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.