Sunday, August 30, 2015

273. Protection

 “No, she absolutely will not.”

“Well at least ask her.”

“You’ll have to ask her yourself.”

“I did.”

“What happened?”

C.W. rubbed the side of his head. “What do you think happened?”

“I could have warned you,” I said, “if you had only checked with me first. And why did you decide to look like Matthew McConaughey today?”

“I thought it might help,” he said. “You know how much Mrs. Big Dope adores Matth …”

“I get the picture,” I said. “But she still said no?”

“That’s why I need your help.”

“Why do you think I could talk her into it?”

“You talked her into going to Gatlinburg, Tennessee once. She told me all about it. A man that could do that could talk someone into about anything.”

“That’s why my credibility with her is still near zero.”

“I know she could help me, though, if she only would.”

Against my better judgment, I entered his dream. “What exactly is it you want her to do?”


“Sew what?”

“Gun belts and holsters.”

“And why?”

“Are you kidding? They’ll sell like Confederate flags in this state. Everyone will want one.”

“I won’t. My wife won’t. My mother-in-law won’t. None of my friends will.”

“That only takes a half dozen people in the state out of the market.”

“Besides,” I said, “you remember her response when you asked her to help with your last venture, sewing those very flags?”

He rubbed the other side of his head. “This is different.”


“Didn’t you read what your Attorney Applicable to the Whole said?”

“Our Attorney General isn’t known for her legal perspicacity.”

“She said people in your state are free to carry guns around on their hips as long as they don’t intend to harm anyone.”

“And,” I said, “exactly why would you carry a weapon on your hip if you didn’t intend to harm someone?”

“That’s the beauty of it,” he said. “Besides, I intend to specialize.”


“Yep, mine will be designed only for going to Walmart,” he said.
All you need is love. - C.W.
“For going to Walmart?

“Yep, the belt will have a big red heart sewn into it just above where one’s butt-crack shows.”

I couldn’t speak.

“And,” he continued, “you can get them in custom colors to match your best tattoo.”

This time I did manage a groan.

“And the shoulder model will be designed around the gap in a sleeveless tank top and will be sweat-resistant. No more cold steel against bare skin."

“I need,” I said, “to go do some things.”

“Wait,” he said. “You haven’t heard the name of the product.”

“No,” I said, “nor do I want to.”

“I call it a “Get Out of My Way.”

I stopped in mid-stride and turned to look at him. “You are going to produce a holster and belt for carrying a pistol to Walmart and call it a “Get Out of My Way?”

He suddenly looked pleased. “I knew you would like it. Yep,” he said. “A Get Out of My Way, for when ‘Excuse me’ just sounds too timid.”

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Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

272. Arcs

He calls it “arcing” and, I have to admit, it is one of his more interesting ideas. I’m talking about C.W. of course. He laid this whole line of reasoning on me while I was working on an old piece of farm equipment and he was watching.

“Your species not only fails to connect dots when dealing with logic,” he said, “you also fail to see arcs in logic.”

He sounded as if he knew what he was talking about as he had assumed the form of James Earl Jones, the legendary actor with the great voice. When he spoke, even the bids stopped their singing.

“Dammit to godalmighty hell,” I said.

“Did I say something with which you disagree?”

“No,” I said, “I just busted my knuckles trying to get this nut loose.”

“It may have been the most cogent thing you have said all day.” He leaned back on the bucket he was using as a stool. “Anyway,” he said, “I was talking about arcing.”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“It means tying together snippets of history and using arcs to make a logical generalities. Are you listening?”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“Consider Herbert Hoover’s approach to the Great Depression.”

“It hurts to, but go ahead.”

“It appears that it was one of ‘It’s better to let the country collapse than for government to save it.’”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Arc then,” he said, “to the famous quote by the army officer of the Vietnam War era.”

“Which quote was that?”

“The only way to save that village was to destroy it.”

“Oh yeah,” I said. “That one.”

“Shall we continue the arc?”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“Arc to the so-called ‘Libertarians’ who see the solution to governmental reform as no government at all.”


