Sunday, January 31, 2016

305. Hereafter

“Hey, wait for me.” I had started on my daily walk when I heard  C.W. call. I turned to see him in one of his inquisitive teenager shapes. Oh no.

“I have a joke for you,” he said as he moved alongside me and matched my pace.

“A joke?” This stopped me. “You have a joke?”

“You betcha.”

“You are a joke,” I said. “But where did you learn one?”

“At the Dairy Bar,” he said. Sometime when I am busy and he is in this shape, he steals my car and goes to a local teen hangout. No doubt he had been there lately.

“You are going to get arrested for driving without a license.”

He ignored me. “So this boy says to his girlfriend while they were parked on a date. ‘Do you believe in the hereafter?’ She asks him what he means. He says, ‘If you’re not here after what I’m here after, you’re gonna be here after I’m gone.’ Funny eh?”

I groaned. “Want some advice?”


“Don’t tell that to my wife.”

“We’re not speaking since I asked her if she was really made from one of your ribs.”


“She said no, that women were created from three-quarters of man’s brain.”

“That sounds like her,” I said. “Did you believe her?”

“Have you ever disagreed with her?”

“A couple of times,” I said, then added, “years ago.”

“Well what I really want to know is about this concept your species has of the hereafter. What you call a place regarded in various religions as the abode of God (or the gods) and the angels, and of the good after death, often traditionally depicted as being above the sky.”

“You mean Heaven?”

“That’s what I just said.”

“What do you want to know? I’m hardly an expert.”

“How does one get there?”

“Like I said, I’m not an expert.”

“Will Mrs. Big Dope go there?”

“If there really is such a place,” I said, “I’m sure she will have a prominent position. Probably Commandant of Animal Angels.”

“Will Joel Osteen go there?”

“Not likely, they say it will be very hard for a rich man to enter.”

“Franklin Graham?”

“Uh, not likely. ‘Love one another’ and all that.”

“Rush Limbaugh?”

“Are you kidding? Three divorces?”


“A big no, no,” I said.

“Are there any other things that might keep people out?”

“Well,” I said, “as I say, I’m no expert, but as I understand it, there are a few specifics.”

“Such as?”

“Not taking care of the hungry.”

“Oh,” he said, “do your politicians know this?”

“Some of them.”

“Oh my,” he said. “What else?”

“Not taking care of the thirsty.”

“Like not maintaining a safe water supply?”

I thought. “Yeah, I guess you could put it that way.”

“Go on.”

“Not taking in strangers.”

“You must be kidding.”

“Not keeping poor people clothed.”

“Get out of town.”

“Neglecting prisoners.”


I tend to share your writer Mark Twain's confusion that
you would seek out a place to spend eternity doing the
things you hated to do on earth, like singing hymns, - C.W.
“Can we change the subject? I’m growing quite weary of all this,” I said.

“Just one thing more,” he said. “Children?”

“Oh,” I said, “I think there is a special corner of ‘the other place’ for people who mistreat or torture children.”

“Torture them how?”

“You know,” I said, “physically or mentally abusing them.”

“Like taking them, for example,” he said, “into a dark room and telling them that there is a man in the sky, in this place called Heaven, that will burn their little bodies forever if they don’t do what the grownups say?”

“Look,” I said, “there’s a red-winged blackbird.”

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

304: Truth

“It seems to me a person with an imagination could make a lot of money.”

“So,” I said, “you have an imagination?”

“Quite so.” C.W. was walking with me in the snow that had fallen overnight. He resembled the late actor and comedian Robin Williams as he stepped gingerly in the five-inch layer of white. “I can think things up with the best of them.”

“What sort of things?” We exited a wooded area and turned onto a country lane offering a pleasant vista of snow-covered branches arching over a straight path that seemed to lead somewhere peaceful.

“Things for the news to report.”

“Made up things?”

“Sure. That’s what sells,” he said, stepping over a fallen limb.

“Made up things sell?”

“Your media doesn’t seem that obsessed wth accuracy these days.”

“So you make things up, they report, and the people abide.”

“Pretty much so.”

“You will invent ‘facts’ and sell them to the press?”

“Ya got that right, Pilgrim,” he said, trying to mimic John Wayne.”

“Give me an example.”

“Let’s see,” he said. “Something really ridiculous. Hmmm. We could sell them a proven fact that every time taxes have been cut in your country, tax revenues have increased.”

“Sorry,” I said.


“That’s been done. In fact, that fantasy news channel runs that almost every day.”


