Sunday, December 27, 2015

300. Fear

Sometimes C.W. ends up explaining things to me in the strangest fashion, like this morning when I found him in the shape of a young police officer reading the daily news and smoking a cigarette.

“Don’t let my wife catch you doing that,” I said.

“Doing what?”

“You know. Smoking in the house. She’s warned you before.”

“I’m not afraid of her. Are you?”

“Hell yes,” I said. “I recommend it very highly.”

“What? Fear or Mrs. Big Dope?”

“Both,” I said. “Or don’t Falloonians experience fear?”

“Anxiety,” he said. “We sometimes experience anxiety.”

“Oh really? Like when?”

“Like,” he said and stopped to think. “Like when we worry that the illogic that pervades your species might clean, polish, or manipulate by the application of pressure and friction off on us.”

“That our illogic might rub off on you?” Then I decided not to rise to the bait, as he took a long drag from his cigarette and exhaled. “You’re going to die,” I said.

“Did you know,” he said, “that the Victorians in England used the word ‘die’ as a euphemism for a sexual orgasm?”

I was pleased at his vocabulary and the fact that he was doing outside research. I nodded and asked, “And did you pick up that bit of trivia there?” I nodded toward the newspaper.

“Oh no,” he said. “I read that in one of Mrs. Big Dope’s books.”

“My wife doesn’t read books like that,” I said.

“How do you know what she reads? You’re always asleep and snoring away by the time she begins to read. You might be surprised.”

I quickly moved to change the subject. “So is there anything interesting in the news today?”

“Illogic and contradictions, unless you understand what you people call evolution.”

I waited.

“Most of the articles are stirring up fear,” he said. “Fear of the food we eat on the left, and fear of the people we meet on the right. Fear of everything else in the middle.”

I nodded. “So where is the illogical?”

“Here,” he said, motioning at the front page. “Seems that even in your largest city, the crime rate is dropping.” He motioned again. “There’s not a country in the world that wants to invade yours.” He opened the paper and nodded. “You are living well past any expectations, given the poor care you take of your bodies.” He lowered the paper. “Yours is one of the safest places on the planet.”

I sat thinking of all this. “Then why,” I said, “all the fear?”

“Evolution,” he said.

“We fear evolution?”

“Some of the least of those among you fear the concept,” he said, “but no, I mean your so-called evolutionary process creates the fear and anxiety.”

“Elucidate,” I said. He paused, and I could almost hear the whirring of his Galactic Universal Translator. “Your GUT giving you problems again?”

“My GUT is fine and I trust it,” he said. “Now, where was I? Oh, I remember.” He paused again. “You asked me to make something that is hard to understand clear or easy to comprehend.”

“Quite so,” I said, enjoying his discomfort. “Evolution and fear.”

“Imagine,” he said, “you are Australopithecus afarensis, one of your ancient cousins, roaming the savannah with your pals.”

I closed my eyes. “Okay,” I said.

“All of you are as tense as a mouse in a cat food factory,” he said, “watching for things that love to eat you, and those things are legion.”

The biggest problem with fear is; it sells so well. - C.W.

“Except one of you is not tense, afraid, or nervous,” he said. “You are so laid back you could listen to a Jennifer Hudson song without flinching.”

“That’s pretty laid back,” I said
“My point exactly,” he said. “Now which of you do you think is going to be eaten first?”

I opened my eyes. “You mean the value of anxiety has lingered with us?”

“Stuck in your DNA like stink on …”

A voice exploded from the next room, “What the hell is that I smell?” I turned toward it. When I turned back, C.W. was gone and, by my hand, the cigarette burned in an ash tray, its smoke rising to curl in the form of a noose.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

299. Confusion

“So why do they call them debates if they don’t debate one another?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why do they call it ‘collateral damage’ when they mean killing innocent people?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why do they call it a sport when one side has a weapon and the other doesn’t?”

“Why are you torturing me?” We were in the shop and I was using a hand plane to flatten the surface of a piece of wood too large to go through my power planer. The work was exasperating enough without the inquisitive teenager that C.W. loves to shift into when I’m really busy.

“Why,” I said, “don’t you do something useful and sweep up these shavings?”

“Will you pay me to?”

I just looked at him. “Why do they call them student athletes?” he said.

“Because they don’t call them cowboys,” I said.

“Why do they call it making love when so many women of your species don’t seem to like it at all?”

“Because they don’t call it making pies.”

“Shouldn’t they call it making babies?”

“What do they call in on Falloonia?”

“It’s a long word,” he said, “and you couldn’t pronounce it. In your language it roughly translates into ‘watching the sun set with one eye and a hopeful heart’ or something like that.”

I stopped. “It what?”