“You don’t agree with them?”

“I can’t get this thing to come loose,” I said. I slammed the nut with my wrench.

“Precisely,” he said. “Maybe an example from the world of entertainment? That’s my field.”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“We actually have a mechanical device on Falloonia that enables us to make these connections.”


“It’s called an ‘Arc Nexus Utilization Synthesizer,’ and I have mine with me,” he said. “Would you like to see my AN …”

“No,” I said. “You can just tell me about it.”

“As I was saying,” he said. “Consider the world of entertainment.” He paused. “Are you listening?”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“Remember Archie Bunker?”

I stopped. “From that show All In The Family? You bet. Funny as hell.”

“Why did you like it? The show I mean.”

“It poked fun at bigotry,” I sad. “What’s not to like?”

“If you would examine my ANUS ...,” he said.

“I’d rather not.”

“You would find that a majority of your fellow Americans liked it because the main character was spouting nonsense that they themselves wanted to spout.  But they were increasingly being forbidden by societal norms to do so.”

I sat up and looked at him. “Are you implying that the average American felt repressed by facing sanctions against voicing prejudice?”

“You aren’t as dense as Mrs. Big Dope says you are.”

Now I was intrigued. “So?”

“Now make the arc,” he said, “to this, this, this …” As intelligent as he seemed today, he was struggling for the word. “This side show character who is leading in your presidential polls.”

My mind soared from one point to the other. “Surrogate racism, sexism, and scapegoating,” I said.

The past is never dead. It's not even past.”
I think your famous author William Faulkner
was arcing when he wrote that. - C.W.
He smiled and a breeze rustled the oak trees in apparent harmony.

“Say,” I said. “You may have something here. Could I maybe borrow your AN …”

“I don’t let anyone touch it,” he said.

“Isn’t that selfish?”

“It’s mine and I’ll keep it to myself,” he said. "No touching." Then he looked at me. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “Did you crack your knuckles again?”

“No,” I said. “I was just thinking about the Great Depression, an old girlfriend, and our present state of the economy.”

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Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

271. Happiness

Friends and Fans:
Yesterday we left C.W. at our farm to watch over things while the woman he calls “Mrs. Big Dope” and I enjoyed one of the happiest days of our lives. He later gave me permission, albeit somewhat grudgingly, (“They want to read about me, not you.”) to devote a day to the occasion.  He’ll be back tomorrow if the Falloonian Elders release him. (Don’t ask).For right now, here goes.

It started over ten years ago when a couple of kids moved in with their sister and her husband who are neighbors to us at our farm. The kids were from Ensenada, Mexico, here on a travel visa. With their father deceased, and their mother remarried to a new family, they had no place to go when their visa ran out. So we “adopted” them, not legally but emotionally. The young man’s name is Arturo and he probably has an IQ in the stratosphere. His sister later married while we helped Arturo get an associate’s degree from a nearby university branch, and a Green Card. He, himself got a job as a computer-aided drafter and has become a valuable member of society.

After years of struggle, all it took was a raising of the hand.
Well guess what? Yesterday we went to the Federal Building in Little Rock to watch him and 49 other precious people raise their hands and become American citizens. Wow.

Tres Amigos
Though hardly what you would call a religious couple, we base our happiness, my wife and I, partly on the Biblical injunction: “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21 (NRSV) We believe that we are on the proper side of both history and righteousness.

We finished the day with a marvelous meal at his family’s house and a few shots of Tequila to celebrate. As they say down in South Arkansas, “Hit don’t git no better’n that.”

Anyway, it was a glorious experience to watch those folks raise their hands and see the smiles on their faces and those of their families and friends.  And while we know that hatred is currently fashionable among certain segments of our population and our views may be alien to some, let us just add that we wouldn’t trade those 50 people for 1,000 Donald Trumps.
Our proud new citizen
See also: www.wattensawpress .com

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

270. Tripping

C.W. just came in as a, well I don’t know what … a man in his mid-twenties wearing a Ted Nugent tee-shirt and his hat that says “Remembur Gettisbirg.” He was wearing a small back pack and announced that he was ready to go.

