, truly remarkable.”

“I had no idea.”

He looked to see if I was kidding, Satisfied I wasn’t, he said, “It took us Falloonians almost seven billion,” he said.

“It’s good to know we can excel,” I said.

“Of course,” he said, “we weren’t doing it for domination.”

“Oh? Then why?”

He cocked his head in that funny way he does when his circuits become temporarily overloaded. “Why,” he said, “for the simple love of knowledge.”

I knew the other shoe was about to drop so we walked along in silence as the birds sang and vehicles sped above us on the Interstate. A hawk suddenly appeared and landed on a tree near us, a sight that would normally have delighted my alien friend. He scarcely noticed it. I braced myself.

Finally, he spoke. “Why then?” was all he said.

“Why then what?”

“Why do you elect mendacious ignorami to public office/”

“Hey,” I said. “You got your Galactic Universal Translator fixed.”

“My GUT is fine,” he said, “and I trust it completely.”

“Only I think,” I said, “we would simply say ignoramuses.”

“You are certainly proving all over again that you are one,” he said.
When he goes “snippy,” I usually back off. “Want to tell me,” I said, “what brought this all on?”



“You call it ‘Ebola’ but that isn’t the galactic name.”

“You’ve heard of it?”

“Everyone has heard of it,” he said. “It is planted on developing planets by Castasurneans.”

“By whom?”

“They have appointed themselves as purifiers of the Galaxy, They plant a deadly, but controllable virus on developing planets.”


“To determine if the controlling species is worthy of existing. In their view, those that are will combine their intellectual resources in a communal effort to defeat the threat, while the galaxy is best cleansed of those who don’t.”

“Did they do that to Falloonia?”

“Some five billion of what you call years ago.”

“You seem pensive today,” I said. “Is that a bad sign?”

“We had reached the commercial corridor that we call the ‘River Market’. He stopped in front of a newspaper stand and pointed. “Look,” he said.

There was a front page article in which a congressman stated that our President was spreading the virus for political gain.”

“How did he get elected?”

“The congressman?”

“Yes, the ignoramus.”

“Someone thought they should invest in him, I suppose.”

We walked on. I was the one getting pensive now.

“So …” I began, “Can you predict our chances?”

“Look,” he said, pointing at a magazine in another stand. Its front page advertised an article stating, “Governor of Louisiana says the state won’t limit the teaching of science in state schools to fact-only curriculum.”

Isn't it a little dangerous to allow grown
men to make statements like this in front
of little children? - C.W.
I was getting worried. “Any conclusions?” I said.

“Look,” he said. There was a pickup truck waiting at an intersection. A bumper sticker read, “Got a problem? Get a gun.”

“Uh …, I said, “and?”

He stopped and turned to me, His eyes grow large and black and within them I could see a vast field of eternity in which a tiny spark growing was growing dimmer as the scene turned dark.

“You haven’t started any long novels, have you?” he said.
Click an ad. I have to purchase a ticket home. - C.W.