“As in,” he said, “when will this be over?”

Sometimes I can’t tell whether he is jacking me around or not. I resumed my planing.

“Here’s one,” he said, “Why do they call it getting it on when they mean getting it in?”

“Do you want my wife to hear you?”

“Sure,” he said. “Maybe she knows about loading cargo into a plane.”

“Are we going somewhere with all this?”

He thought for a moment. “Do you realize,” he said, “how confusing your language is for a visitor to your galaxy?”

“Not so,’ I said. “We have two-year-olds that pick it up without effort.”

He ignored the insult. “So you allow them to reach adulthood using ‘fat-chance’ and ‘slim-chance’ interchangeably?

At this precise moment I gouged the wood and let loose a stream of imprecations, ending with one in Vietnamese that vaguely has some relation or other to one’s mother.

“That’s another thing,” he said. “What about things like …” and he uttered a phrase involving … well I can't say what it involved, other that the act of a flying leap.

“Don’t let my wife hear you saying that.” I said.

“Where do you think I learned it?”

That did it. I laid my planer aside. “Come on,” I said. “You need leadership.”

The best thing about your language, or so
 it seems to me, is its comedic value. - C.W.
“You lead,” he said, “like someone with lead in their pockets.”

I groaned.

“I enjoyed this informal exchange of ideas by spoken words,” he said.

“This conversation,” I said, ‘has cost me a fine piece of wood. And you need to adjust your Galactic Universal translator.”

“I trust my GUT,” he said. “I’ll put it up against yours anytime.”

I groaned and walked away.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ask The Alien: Barking Husband

Dear Ask The Alien:
My husband has started barking when we make love. At first I thought it was kind of cute and sexy, but lately it has become more annoying and the neighbors have started to complain. I’ve tried everything. I’ve offered him treats to be quiet. I’ve even tried scratching his belly but this just makes his leg jerk and starts him to howling. Nothing works. Now he has begun, just as I get “in the swing,” so to speak, nuzzling his head under my hand to make me pet him. This makes me just want to trot off somewhere. Can you help?
Dog Lover

 Dear Dog Lover:
First, if you think you have pet problems, check out this fellow's.
Now, since you didn’t include your husband’s pedigree in your missive, I shall assume he is mixed-breed. So, I contacted the Hispanic fellow on TV, the so-called “Dog person who speaks very softly using his breath without his vocal cords,” and he offered some help. You have allowed your husband to assume the A-dog role in your home, a rarity among American couples. You must re-establish your dominant position by granting and withholding favors, if you know what I mean. Let him know what behavior is acceptable and what is not. A firm but loving leash should solve your problem. If it doesn’t, try a muzzle.
Your friend
The Alien C.W.

Oh, and while I am at it:
I figured if Big Dope could try his hand at making banners, so could I. What do you think?
Your friend,


Sunday, December 13, 2015

298. Going to War

Aha. Prepare to be fooled, amazed, and delighted. This is your friend C.W. writing. Why you might ask? Good sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information. What? Oh. My GUT is telling me something. (Editor’s note: Galactic Universal Translator). Make that “good question.”

It’s this way. Big Dope is preoccupied and asked me to take over the reporting duties this week. As he stated on a VisageDocument post last week, he is now the one looking to make a fast dollar. It’s with a new book outlining ways to fail the military draft induction physical.

When he first mentioned it, I had to ask. “What is a draft induction physical? Better yet, what is a draft?”

“You’ve never heard of a draft?”

“Like when your species pulls young college students out of their classes to make them play a child’s game for money?”

“Kinda, but not quite.”

I consulted my GUT. “Like when poor preparation allows a noxious wind to blow through your environment?”

“Kinda, but not quite.”

“Like a poorly thought out first attempt that deserves much additional thought and revision?”

“Kinda,” he said, “but not quite.”

“Oh,” I said. “I know. It’s like what race car drivers do. You line up behind someone else who is actually putting forth the effort from which you benefit while you do nothing at all.”

“Bingo,” he said. I was more confused than ever.

When he explained, I was astounded. “You claim,” I said, “that your country once forced young men to join the military and perhaps go to war against their will? That’s absurd. I don’t believe you.”

“Trust me on this one,” he said.

“So they are going to resume this barbaric practice?”

“How does one avoid it?”

“Two ways,” he said, “and the first is how I’m going to make money.”


“One simply fails the physical exam given just before induction. I’m documenting all the ways we tried it back in the 1960s, but for this new generation.”

“What kind of ways?”

“Oh,” he said, “ways like eating a half-bar of soap before going to the induction center to cause false readings, or ingesting massive amounts of aspirin to elevate you blood pressure, lifting huge weights to induce a hernia.”

