Sunday, January 26, 2014

186. Myths

I found C.W. in my favorite chair surrounded by piles of paper. He was in his “college professor” form, complete with corduroy pants, sweater, and bow tie. He was frantically scribbling notes.

“What’s up, Galactic Wonder?” I said.

“Shut up. I’m busy.”

“My,” I said. “Aren’t we being a good example of interstellar love today?”

“Sorry,” he said. “I have a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.”

“Hmmm.” I said. “Sounds like you have a problem.”

“Why do you repeat what I say so often?” He wrote furiously and then looked up.

I said, “So what’s your problem?”

“I’m in trouble with the Elders.”

“The Falloonian Elders?”

“Who else?”

“So,” I said. “Did they find out about your experiments with the ‘wacky weed’ and your secret stash of Twinkies?” (Sweets make him as silly as martinis make me).

“No,” he said. “They have accused me of confusing facts with allegories.”

“They found out that I really can’t walk on water?”

He sighed. “It all started with this,” he said. He rummaged in the stack of papers and retrieved a newspaper clipping. He held it before me and I read that 60 percent of Americans believe the Biblical account of Noah’s Ark and the universal flood is literally true.


“They say I must learn that, with your species, statistics like this are meant as allegories.”


“Yes, their purpose is to present universal lessons, in this case the tendency of your species to prove points with mythical statistics.”

“And the point here is?”

“They think it has something to do with your love of the printed word and its almost magical effect on your sense of homeostasis.”

“So the statistics are not meant to illustrate actual occurrences?”

“Give me an interrupt,” he said.

“Uh, you mean ‘give me a ‘break,’” I said.

“There you go again.”

“So you don’t really think anyone believes that two of every species of life on the planet, with the necessary food and water for more than a month’s captivity, fit on a wooden vessel 400 feet long?”

“Don’t you have something to do?” he said.

“Oh,” I said, “my job today is to have fun and I’m doing it.”

He groaned. “Well, at least help me.” He thrust a pile of papers into my hands. “Find me something that I can use in my report to show them that they may be correct in assuming you, that is your species, uses statistical references in a purely allegorical sense.”

It seems to me that you view statistics as a
 bunch of monkeys in a tree. Get them down and
treat them right, they'll do anything you want. - C.W.
“Doesn’t that go against your position?”

“One never wants to urinate the Falloonian Elders off.”

“Quite right,” I said as I began rummage. It only took a second. “Here’s something. You know of course that there are more than 350,000 separate species of beetles on earth.”

He grabbed if from my hand and read. His entire face brightened. “Thanks,” he said. And then he began to copy the following.

There is a story, possibly apocryphal, of the distinguished British biologist, J.B.S. Haldane, who found himself in the company of a group of theologians. On being asked what one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of his creation, Haldane is said to have answered, “An inordinate fondness for beetles.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Dear Friends and Followers:

Today I find myself confused over your criminal justice system again. On Falloonia, in those rare instances in which we must incarcerate non-conforming units, it is usually for some awful lapse that threatens stability of the species such goobukasezet. (Editor’s  note: a Falloonian phrase not quite translatable but being a combination of a failure to use the logic module and a waste of public expenditures).

Anyway, I am sorely confused about your incarceration of people for what I call G and G, that is to say: giggling and gorging.

Yes, I am talking about the affinity of some of your species to smoke a plant called cannabis sativa, pot, grass, cần sa, etc.

Its greatest effect seems to be that it causes continuous giggling and a wild propensity to eat any food in sight.

Now I ask you, isn't this the kind of person
who might benefit from a few puffs? - C.W.
The Falloonian Elders have directed me to ask: wouldn’t it be a more rational approach simply to provide the plant free to dour, underweight units?

Your Pal,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

185. Choices

This time it was I who was in a quandary. I think C.W. sensed this for he showed up in the form and dress of a workman, someone who knew about home repairs. That was the sort of help I desired.

It was like this. I needed to have some repairs done on our downtown condominium. They involved a good bit of money so I didn’t want to make a mistake in the hiring of a tradesman. So, I consulted C.W. He seemed willing to help as always, and that is not always a good sign.

“Thing is, “I said, “I have narrowed it to two choices. Actually, there are only two contractors that do this sort of work in the building.”

“And?” He assumed a rather pedantic tone.

“Well, there is Donnie. He comes highly recommended. He is very knowledgeable about construction techniques. He has experience, and is extremely thoughtful and courteous. He truly seems to have the best interest of the client in mind.”