We walked in silence for a while, enjoying the solitude. Then he broke in. “How’s this? I read where the taxes in your country rank 26th out of the 30 countries in the world-wide Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Let’s sell the fantasy that your taxes are the highest in the world.”

“You haven’t been paying attention, have you?”

“Been done already?”

“Every night on fantasy news.”

“Drats.” He brightened. “Iraq bombed the World Trade towers.”


“I know,” he said. “We’ll pick out a decorated war veteran and say he was a coward.”

“Have you ever heard of John Kerry?”


“Let’s just say that has been done already as well.”


“Look,” I said. “I’m not sure this is a good idea. I don’t think you could get rich making things up for the news.”

“Bill O’Reilly has.”

He had me stumped there. I suggested we walk back to the farmhouse and that he let me offer him some proof. We chatted about other things. He was curious about the vast differences in the price of vodka in the U.S., given the fact that import standards require that it be pure, odorless, and tasteless. We were still discussing the field of marketing when we arrived home. “You mean,” he said, “that a chemical compound like bleach, that only exists in one form—a single, specific chemical compound—can be marketed for different prices?”
Words are like some of your politicians
and professionals I could name. For enough
money, they'll do anything you want. - C.W.

“Welcome to America,” I said.

“But if you alter the composition by one atom, it’s no longer bleach,” he said. “Everyone knows that.”

“Apparently we don’t” I said. “Check next time we go to the supermarket.”

“What do you have to show me?” he said, slumping in a chair.

I retrieved a stack on news clippings I had been saving and began showing them to him. I began with one claiming that residents of Colorado were buying marijuana with food stamps. Then one asserting that a U.S. Senator lost his family’s health insurance because of the Affordable Health Care Act. He read them carefully. Once, he looked up at me. “But the President of the United States was born in Hawaii,” he said. “Isn’t that one of your states?”

“Oh yes,” I said. “But who cares?” Then he saw a claim by a woman whose son had beat his wife and threatened her with a rifle.

“No,” he said. “She’s not claiming that the President made him do it?”

I said nothing. He handed the clipping back with a downcast look.

“You may be right,” he said.

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t make up stuff like this.”

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Monday, January 18, 2016


Dear friends:
Perhaps someone can explain it to me. People in Big Dope's home state of Arkansas may choose to celebrate the birthday of either of two men today. One was known for honor, grace, poise, bravery,  daring, and love of his native land. The other was a general who went to war against his own country.
Your Friend,

Sunday, January 17, 2016

303. Diplomacy

“Well I think it’s about time we did something about it.”


“I don’t know,” C.W. said. “Something.”

“Like what?”

“Anything to stop her.”

“Stop her from what?”

“Whatever she does.”

Oh dear. He and my wife were having another spat—something about leaving dirty dishes in the sink. She actually made him wash some of them and he hates to get his hands wet, claims it is some sort of Falloonian taboo. After she told him where he could put his taboo, things escalated. He immediately assumed the form of that political candidate, the crazy one from Texas. Well then, the crazy one from Texas that makes stuff up as it suits him. No, the other crazy one that makes stuff up. The one who wants to re-institute the draft and invade any country that aggravates us. No, the crazy, lying, warmonger that hates the government and wasn’t ever born in the U.S.A. Yeah, that one.

“We’ll fix her vehicle used for transporting goods or another specified purpose.”

“You don’t,” I said, “need to fix her wagon.”

“I’ll dust her with Falloonian guddramadan dust and make her glow in the dark.”

“Why don’t you just abide by the rules?”

“I graduated from Harvard Law School,” he said. “We don’t abide by the rules. We make them.”

“Why not just sit down and talk to her. You know … discuss things calmly.”

“I tried,” he said. “She wouldn’t listen to me.”

“What did she have to say?”

“Why should I have let her say anything?” he said. “She’s a woman.”

“You wouldn’t apologize, would you?”

He just looked at me.

“Maybe compromise?” I said.

“Do I look like a sissy to you?”

“Try to look at it from her side,” I said. “Maybe you’ll change your mind.”

“A real man doesn’t change his mind.”

“Jesus did.”

“Not,” he said.

“Don’t you remember the Canaanite woman? He compared her to a dog, but she changed his mind and, some say, his entire ministry.”

“That was Jesus,” he said. “You’d expect that from one of those Middle-Easterners.”

“She’s really a nice person if you abide by her rules,” I said.

“Like you do?”

“I slip occasionally.”

“And then?”

“We engage in diplomacy.”

“Meaning you grovel and say you’re sorry.”