“My goodness,” he said. “Did they work?”


Now I really was bewildered. “They didn’t work, but you are going to write a book documenting them for future use?”


“I’m confused. How can you convince people that they should buy a book outlining solutions that don’t work?”

Well ... you have to admit, don't you?
It is nice to feel wanted. - C.W.
“You see,” he said, “a population illogical enough to vote for political candidates that promise to take their country into a foreign will fall for anything.”

He had me there. No use arguing the point. “But,” I said, “you mentioned that there were two ways to avoid this draft.”

“Quite so,” he said. “The other will work 100 percent of the time, but for only one percent of the young men and women facing the military draft.”

“And,” I said, “what is this absolutely foolproof method of avoiding military service?”

“Same thing as always,” he said.

“Which is?”

“Tell them your daddy’s name.”

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015

297. Love and Grace

Oh my, y’all, C.W. has a new shape, and it may be the strangest one yet. He calls it simply “The Galilean.”

Yes. That Galilean —white robes, sandals and all.

It’s not just one shape. It’s two: the Galilean and a pal. (He can do that if he wants). Anyway, they’ve been going everywhere together, the one in his robe and the other in a three-piece suit with vest and tie-pin. They’ve already been thrown out of a Chick-fil-a and menaced at Hobby Lobby.

Did I mention that they don’t bother bathing all that often?

Of course the one wants me to interview the other and pay close attention to his testimony, that is to say that Three-Piece wants me to be pals with the Galilean. Actually, I haven’t minded so far, since he always brings a bottle of “Four Roses Single Barrel” to make the conversation flow more easily. Three Piece keeps the glasses full while the Galilean pontificates.

Yesterday he was grumbling.

“You won’t believe, Big Dope …”

“Wait,” I said, pointing to Three Piece. “Did he tell you to call me that?”

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” he said. “Does it matter by which name I call you out?”

Three Piece giggled. “Go on,” I said.

“I get a bum rap,” he said. “Some of your species make up and blame me for all kinds of cr…”

“Careful,” I said. “Remember that the sun rises on the evil and on the good.”

“I am the way,” he said. “Let not your heart be troubled.”

I directed us back to the point of the conversation. “So just how have you been maligned?”

“Haven’t you ever heard of a character named Franklin Graham?”

“Uh, yes.”

“Joel Osteen?”

“Oh, boy.”

“John Hagee? The guys and I call him Piggy.”

“He’s a work of art all right.”

He had a sad, far-away look in his eyes. “Well, how would you like to have them invoke your name?”

“Not really,” I said.

“The worst though,” he said, after taking a sip of his Four Roses and Three Cubes,  “was that son of a …”

“Careful,” I said. “My wife is in the next room.”

“That jerk,” he said, “Algernon Charles Swinburne.”

“Swineburne dissed you?”

“If it were not so, would I have told you?” He drained his glass and handed it to Three Piece with a flip that indicated a refill.”

“What did Swinburne do, exactly?” We waited for Three Piece.

“Ah,” he said, taking his drink in hand. “It’s nice to have a dear companion. Ask and it shall be given.” He winked at Three Piece. “I used to hang out with The Apostle,” he said, “but he wouldn’t get off this ‘thorn in my side’ kick and it got to where I wouldn’t go into a public restroom with him.”

“About Swinburne,” I said.

“He wrote this afwful poem,” he said, “in which he judged others. You know I don’t like that …”


“Well, me,” he said. “Claimed the old gods were bright, colorful, and full of life.”

“And you?”

He gazed off into space and thought, so he would get the passage correct. “Me? Try this on for size, ‘Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath.’ I complained to him about it once.”

Swinburne can just kiss my grits. - The Galilean
“And what did he say?”

“'Everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’ I sort of like that quote. I’ve used it myself.” He drained his glass. “But I never though anyone would use it on me.”

I contemplated this for a moment, while Three Piece scurried about. “So you think the line is unfair?”

“Thanks,” he said to Three Piece. Then he turned to me. “Don’t you ever read the scriptures?”

I fought the urge to borrow the famous line from General George S. Patton. Instead, I said, “Well yeah.”

“One of the few who do,” he said. “Anyway, then you know we were a bunch of wild and crazy guys, back in the day.”

“Oh really?”

“Hell yes,” he said. “Me and my bros just wandered about not bothering a soul, sipping wine, breaking bread, …” he giggled, “sometimes wind as well, and telling people to love one another as we loved them.” His eyes took on that far-away look again. He sipped. “I don’t really recommend that you do that, though.”
“And why not?’

“You see where it got us, don’t you?”

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Friends: My thoughts on your current political parties ...
- C.W,