Sunday, August 31, 2014

215. Craziness

Oh dear. C.W. remains in this serious mood. He’s still pretending to be Walter Cronkite. I think he is watching too much news, so later today I plan to take him fishing. He loves to fish and it usually brightens his outlook.

In the meantime, he marched in last evening and told me he thinks my country is going phooknstabera.

“What on earth is that?” I was at a loss.

“Literally, it is a small airborne creature on Falloonia that excretes a sweet-smelling excrement as it flies. Sniffing it makes a Falloonian behave erratically. So the word is slang for a state of confusion.”

I thought for a moment, then said, “Sort of like ‘bat-shit crazy’ on our planet?”

It was his turn to think. “I suppose so.” Then he nodded. “Exactly.”

“So what brings this on?”

“Don’t you keep up with the news?”

“No,” I said. “I quit doing that. It’s bad for your health.”

“Then you don’t know that the world is on the verge of several outbreaks of disease, any one of which could be a final part of something, especially a period of time, an activity, or a story as regards life on your planet?”

“Do you mean the end of us?”

“That’s what I just said. Why do you repeat me so often?”

“Never mind,” I said, “we have faced disease before and prevailed.”

“Yes, but you taught science in your high schools back then. Biology. The emergence of species.”

“As in evolution?”

“As in the most basic building block of biological life in the Universe.”

“Some folks don’t want their children taught this subject.”

He looked at me as if I had just said two plus two usually adds up to four. “Phooknstabera,” was all he said.

“So what else is troubling you?”

“Has anyone within your species noticed that your planet is frying?”

“Last I heard,” I said, “something like 99 percent plus of our scientists have.”


“And what?”

“And a hand full of so-called “elected” officials can stop any effort to do something about it?”

“That’s the way our country works,” I said.

He slumped into a chair and shook his head and muttered, “Phooknstabera.” Then he looked at me. “Has anyone told you that the Middle Eastern area of your planet is about to explode into total war and some of your so-called “elected” officials are responding by making plans to shut down your government again?”

The daily "hat-check" seems to take
Big Dope's mind off the world's
problems for minutes at a time. - C.W.
“Look,” I said, “you’re getting me into a blue funk. Why don’t we do something fun?” In my mind, I could already see the fishing floats bobbing.”

“What are you going to do? Pour ice water on your head? That’s the only thing that seems to make your species happy these days, that and watching so-called ‘college’ football.”

“Or,” I said, “we could turn on the news and see what kind of hat Kate Middleton is wearing today.”

He put his face in his hands. “Phooknstabera,” was all he said.

Please help me get my new computer by clicking an ad. Big Dope has his password-protected and it takes me almost ten minutes to break into it. - C.W.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Midweek Thought from C.W.

The juxtaposition of your TV images sometimes amazes me. Yesterday I watched for a moment. There, on one channel was something called “Antiques Road Show” in which experts were appraising items of no physiological value whatsoever for huge sums of money. Pressed a switch and saw folks wasting hydrogen hydroxide—essential for human survival, the depletion of which will mark the end of civilization on earth, and which is disappearing at an alarming rate—by pouring it on one another’s head to encourage an act that your Jesus said you should do willingly and without external encouragement. Big Dope was unable to explain.
- C.W.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

215. Fear

As the faithful reader knows, I sometimes kid C.W. about his entrepreneurial dreams. Okay, I’ll admit it, I always kid C.W. about his entrepreneurial dreams. Otherwise, what’s the fun of having an alien around?

But when he becomes serious, I listen and we talk. After all, we are supposed to be learning from one another.

It’s when he takes on this sort of Walter Cronkite look that I know I may learn from him. That’s how he showed up recently wanting to take a morning walk before the heat arrived. We walked for a while before he spoke, another sign of impending seriousness.

“I spent some time tri-sensoring yesterday,” he said. This is a trick he does where he listens to the voice material, reads, and watches TV simultaneously. The only difference between him and the typical teenager is that he absorbs all three in full and equal doses. It’s a Falloonian thing.

“Oh,” I said. “and what were your sources?”

“That book you gave me,” he said, “the one that just had a number for a title.”

“1984,” I said.

“That’s it.”

“And what else?”

“I listened to one of your ‘Great Courses’ CDs. It was a scientist exploring the Earthling’s view of natural selection and descent with modification.”