“There is Ralph. His work is spotty and inconsistent. Management has a problem with his neglecting to clean up after his work.”


“He is rude to his clients at times, particularly to female clients. There are also some rumors that he has broken things and not taken responsibility.”


“There is a general feeling that he doesn’t seem to care much about his work.”


“That’s all. Those are my choices.”

“Choices?” he said. “It seems pretty obvious to me. Donnie is your man.”

“There is one problem,” I said.


“I know for a fact that Donnie believes in capital punishment.”


“I don’t.”

“You don’t?”

“No. I think it is a barbaric custom and we should outlaw it as most civilized countries have.”


“I can’t see my way clear to hiring a man who believes in capital punishment.”

He took a moment to think. Then he looked at me with that stare he uses when our species has truly confused him. He said, “May I ask you a question?”

“Certainly,” I said.

“Just what the hell does his belief in criminal justice have to do with working on your condo?”

“I just can’t select someone who doesn’t believe the way I do.”

“Even when they are otherwise qualified far above the other choice?”

“You just don’t understand how much this single issue means to me,” I said. “I guess it sounds bizarre to you.”

“No,” he said. “In fact it seems to be the way a great number of your species selects a political candidate.”

That set me back on my heels and I couldn’t answer.

“Did it ever occur to you,” he said, “that in working together you might understand better why he feels the way he does?”

Choosing wisely seems to be a job that
confuses a great many of your species. - C.W.
I still had no answer.

He continued. “Or,” he said, “have you considered the possibility that exposure to your fine example might cause him to modify his position? And in the meantime, you would be benefiting from quality work.”

“But,” I said, “he believes in capital punishment.”

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Dear Friends and Followers:
One of the things that troubles me about your species is your approach to problem solving. For an example, let’s look at a recent problem that a part of your country is having with its drinking water. It seems that an unregulated (at least since 1991) chemical plant has leaked toxic chemicals into the river that supplies drinking water to a large area in your state of West Virginia. Here is the problem.

Now, it is my understanding that the voters of that state usually narrow their focus to a single issue when choosing politicians to care for their people. To illustrate this, here is the proposed solution to the problem.


Unfortunately, as I understand it, the river has not yet complied with the demands of the Purification Committee.
The Alien C.W.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

184. Reviews

Poor C.W. I almost had to feel sorry for him. In fact, I had never seen him like this. “Crestfallen” would best describe it.

Here is what happened.

I found him at the computer desk in the form of a young man in grey, loose-fitting sweater, baggy pants, and black, lace-up tennis shoes. His hair was rumpled and he was going through a pile of papers he had printed. He seemed on the verge of tears.

“What the …?” I said.

“Failure,” he said and began to explain.

It seems that, unbeknownst to me, C.W. had written a poem and posted it on a website for aspiring writers. It was called, “Soaring Silently Through Stars in Splendor,” and you don’t want to read it. What he was holding were some reviews posted by others. With tears in his eyes, he began to hand me samples, such as

“Your poem saved my life. I had been on the verge of suicide when I read it. Now, I resolve to live in the hopes that I may yet read of the self-immolation of someone who would have the (censored) lack of taste to write such drivel. – Angstyinaustin.”

“Before reading your (censored) drivel, I had imagined that the worst fate in life would be to have a root canal performed without the benefits of Novocain while sitting on a pile of flesh eating maggots and listening to “Jennifer Hudson’s Greatest Hits.” Now I know there are worst things. – Puttermouth

“I read your (censored) entry after attending my weekly Bible study. What a (censored) piece of (censored). I hope you choke when your severed (censored) is crammed down your (censored) throat. –Hedied4me

“To Hedied4me: Why don’t you die for us, you (censored) moran? –Agapeluv

“I would like more information on your writing habits. In particular, I would like to know where you go to be alone and write. I would like to sell the exact coordinates to the next terrorist bomber I meet. –Right2me

“Thank you so much for your work. My English teacher assigned us the job of reading a poem in class. When I read yours, she grabbed her throat and collapsed. After they took her to the hospital, I began trying it on other people I hate. You have been so helpful. –Angelofvengeance

“Saying your poem sucks would be like saying that (censored) into an electrical outlet is a bad idea. –Puppykillr

“Where did you get the idea you can write? Did Satan himself ‘soar silently’ through the filth and ooze that is life on earth and plant the idea in your (censored) empty brain? -Luvoflife

“To Agapeluv: If Jesus had ever met you he would have made Charles Manson look like a Sunday School teacher you (censored) imbicell. – Hedied4me

And, finally:

“Here’s a suggestion for your next poem: ‘Thoughts soaring silently through my brain just before I blow it away.’ The world awaits it eagerly.” –Luvangudness

I think I can get this poetry stuff down
if I can just get a better computer.- C.W.
“What now?” I said.