“Why don’t you give her a chance?”

“Because,” he said, “I love America too much.”

“You love America?”

“With all my heart and soul.”

“You are a patriot?”

“I took an oath when I was first elected and I’ll not budge from it one centimeter. And that includes apologizing for anything.”

“You love America?”

“Above anything.”

“So maybe you could impress her with your love of country, your patriotism and all.”

He stopped and thought. “Hey,” he said. “Maybe that’s a good idea. I’ll show her that bending to my will would make her a true patriot like me.”

“As John Agar used to say in the science fiction movies,” I said, “it just might work. Why don’t you think on it tonight and try it out first thing in the morning?”
He referred to his little slave children
as his "ebony mites." How could we
not celebrate the birthday of a man with
such a sense of humor? - C.W.
“Oh,” he said, “I can’t do it tomorrow.”
“Why not?”

“Tomorrow we celebrate Robert E. Lee’s birthday. I’m scheduled to speak to The Sons of The Confederacy.”

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Friday, January 15, 2016


Dear Ask The Alien:
My boyfriend says that if I don’t do certain things he wants, I don’t love him. I can’t mention what these things are as this is a family-oriented site, but believe me, it would take some gumption. Excuse me, I’m from the South and if your Galactic Universal Translator won’t tell you what “gumption” means, let me know. Anyway, the fact is: I don’t really love him, but he is rich and popular and has the neatest pickup truck at our high school and takes me fine places and buys me nice things and I wouldn’t want to give all that up. Currently, I'm the envy of my class. So, should I pretend to love him and live the good life, ... in other words, do as he says, be his faithful friend, and keep the benefits?
Living In Luxury

Dear Living in Luxury:
Thanks to my pal Big Dope, I know have a better understanding of what “friends with benefits,” means. Oh my. The key word here is “pretend.” And my advice is, don’t do what you suggest. Concentrate on your studies and not on practicing being married. Oh, and by the way, my GUT tells me many things, and I trust it. Please, you trust me. Gumption is good when used properly.
The Alien C.W.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Friends. It always amuses me to hear that so many of you are angry at your government, as if this phenomenon just happened on its own.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

302. Conversation

He wandered in while I was working on the computer at our downtown condominium. I really didn’t want conversation but he seemed distraught, at least his chosen personage—a young man of color—seemed distraught.

“What’s up?” I said.

“That’s it,” he said.

“What the heck?”

“There you go again,” he said as he slumped into a chair.

“Are you jackin’ me around or what?”

“Aargh,” he said.

“Why don’t you just chill for a moment,” I said.

“That’s it. I can’t,” he said.

“What’s bugging you,” I said. “Spill.”

“I haven’t understood a word you have said since I came in,” he said.

“You’re sh…,”

“Please don’t,” he said, interrupting. “I’m confused enough already.”

“I can see you have a burr under your saddle,” I said.

“First thing you said when I came in,” he said, “was ‘what’s up?’ as if you couldn’t look there for yourself.”

“The scales are falling off now,” I said. “You don’t like our lingo.” I was beginning to have fun.

“It’s not that I don’t like it,” he said. “It’s just that I’m having an attack of confusion.”

“What set you off?”


“What jerked your chain?”

He ignored me. I tried again. “What’s making your mattress so lumpy?” I thought for a moment that he might cry. “Your Idiom Distilling Intergalactic Operational Translator isn’t working, is it? Gone on the blink again?”

“IDIOT,” he said.

“Bingo,” I said. He looked at me funny. “So what,” I said, “has your undies in a wad?”

“Do you mean for me to enlighten you on the cause of my current distress.”

“Give the man a cigar,” I said.

“I don’t smoke cigars.”

“About your troubles,” I said. “Lay it on me.”

He sighed. “It started as I descended in the elevator. It ended with my being called into the Manager’s office and threatened.”

“Get out of town,” I said.

He ignored me. “This quite attractive young woman entered the elevator on the 11th floor. She was, how do you say, stunningly beautiful.”

“A Ten,” I said.

“No,” he said. “A female.” He stopped and thought. “I forgot. You don’t have multiple species categories here.”

“Oh,” I said. “We do, but we don’t admit it. Let’s just say she was a Ten.”

“Whatever you say,” he said. “Anyway, I had been confused by your language habits since I left you to go walking. Remember what you said to me?”

“Uh, no.”

“You said, ‘See you later alligator,’ as if that might make some sense. I couldn’t get it out of my heads.”