“Darwin’s views,” I said.

“Yes,” he said. “He was pretty close, you know.”

“That is what I’ve have heard. What else?”

This so-called “news” channel named after a carnivorous mammal of the dog family with a pointed muzzle and bushy tail, proverbial for its cunning.”

“Fox News?”

“I’ll admit,” he said, “I flipped between it and some of your media-driven religious outlets.”

“TV evangelists,” I said.

“Does anyone else think them a bit strange?”

“Yes,” I said, “but go ahead. What did you decide?”

“I decided,” he said, “that if I were to consider a business, I might call it ‘Dial a Fear’ or something like that.”

“Dial a Fear? Why?”

“Your species seems to crave fear,” he said, “and thrive on it, thirst for it, and reward its purveyors handsomely.”

I didn’t say anything.

“Further,” he said, “It seems to control the mechanisms of your society.”


“Gladly,” he said. “Remember how the Thought Police broke Winston Smith in Orwell’s book?”

“Rats,” I said. “They did it with rats.”

“Rats were just the tool,” he said. “They did it with fear. Not love. Not promise of reward. Not societal approval. Not religion. Not family or clan loyalty. They did it with fear.”

I didn’t say anything.

Of course your religious foundations are built on a strong edifice of fear.”

“How so?”

“Don’t you think the prospect of your body burning in agony for all eternity makes a strong and lasting impression on a five-year old? Or the fear of never seeing your family again while they are happily singing hymns together while watching you burn?”

I didn’t say anything.

“And your news is not news, in any true sense of the word, but fear packaged in the wrappings of current events. The ‘others’ are coming seems to be the prevalent theme. Even you, yourself, will admit that the modern development patterns in your cities result from fear of ‘the others.’”

Start them out with a healthy dose of fear
and control them for life, I always say. - C.W.
I didn’t say anything.

He said, “I think it is genetically, that is to say evolutionary, based.”

“How so?”

“Your ancestors in the wild who didn’t live in fear didn’t live long,” he said, as if talking to a third-grader.”

“Oh,” I said. “Now I’m going to have to think about all this a bit,” I said.

“Fine,” he said. “Meanwhile let’s go watch some political ads.”

I didn’t say anything.

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- C.W.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

214. Longevity

Geez, what a nosey little twerp C.W. can be at times, particularly when he assumes the form of what he believes is Sigmund Freud. I was having a cigar and my evening rum and tonic outside, waiting for my wife to join me when the Alien wandered up and took her seat.

“You’d better not be there when she comes,” I said. “This is her ‘Alien-free Zone’ and you know what that means.”

“I can disappear in a thing that occurs suddenly and within a brief period of time, when I need to.”

“Disappearing in a ‘flash’ would be a good idea,” I said.

He crossed his legs and said, “So the two you have made it another year.”

“We have indeed.”

“How many is this?”

“We are celebrating 42 years,” I said.

He pulled a notepad from his shirt pocket and then a pen. “Why did you never get a divorce?”

“What do you mean?”

“Lots of couples among your species get divorced. Why didn’t you?”

“We didn’t want to.”

“How did you meet? I know it wasn’t on ‘Christian Mingle’ or at a meeting of the Mensa Society.”

I let this one pass. “We met in a parking lot.”

“Let me guess. A collision involving motor vehicles that results in minor damage. She was at fault and you were kind and forgiving.”

“No, it wasn’t a ‘fender bender,’ I was putting a headlight in my car and she walked by.”

He scribbled. “That doesn’t sound very romantic.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Did you run in slow motion toward each other?”

“No. She walked on by.”

“And you followed?” He scribbled again.”

“No. I just inquired about her later.”

“You engaged in an instance of following, or harassing another in an aggressive, often threatening manner?”

“I didn’t ‘stalk’ her and you need to get your Galactic Universal Translator adjusted again.”

“I trust my GUT,” he said. He raised his pad, ”How was your sex life?”

“C.W.,” I said, “people don’t discuss such things in public.”

“They do on your television. And you know that coffee shop I go to sometimes to gather data?”

“Well decent people don’t,” I said, “and she is due any moment and may be carrying a baseball bat, if you get my drift.”

“What does the concept of your being carried slowly by a current of air or water have to do with anything?”