“Go where?” I asked.

“Costa Rica.”


“You heard me fool, call Mrs. Big Dope’s cousin and make arrangements.”

Now my wife’s cousin works for an airline company and sometimes has limited free “stand by” tickets for family or friends, certainly not for aliens and especially not for C.W.

“No can do,” I said, “use your Digitally Operated Nuclear Getabout,” I said.

“It’s dead,” he said.

“Your DO…”

“Dead,” he said, “I’m grounded.”

I thought. “Was it that little trip you made to Thailand?”

“The Elders have grounded me,” he said, ignoring my question.

“But why do you want to go to Costa Rica?”

“To see Lisa.”

“Do you mean Lisa at “All Hat, No Cattle?"

“She’s the digit indicating a single unit.”

“If she is the one,” I said, “why do you want to see her?”

“She’s unpacking.”

“So I heard, but how does that concern you? I’ve never known you to be much help when there was work to be done.”

“I need a new pistol,” he said, “so if she is unpacking, maybe she will give me hers.”

“Her what?”

“Her pistol. Didn’t you hear me say she was unpacking?”

“Uh, C.W. …,”

“Call me Jerry Bob Tex,” he said.

“C.W.,”  I said. “I don’t think that’s what she means by ‘unpacking’ at all.”

“Whut chew mean?”

“She’s moved into a new office and is unpacking her things.”

“Whut things?”

“Her research materials, computer, and office supplies.”

“She ain’t got no pistol?”

“I hardly think so.”

“Dad gummit.”

“What would you do with a pistol, anyway?”

“Protect myself and my family.”

I still may visit there if they will allow me to
 carry my belt-fed, fully automatic, 7.62 mm, M60
Machine Gun into the Walmart store. - C.W.
“You don’t have a family,” I said, “and besides, who do you need protecting from?”

“Uh,” he said. “Them liberuls, like whut they talk about on that Fox channel.”

“I don’t think liberals attack people these days,” I said, “and besides, you don’t even know how to use a pistol.”

“Ain’t nothin’ to it,” he said, “you just wait until the evildoers shows up in your bedroom to do you harm and then you run and git your pistol and let them have it. Ain’t that right?”

“In the words of Barney Frank,” I said, “May I ask what planet you woke up on this morning?”

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Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

269. Anniversaries

I took C.W. for a ride yesterday to get him out of my wife’s hair. Given a chance, he can start to annoy her. This time, he found an old photo album of her high school days and, using a secret process he calls “enphasing,” began to appear in the form of one after another of her old classmates. Just imagine what might go wrong.

Let’s just say that it was good to get him out of the house. I told him to take on the form, more or less, of a typical person you might see at Walmart. His first attempt wasn’t too good. He appeared as an unkempt man with a belly extending nearly a foot over his belt, a backward NRA cap, and a sleeveless tank top revealing tattoos on both arms, one stating “The South Rools,” and the other “Remember Gettisbirg.”

“Whut?” he said when I shook my head in disapproval. “I’ll fit right in.” He picked at his nose. “Better’n you anyway. Remember the time you wore your ‘Support Our Public Schools’ tee-shirt and they asked you to leave?”

“Back,” I said. “Try again.”

“This time he looked quite a bit like an old Navy buddy from a photo of the two of us after we had used our day off to visit some enlisted clubs. I frowned in disapproval but let it slide.

Once in the car, he instantly started to get on my nerves.

“What’s wrong with Mrs. Big Dope?  

I just looked over at him and said nothing.

“Did you mix paint with her favorite measuring cup again?”

It didn’t seem worthwhile to respond.

“Don’t tell me you spilled more wine on her ZZ Top CD.”

“No,” I said, “and that wasn’t me, if you will remember. Someone lied about it.”

He ignored me. “You didn’t badmouth Matthew McConaughey did you?”

“Could you ever imagine,” I said, “that it might be something you did?”



He didn’t speak for almost a minute. “Can’t imagine a thing.” He said, after the pause.

“That last shape you took.”

