Anyway, you should have been there the day he tried to penetrate the puzzle of how the simple act of procreation, apparently somewhat of a drudgery on his planet, had become such a pervasive theme on ours.
“Let’s see,” said. “Am I to understand that it all starts with fore-activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation?”
“Uh,” I said, “We actually call it ‘foreplay’ and that, according to some females of our species, is considered optional by some male members of our species.”
This set his electrodes to sparking and he wrote in his notebook for a long time. Then he looked up with a combination of curiosity and disgust. “Frequency?”
I turned suspicious. “What about it?”
“Why would not once a year be the absolute maximum frequency?”
“Are you serious?” I said.
“I am always serious when probing about things,” he said. “Wouldn’t once a year maintain the population of your species?”
“Not in a very happy state, I’m afraid.”
He wrote in his notebook and then looked up at me. “Explain,” he said.
I turned serious. “I think frequency has to do with statistical probability,” I said.
“Like the law of larger things?”
“Large numbers,” I said. “It’s the Law of Large Numbers.”
“Your species seems to be intrigued by large things in many facets of its daily life,” he said.
“Could we talk about something else?” I began.
“Guns, for example.”
“Anything else. Please.”
“Anything at all.”
“I have to go now,” I said.
“Wait,” he said. “It is my understanding that too much attraction to what you refer to as sex is thought to cause problems.”
“Yes,” I said. “They say it can become addictive to the point of an obsession.”
“So that a member of your species even wants to sit around and watch …”
“C.W.” I said, “surely there is some other aspect of our species that we could discuss.”
He sighed and stopped writing. He flipped through his notebook, found a page and read. “Okay,” he said. “Religion.”
“Oh no,” I said.
He ignored me and read. “It says here that some religions develop extremely stringent and bizarre doctrines about sex.”
“So I understand,” I said, my antennae going on full alert.
“It says also that some of these attract followers that seem to be forever wanting to kill someone.”
“Where,” I said, “did you find that?”
“From notes left over from my predecessor.”
“Oh my,” I said. “You had a predecessor?”
“We don’t talk about it much,” he said. “He turned to acting and wasn’t doing his job of investigating.”
“Is he still here?”
He ignored me, made a note, and looked up. “So about sex,” he said. “Am I to understand that too much can be dangerous and too little can be dangerous as well.”
“Seems to be the case,” I said, turning it over in my mind.
“So how much is considered optimal?”
We were suddenly interrupted by a female voice from the next room. “You are actually asking a man that question? Why don’t you ask how often the wind blows?”
I rose quickly and closed the door. “C.W.,” I said, “can we talk about something else?”
He placed his pencil on his pad, ready to write. “Is this
making you feel uncomfortable?”
|So you had really rather do this than read a book?|
Think of the sand, the salt water, and grit.
The horror. The horror. - Your confused alien friend, C.W.
“Something else,” I said. “Anything else.”
He looked disappointed, but turned to a blank page and said. “Okay. Guns.”