I could tell times were going to be tough until his GUT was back in working order, so I tacked.

“How do marriages work in Falloonia?”

“We have numerous bonding arrangements. Which one do you mean?”

“The one that produces offspring,” I said. “How does it work?”

“Entirely different,” he said. “Entirely different.”

“How so?”

“The fecundity directive, we call it the ‘Propagation Implementation Methodology Protocol’ is established and supervised by the Falloonian Elders.”

I giggled, “PIMP? Is that what you really call it?”

“I don’t see the humor,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. His feelings can be tender at times. “So these elders are a cross-section of the population?”

He looked at me in confusion. “No,” he said, “they are mainly Dormontapeckastaatsins


“What would roughly translate as elderly men in your species.”

Was she hot, or what? - C.W.
“Oh,” I said. “So how does your PIMP program work.” I couldn’t help giggling again.

“It requires a level of sophisticated thought you wouldn’t understand. It is totally different than you are used to.”

“Try me,” I said.

“The Elders grant the Studanstrokashaftic++—the equivalent of your male of the species—absolute control of the arrangement.”

“I see.”

“But,” he said, “Since there is such a sexual intelligence disparity in our life forms, the other partner must manage the arrangement through disguised manipulation, trickery, and superior logistic mastery, otherwise the propagation capacity of the, what you call male, is diminished and the future population of our planet will be threatened.”

“And,” a woman’s voice from behind us said, “your concept of marriage differs from ours in exactly what way?”
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

213. Eats

“A what?”

“A restaurant.”

“C.W., you don’t know anything about running a restaurant.” This idea was silly even by C.W.’s standards. He stood before me as the Gailard Sartain character from the TV show “Hee Haw.” You remember, the dirty, fat, greasy spoon cook. Well, want to guess what his latest adventure would be? Let him tell you.

“A dining experience for the independent-minded.”



“Independent … as in?”

“As in, ain’t no liberal doctor gonna tell me what’s good for me.”

I said, “Oh, I see. And the name will be?”

“C.W.’s Lard Palace.”

That’s when the enormity of his dreaming hit me. “Oh, my. You have gone over the edge for sure.”

“That’s right. I got the idea from a place out in Las Vegas.”

“The Las Vegas that is ‘the rational behavior capitol of the universe?'”

“That’s the one. A place there features a sandwich that has a mere, 10,000 calories. My ‘Lard-fried Cheesecake Sundae’ will top that easily.”

And how will you get word out for this, … this, …this, ‘assisted suicide palace’ may I ask?”

“Fox ‘News’ and Rush Limbaugh of course. They’ve offered a free introductory ad already if I’ll …”

“If you’ll what.”

“I’d rather not say right now … corporate secrets and all that.”

“C.W., what are you up to?”

“You won’t tell?”

“I’m embarrassed enough just listening. No, I won’t tell.”

“They think that they can trick First Lady Michelle Obama into making a discouraging comment about the fare.”


“They’ll run her comments nonstop.”


“We won’t be able to handle the crowds.” He looked at me with some element of pity. “Say,” he said, “you don’t know anything about marketing to the simple-minded, do you?”

“I don’t suppose I do.”

“Just think about the appeal of ‘Michelle’s Mountain.’”

“Michelle’s Mountain?”

“Yep, Michelle’s Mountain.”

“And that will be?”

“A gallon of fries cooked in lard, covered with fried cheese strips, and served in a bucket with a picture of old Michelle Obama done up as ‘Aunt Jemima’ saying ‘Now don’t you dare eat these, honey,” on the side of it.”

“Oh my god.”

“Sean Hannity almost fell out laughing when I told him about it.”

“I can imagine he did.”

“But we will have healthier fare.”

“Such as?”

“One I call the ‘Surgeon General’s Salad,’ and is it tasty.”

“I can’t imagine what it would be.”

“Oh, it’s like a regular salad except all the ingredients are …”

“Let me guess,” I said. “They are fried in …”

Ain't your taste buds tingling already? - C.W.
“Lard,” he said. “Exactly. They’ve already requested that it be on the menu at the next NRA convention.”

“C.W.,” I said, “I think there is something I should tell you.”

“What? That I have found the secret to all the riches I need, plus that new computer I’m wanting?”