“Oh,” he said, “that real pretty girl with the big …”

“That’s the one.”

“Weren’t they good friends? I mean back in high school?”


He truly seemed dumbfounded. “Why … what … how could it be? You mean they weren’t best friends?”

“That’s what I mean.”

“They didn’t like each other?”


“What was the the cause, explanation, or justification for the action or event?”

“The reason, as I understand it, was a boyfriend. I learned long ago not to ask.”

“She had another boyfriend before you?”"

“Well yeah,” I said, mimicking the young folks.

“How could that be? You’ve been married for how long now?”

“Tomorrow marks 43 years,” I said. “That’s where we are headed: to buy her a gift.”

And Big Dope tells me that you see
some weird-looking people at Walmart. - C.W.
“Hey,” he said. “Maybe she would like a new Astrocelestial Sound Synthesizer. You know how much she likes to mimic that woman with all those kids.”

“I don’t think so.”

“I read where the women in California all want a new A…”

I cut him off. “Forget it,” I said. “I think she wants a new tool box and a set of metric wrenches.”

“A true romantic,” he said and we continued in silence.

Later, at Walmart, I had to rush over and intercede when I heard him tell a vacant-eyed adolescent “associate” that he wanted to buy a card for “the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event.”

Would anyone like to keep an alien for a while?

Click some ads. I spent all my money on an anniversary card.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

268. Places

C.W. is being punished. As best as I can manage, he is confined to quarters, meaning the spare bedroom we keep. Of course he can escape anytime he wants, but I’m locking the computer away when I’m not using it so he won’t go far.

What did he do this time?


Yes. Hitchhiking. It all began when he started asking me about the GPS navigational systems that people are increasingly relying upon to get around.

“Can’t they read a diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, etc.” he asked.

“No,” I said. “Reading a map has pretty much disappeared as skill.”

“That’s what I feared,” he said, “when I read that more than 20 percent of your population can’t locate the Pacific Ocean on a map of the world.”

“I’m afraid so.”

“It’s not as though it is not prominent,” he said.

“Pretty prominent,” I said.

“Sad to say.”

“So people use those little boxes with the obnoxious voices emanating from them to get around?”

“Many do.”

“They go exactly where the boxes tell them?”

“Without question.”

“Don’t they know that a superior mental force …,” he paused. “Say a visitor from the Wobeenanis Galaxy, could scramble the directions?”

“You don’t think highly of those folks, now do you?”

A vicious place producing creatures of low expectations,” he said. Then he brightened. “Wait one,” he said, and then he disappeared.

When he returned, he was in the form of that actor, Brad Pitt. He said he was going for a walk. Actually, I found out later, he was going hitchhiking. After deputies had returned him several times, I deduced that he had been hitching rides with strangers willing to assist him because of his appearance. Using some Falloonian powers of which I was unaware, he had used his ability to re-direct automobile GPS systems so that he had, on different occasions,

- Led a Bluegrass Band to a Hip Hop concert.

- Led a mine operator to a Sierra Club meeting

- Led a “Tea Party” activist into a public housing complex

- Led a pro-wrestling fan to a ballet recital

- Led an ardent vegetarian to a pig farm

- Led a “creationist” to the public library … and … was finally caught, wouldn’t you know it … leading a prominent Baptist minister to a barn dance.

Don’t contact me asking for clemency. He is confined indefinitely.
Why do so many of your species
live in the constant fear that
at some place, somewhere, someone
may be having fun? - C.W.

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Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

267. Facts

“What on earth are you doing?” There was Eddie the Entrepreneur sitting in the middle of my living room floor amidst a pile of posters and paper scraps. Of course it was C.W. in one of his favorite shapes, the young genius who will someday match Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg in fame and fortune.  He looked up, pushed his long, shaggy hair to the back of his head, and stared over his horn-rimmed glasses at me.

“I’m glad to see you,” he said. “I need to test some ideas.”

“Ideas for what?”

“My new non-difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something.”

“Do you mean your non-profit?”

“There you go repeating me gain.”