“I don’t know,” he said, stopping as another message began appearing on the computer screen.

“To: Hedied4me,” it began. “you make my (censored) crave applesauce. And …”

C.W. switched off the computer and we sat in silence, our thoughts soaring.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Interim Query

This interim query just in from the Alien C.W.

- Hey Big Dope: I’ve been doing some research on your species and it is now official: more than 95% of those who deny the scientific principles of natural selection reside in the cohort that demands antibiotic treatments for a common cold or influenza.

Can you explain this?

- C.W.

Confused as Always

Dear Followers and Friends

Please come to my rescue. I do believe I heard one of your TV pundits claiming that disaster is ahead in Colorado. It seems that with the legalization of marijuana, there is this danger that children might find some lying around and harm themselves with it. So we must control it? Uh. Help me with this one please.

Once you start controlling dangerous
substances, where do you stop? - C.W.
Your Friend

The Alien C.W.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

183. Homes

If you remember, one of C.W.’s firm decisions to do or not to do something for the coming year (new year’s resolutions) was to have his own thick piece of soft material used to reduce friction or jarring (pad, or home). I made the mistake of not nipping this idea in the bud and …

He came walking in a couple of days later carrying this huge set of plans and proceeded to unroll it on the kitchen table.

To say they were plans for a new home would be like saying that Gone With the Wind was a story about a little southern girl.

The roll laid flat must have been an inch thick. I walked over and looked. Oh my. What lay before me were plans for a monstrous building on several acres of land. A quick review indicated a structure of maybe 15,000 square feet.

“C.W.,” I said, “what is this?”

“My new home.”

“Your new home?”

“Nice, huh?”

“Your new home?”

“I’ll be the envy of the Galaxy.”

“You’ll be institutionalized,” I said. “This is monstrous.”

“As they say, just a little place to lay my head.”

I flipped a sheet. “And who all is going to live here?”

“Just me,” he said as if I had just asked why we need air to breath.

“In this thing?”

“Let me walk you through it,” he said, beginning to point out features. “See the five-car garage?”

“But you don’t have a car.”

“Not now,” he said, then he continued. “Here is the bedroom floor. Six bedrooms, each with its own bath. Of course the master bedroom is on the ground floor. This wing here.” He pointed to a room that measured 20 feet by 30 feet on the plans. “Right next to the ‘theater room’ so,” he blushed, “the effects of a romantic movie won’t be spoiled by having to climb stairs.”

“What’s this?” I said, pointing to a large room attached to the master bathroom.

“An office.”

“In the master bathroom?”

“One never knows,” he said. “when opportunity may call.”

“This is ridiculous,” I said.

“I know,” he said. “Isn’t America a great place?”

I said, “And who would pay the utilities?”

“You would,” he said. “It’s part of the agreement.”

“And who will pay for building the thing?”

“That’s the beauty of it,” he said. “We’ll soon be able to afford this and more.”

“And how, exactly?”

He assumed a pedantic tone. “In case you haven’t noticed, it is rapidly becoming legal to grow cannabissativa in this country. We,” he stopped, “You, and Mrs. Big Dope have several hundred acres of prime farmland. Money will be no object once folks start lighting up.”

“Have you already started?”

He ignored me. “This plan can’t fail.”

“Oh yes it can.” I said.

“And just how?”

With great fortune comes great responsibility.
Success must be matched by good taste. - C.W.
I didn’t know where to start. “Well, for one thing, there are thousands of folks in our state that own more farmland than we. If only a portion of them move to pot as their main crop, oversupply will ruin the price.”

“That’s the beauty of it,” he said again.


“Farm subsidies,” he said.

I groaned.

“Who do you want to select as our contractor?” he said.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dogs and Things

I have always thought dogs were best suited
for the purpose of attracting pretty women.
Hey everybody. Look what I found on Big Dope's computer. - C.W.

First, I am no animal lover. They are okay, but best enjoyed as members of someone else’s family, much like children.

So, while I don’t go out of my way to live with dogs, I shall share some strange experiences with them over the years.

My mother told of two experiences that must be true. One happened when I was a pre-toddler sitting in a sand box while she was hanging clothes on a line. A “mad dog” suddenly appeared and would have attacked the two of us had not the loyal family dog interceded. Needless to say, I never got to know that dog.