“No,” I said, “that I have read about the source of your inspiration and people are dying from eating there.”

He sighed as if I had just announced that the moon is made of molded bologna. “Don’t you see? That is what will make this place have universal appeal. You ‘rationalaholics’ will love it.”

“How in the world would a place that serves fat-saturated and cholesterol-enriched food to overweight and gluttonous people appeal to a rational person?”

He shrugged. “Well it would improve the gene pool.”
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- C.W.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What Steinbeck Character is Big Dope?

Friends and Followers,

Here's a game I made up while Big Dope and I were out walking. It's called "What John Steinbeck character are you?" Here's my take on BD.

How he sees himself:
Tom Joad from "Grapes of Wrath."

How he would like his wife to see him:
Doc from "Cannery Row"

How his wife really sees him:
Lennie in "Of Mice and Men"

How his clients see him:
Cal's Mom in "East of Eden"

How his employees saw him:
Ma Joad in "Grapes of Wrath"

How he really is:

Charlie of course ... who else?

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- C.W.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

212. War

“Tell me about war.” Oh no. I hate it when C.W. gets like this. He assumes the form of a 12-year old boy and starts asking questions for which I don’t have good answers.

I said, “What do you want to know?”

“I want to know why.”

“I don’t think there is a good answer,” I said.

“Good people die in wars,” he said.

“That they do.”

“Then why do some of your species love it so much, including many in your country?”

“I wish I knew,” I said.

“You’re celebrating the beginning of one a hundred years ago,” he said. “Why?”

“I don’t think we celebrate it,” I said, “I think we simply observe it.”

“The delicately complex and understated inferences of your language confuse me.”

“The ‘subtleties’ of our language cause much confusion,” I said.

“Could that be one of the reasons you love war so much?”

“I don’t love war.”

“Do you hate it?”


“Then why don’t you protest it?”

“Don’t you have something you could be doing? Have you reported to the Falloonian Elders lately?”

“This War of the Entire World Number One,” he said. “Why did it start?”

“Someone assassinated an archduke.”

“He must have been an important one.”

“Not too important, but it set two countries at one another.”

“For revenge? Couldn’t the guilty country simply have paid the other what the man was worth?”

“The country wasn’t guilty,” I said. “just one person.”

“A corporation person?”

“No,” I said, “the other kind. Corporation persons don’t go to war.”

“Why not?” he said. “They stand to make lots of money from them.”

“Hey,” I said, “why don’t we go fishing?” He has taken up this activity lately and it has become one of his favorites, as long as I bait his hook for him.”

“So all the countries of the world chose sides and went to war because one archduke was killed?”

“Not exactly.”

“Why exactly?”

“Only two went to war.”

“That’s not the whole world.”

“Only two at first. Then there were treaties and alliances.”

He thought for a moment, “Things written on paper?”


“The entire world went to war because of things written on paper?”

I thought for a moment.“I’m afraid so. Those dragged the other countries into the conflict.”

“Things written on paper?”


“What was written on your country’s?”

“Uh …,” I struggled. “Our country didn’t have one.”

“But it entered in anyway?”

“Late in the conflict,” I said, “but yes, we entered the fray.”

At times like this, when he struggles to assimilate illogic, I swear I can smell electrodes frying.”

“I’m beginning to understand,” he said.

I was relieved. “Now,” I said, “let’s dig us some worms and go fishing.”

He ignored me. “Other countries go to war over things written on paper and your country joins in because it seems like fun.”

“That’s a gross generalization,” I said.

“And this current conflict in what they call your planet’s ‘Middle East’ that threatens to start War of the Entire World Number Three is being generated by things written on paper over two thousand years ago.”

Wouldn't it be nice if your corporation people said their
religion prohibited them from supporting war? - C.W.
I stopped in my tracks and thought, but I didn’t have a ready answer.

“The world may see a conflict,” he said, “involving the most modern technology, including nuclear weapons, because of words written on paper by bronze-age scribblers who didn’t even know that the earth orbits around the sun?”

I struggled hopelessly. “Well it may have been papyrus.”

He looked at me with true sadness in his eyes. “You really are a big dope,” he said.

“Hey,” I said, “I’m not the one who wants to go to war. I’d rather go fishing.”
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Your Pal - C.W.