I ignored him. “So what are you not going to make a profit in now?”

“This,” he said, holding up an ad mock-up. There in bold type was a call-to-action for one to “Cure Cognichasm.”


“Yep. You all need to be cured of it.”

“What is your solution?”

“A seven-week course designed to cure one of the greatest mental shortcomings of your species,” he said.

“And that is?”

“Your apparent inability to connect cognitive phenomena,” he said, “and the mental chasm it produces.”

I began to sense his meaning. “And you got this idea when?”

He looked at me sternly. “You know very well when.”

“Those ten so-called ‘presidential candidates’ didn’t constitute a fair sample of the ability of our species to engage in linear thinking,” I said.

“Well they did mention a cure for a problem that was tried by the Chinese, with no apparent success, centuries ago. That’s a pretty big cognitive gap.”

“They were just kidding about ‘building an immigrant-proof wall’ and maintaining it,” I said. “After all, they were appearing on an entertainment venue.”

“Forget them,” he said. “Between the ten of them, they couldn’t connect two dots if they were standing in a field of sunflowers.” He consulted a sheet of paper filled with typing. “Let’s look at some examples.” He read for a few seconds. “Here’s one,” he said. “We can stop teen pregnancies by telling teens not to have sex.” He gave me a smug nod. “Now just how disconnected is that from reality?”

I was on the defensive all of a sudden. “I didn’t come up with that,” I said, “but some people believe it.”

“Oh yes,” he said, “the teens of your species have such a long history of doing exactly what adults say.”

“That’s a strained example.”

“Oh really?” he said. “Try this instead: Sex education leads to teen-aged pregnancies.”

I couldn’t think of an answer, so he kept reading.

“Cutting revenue inflow increases available revenue.”

I said nothing.

“The more you charge on your credit card, the more money you make.”

I said nothing.

“The only way to save a country is to destroy it.”

I said nothing.

“Facts are stupid things.”

Silence on my part.

 “Training children to excel on standardized tests makes them more educated.”

Oh dear.

“The drinking of whiskey puts the spirit of conviviality in one’s heart and enhances our existence.”

What can I add? - C.W.
“Now wait just a minute.”

“Oh,” he said. “Excuse me. My mistake.” He ran his finger down the list. “Here it is: The drinking of whiskey destroys our families, communities, and civic organizations.”

“And your point?”

“Each member of your species tends to interpret facts to fit its own beliefs.”

“I don’t think that’s true,” I said. “We can be as logical as the next species, perhaps more so. And we are a pleasant example. You said yourself that drinking whiskey—especially, I think, Four Roses Single-Barrel—helps a lot.”

“You aren’t much help,” he said, “maybe my fans can come up with some examples.”

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Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

Available at major on-line retailers, or

Sunday, August 2, 2015

266. Similes

Oh, please just tuck me away somewhere like an ugly sweater received as a gift from a color-blind aunt. C.W. is practicing his similes again. For some reason they fascinate him like a piece of fuzz stuck on a cat’s paw.

Oops. It’s catching.

“Why?” I asked.

“To make money,” he said. “How’s this one?” He stared at my computer screen. “His two strands of hair slide about the top of his head like a blond tumbleweed balanced on a greased basketball.”

I couldn’t find the words to respond.

“Or this,” he said, “He stopped and thrust a water bottle in his mouth like he was a member of a NASCAR team gassing a racecar.”

My mind began to sink like a bowl of unleavened bread.

“Here’s a beaut,” he said. “His horn-rimmed glasses, bought to make him look smarter than he is, wrap around his empty head like a training bra on an eight-year old.”

“Are you doing what I think you’re doing?”

“What’s that?”

“I am aware,” I said, “that the first presidential debates are happening this week.”


“Cut the stuff,” I said, seeing through his ruse. Actually, the fact that he had assumed a shape perfectly imitating that of legendary political guru Karl Rove had been my first clue.

“This week?” he said feigning surprise. “Then they will need similes like a Kardashian needs a photo op.” He stopped and typed into my computer.”

“And you?”

