At any rate, he turned quite somber and seemed to take a long time framing his question.
“Why,” he said, “does your species not take itself more seriously?”
“More seriously. You seem to make a joke of the most vital aspects of your existence. Politicians become entertainers. Spiritual leaders become greedy hate-mongers, or start passing deadly snakes to one another. Physicians dream up imaginary syndromes, allergies, and disorders in order to make money. Your pharmacists join them in an unholy symbiosis. You force educators to become test givers. You sedate young people by connecting them with hand-held devices.”
I needed to escape from this line of talk. “Don’t your Falloonian teenagers have cell phones?”
“Our gestation period is not as long as yours,” he said. “It’s the longest in the galaxy,” he said, avoiding my question.
“Homo sapiens. They have the longest gestation period in the galaxy. I’ve recorded it as long as 30 years before your offspring are cast off to survive alone.”
He interrupted. “And there is an alarmingly high rate of recidivism beginning to develop.”
I tacked the sails of our conversation. “But what makes you think we don’t take ourselves seriously?”
“Oh please,” he said. “Read the news.”
I bristled. “But I do.”
“Then, about whom do you read?”
“Well, there’s the President. And the Pope. And foreign leaders. And prominent artists.”
“And the Kardashians. And the professional players of children’s games. And the commentators on that fake news channel. And people who have been driven insane by your so-called religions, including the ones who worship firearms. And people pretending to be political candidates in order to become wealthy. And people who think cats are cute. And …”
“Now wait a minute,” I said. “You’re being unfair.”
“Yes,” I said.
“Unfair in my analysis?”
“Yes. You aren’t taking this conversation seriously.”
“Exactly how am I not taking this conversation seriously?”
“Well,” I said. “Some cats are cute.”
“Mrs. Big Dope makes you say that.”
“Well,? I said. “It …”
|Now who, in his right mind, would say|
that these are more fun to watch than
someone like Bill Moyers? I ask you. - C.W.
“I understand,” he said. “But to my original point. Equal billing is equal billing.”
I hate it when he gets like this.
He continued. “Your attention- span arcs from the sublime—a Neil deGrasse Tyson—to the pathetic—say that half-witted and sexually promiscuous daughter of a failed political candidate.”
“Bristol Palin,” I said, almost absentmindedly.
“See,” he said. “Your mind identified her immediately as a person of interest.”
“Are you trying to torture me?” I said.
“No,” he said. “Your species seems quite capable of undertaking that task on its own.
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