Another time, I apparently had been motivated by watching a movie as a toddler, in which people were having a grand time swimming. I apparently thought it looked easy enough to try in a nearby stock pond next day, an adventure that must have ended badly except for the alerting of the family hound.

This is Monkey Mountain.
I was up there somewhere.
Moving forward, we reach that period of my “service” to my country. For several months, I found myself stationed at an isolated compound near the top of “Monkey Mountain,” an imposing feature forming the south boundary of Da Nang Harbor.

Facing long periods of boredom, we took in stray dogs and cared for them. One, a large black mutt with the “slave-name” of Charlie, was a bit adventurous. There were other compounds up and down the mountain and Charlie evidently had friends in each for he would, from time to time, stand on the road outside our compound and catch rides with vehicles from other encampments. He would go down the mountain for a day, but reappear toward dark in another vehicle whose driver had recognized him.

Sometimes, I swear, he had a smile on his face as he trotted back into the compound. Sometimes he staggered a bit. But anyway …

For all the prevarications and outright lies of which I have been prone over the years, this story of the “hitchhiking dog” is the one that is most true and least believed. So much for veracity.

Our first dog after marriage was a mentally deficient mutt we called Jeremiah, after the prophet. He pulled many a strange stunt but his cutest was when he ate a cannabis plant that had grown from a seed given by a friend.

Let me be clear. Our motive in growing the plant was a desire for criminal justice. We, uh, wanted to see what a mature plant would look like so we could alert officials if we happened upon one.

Yeah, that was it.

Anyway, we awoke one morning to find “Marcel” nipped off at ground level so to speak and a sheepish looking Jeremiah sitting peacefully beside it, his two eyes rotating in opposite orbits.

He prophesied mightily for an hour or so until the effects wore away and he fell asleep. We learned many interesting things.

For example, do you know that it is quite easy for dogs to speak our language? Seems the problem lies not in their ability but rather in their aspiration level.

And finally there is “Matthew,” the world’s cutest dog. Our favorite thing was to go out of a Saturday morning and “drag” the commercial corridors. He could lean out the passenger window and attract the attention of any girl driving alongside. Enough of that. I don’t think the statute of limitations has expired.

The real story is that he received perhaps the first “butt call” ever on a phone. It happened this way. While home alone, he meddled with a phone on a table. The phone fell to the floor and the jar activated the redial mechanism. Since the last call had been to my office, it rang me. When I answered, the dog heard my voice and began barking. Of course I recognized him and we had a nice chat. It took days for me to figure out how he had reached me.

Acts of terrorism have resulted in sentences
 of solitary confinement for some dogs.
Time restrains me from accounting for other canines of interest. For example, there were Uday & Qusay, the twins who terrorized our farm for years and eliminated a healthy cat population. Also, we must skip over “Preacher,” the world’s laziest dog and Fisbo, who owned the farm before we did.

Anyway, as I say, I don’t care much for dogs.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Dear Friends and Followers

Despite my best efforts, I could not get Big Dope, or anyone else in the family, to stay up until midnight and enjoy that most peculiar practice you have of welcoming the New Year.

We have no tradition on Falloonia that is exactly similar to this celebration as our climate is more fixed and steady than yours. So we don’t celebrate a passage of time, but rather a passage of epochs.

For example, we celebrated when we made the collective choice that Mindeavorlists were no longer inferior to Epicatasrophists. It is written that it was a choice that created much peace and harmony. By making it a source of a planet-wide celebration, we assured ourselves that we would not slide back into the old prejudices, as some of your species seem prone to do from time to time.

I still must say, though, that there is something uplifting about an annual period of self-examination and resolve. Of course I realize that the resolves are not binding (see mine of last week). Nonetheless, it is uplifting to see the celebration of a new start. To this end, I have made the following suggestions for Big Dope to enact for the coming year.

- C.W. is to have his own car

- C.W. is to have his own thick piece of soft material used to reduce friction or jarring (Editor’s note: he means “pad.”)

C.W. can invite friends over for slumber parties and this includes Repicanastors and their accompanists.

May this year be the one during which your
species finds a philosophy of peace, love, and
respect for all peoples. - C.W.
- Mrs. Big Dope will let C.W. have his accordion back

- Double secret probation will no longer be used for punishment

- The statute of limitations will expire on all previous practical jokes, and

- C.W. will once again be allowed to assume the shape of Rick Santorum and go to gay bars.

Please support me in these with your comments and exhortations.

Happy New Year!

Your friend,

The Alien C.W.