“I,” he said, “will sell the candidates similes through my new company. He scrolled the computer. “Here it is: Similes To Facilitate Understanding.”

“Uh,” I said. “Have you thought that name through?”

“Check out this one,” he said, ignoring me. “He waddles up to the microphone like the Pillsbury Doughboy approaching a hot oven.”

“Or this,” he said, reading again. “He slams his Bible on the Constitution like a blacksmith pounding a U -shaped metal plate nailed to a horse's hoof to protect it from being injured by hard or rough surfaces.”

“I think,” I said, “that you might do well to run that through your Galactic Universal Translator again.”

“My GUT works like a finely tuned sausage grinder,” he said. “Now here’s a good one.” He read again, “He hates government like a drunkard hates a rehab clinic.” He smiled. “Good, eh?”

I didn’t say a word.

He continued. “He avoids mentioning his brother like a man with a strange woman’s name tattooed on his arm.”

I raised my eyes heavenward. “Is this ever going to stop or am I stuck in a loop like a bad computer string?”

“Listen up,’ he said. “You might learn something.” He read, “He stands out in that crowd like BeyoncĂ© at a DAR convention.”

“Would you please stop?”

“He has that wild crazy Nouveau-Texan look in his eyes like a dog locked up in a butcher shop with no place to go to the bathroom.”


“He traded away his soul to the Koch Brothers like an ad-man selling a jingle.”

I really don't get the clown simile.
I thought clowns were supposed to be happy. - C.W
I stopped and thought. “You know,” I said. “Of all your crazy schemes, this one might work like a bridge over water that is roiling a foaming.”

“Hey,” he said. “I like that. Maybe we’ll use it. Now for the clincher.”

“The clincher?”

“You all remind me of a group filing in for a Chuckles the Clown Memorial Service.”

Click some ads. I need a new computer like a TV evangelist needs a new airplane.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

Available at major on-line retailers, or

Saturday, August 1, 2015

265. Phrases

“Hey,” C..W. yelled at me, “come here.”

“What’s up?” I said as I walked into the room and found the old comedian Jack Benny staring at me from my computer.

“You have some explaining to do.”

“Really?” I said, “The last time we talked you said I couldn’t explain to a snake how to do the rhumba.”

“I’ve changed my mind,” he said, deadpanning like the old trooper he whose shape he had borrowed. “You and the snakes seem to have learned a lot from one another.”

I ignored him, “You had a question?”

“About your language,” he said.

“The language of Shakespeare and Milton?”

“No,” he said, “the language of Kohen and Tymber.”

“Oh,” I said, “modern usage.”

“Quite so,” he said. He looked at the computer screen, “Here’s a dandy,” he said. “What, exactly, does it mean when a man posts an announcement on VisageDocument that ‘We’re pregnant,’ referring to him and his wife.”

“Uh,” I said, “I think it means he wants his friends on Facebook to know that he and his wife are going to prudence a child.”

“It takes two of them?”

“In the fertilization phase, yes.”

“So the man fertilizes himself as well?”

“Not exactly.”

“The man carries a portion of the gestation assemblage to term? Shares the discomfort of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth?”

“Not exactly.”

“So what does he mean when he says, ‘We’re pregnant,’ as if it were a joint activity?”

“How the hell should I know,” I said. “When I was a kid, we weren’t even allowed to use that word. A woman was ‘expecting,’”

“Expecting what?”

The Falloonian Elders have been concerned
about overpopulation on your planet.
I think I've found the solution. - C.W.
“A child, although that was never made clear to us. Sometimes we were told it was a puppy.”

“You are a strange species,” he said. “I suppose you had incomprehensible euphemisms for other biological functions?”

I thought for a moment. “Well, we did ask if we might go ‘wash,’ if we needed to …” I struggled for the words.

“To do what?”

"Number One or Number Two,” I said.

“I’m sorry?”

I explained. He shook his head and then stared at me with another of his blank expressions.

“Oh, good grief,” he said. “And I thought you got to be such a dope all on your own.”

 Please click some ads. I need to buy Big Dope a new dictionary.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

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