“Let’s don’t talk too much about your multiple heads,” I said. “Anyway, I see,” I said. “So I gave you a verbal ear-worm.”

He looked at me, started to speak, and didn’t.

“Go on,” I said.

“So I transitioned,” he said, “into research-mode.”

“Uh oh,” I said, “dark clouds on the horizon.”

“Where?” he said, turning to look out the windows.

“Never mind,” I said. “So you were out to gain insight into our speech patterns?”

“Precisely,” he said. “Then the elevator stopped on the first floor and my troubles began.”

I nodded. “Trouble follows a seeking mind,” I said. “What happened?”

Big Dope always says that silence is golden.
I think I know what he means, now. - C.W.
“It was a simple matter of clarification,” he said.

“Fill me in.”

“As the door opened, this, this …”

“Goddess,” I said. “I know who you are talking about, but don’t let my wife know.”

He nodded and continued. “This young lady turns to me and says, ‘Have a nice day,’ and started to exit.”


“I simply said, ‘Would you really like to see me have a nice day?’ And, as you are fond of saying, all hell broke loose.”

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Saturday, January 9, 2016


Dear Friends:
My research while on your planet leads me to the conclusion that only a man who has no wife would make this statement. As a close friend who lives on a nearby planet would say, "The stupid is strong in this one."

I've offered Big Dope $200 Million when I win the Powerball
if he will say this to his wife. He just laughed at me. - C.W.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Dear Ask The Alien
My brother is a year younger than I am, but the same size and height. I have caught him several times now trying on my clothes, including my best wig. When I confront him, he makes up weird stories, the last being that he just wanted to gain access to the girl’s locker room at our local gym. He also claims that he wants to familiarize himself with the way women dress in order to perfect his skills at helping them undress—when the time comes. In addition, he steals my glamor magazines and hides them in his room. Yesterday I found him practicing walking in my best pair of heels. He claimed he was simply “developing empathy.”

My question to you is this: should I offer him tips on selecting wardrobes and makeup? He has a tendency to mix plaids and stripes, and his lipstick choices clash with his skin color. Plus, his favorite outfit makes his butt look huge. And don’t get me started on his horrible tastes in jewelry. I hate to intrude on his fantasies, but I don’t want his poor grooming choices to reflect badly on our family. Any suggestions?
Helpful Sister

 Dear Helpful Sister:
Perhaps you could subject him to what your species calls “aversion therapy.” Tie him to a chair and make him view pictures of those women they call The Kardashians. Ask him if he wants to end up like that. Then show him photos of rich and famous women. My research shows that poor taste rises in direct proportion to wealth. That should send him to a sartorial school or back to faded jeans and sneakers in short order. Oh, and please send photos, for my, uh, files.
The Alien C.W.

Need I say more? - C.W.

See Also:

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Morning notes from your friend C.W.:

A country plagued by mathematical incongruities, where, on a bed designed to accommodate two persons (with the possible exception of the State of California), otherwise normal people will stack ten or more pillows.

I am constantly asked to explain such phenomena to observers in other galaxies and, so far, have been unable.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

301. Protest

Oh lord. C.W. wants to stage a protest.

Don’t ask.

He was busy making posters when I came in this morning. In fact, he was so busy that he didn’t notice me. I could hear him muttering as he carefully lettered the words, “We won’t take it anymore. Heck no.” His shape was incongruous, somewhere between a golfer and a migrant worker.

“Power to the protesters,” he said, adding a period to a protesting sentence and looking up. “Big Dope,” he said, “just the person I wanted to see.”

 I walked to the nearest chair and sat, saying nothing.

“I need your help,” he said. “You need to help me stage a protest.”

“A protest?”

“Yeah,” he said, “a protest. Maybe we’ll seize a building somewhere.”

“So what, exactly, are you going to protest?”

“That’s where I need your help,” he said.

“My help?”

“What do you recommend we protest?”

This stunned me. “Do you mean,” I said, “that you are planning a protest and you don’t know what it is you’re going to protest?”

“I’m full of rage,” he said. “I just have to protest something.”

“Like what?”

This time he stopped to think. “What about all those terrible things they say about aliens?”

“I don’t think they are talking about aliens like you.”

“Who then?”

“You know,” I said, “the regular kind. Say, what about civil rights? That’s always good for a protest.”

“Hell no,” he said. “They turn dogs loose on your for that.”

“I don’t think they have done that for a while.”

“Well,” he said, “you never know when they might start back.” Then he brightened. “How about Husbands’ Rights? That’s something that needs attention.”

“Husbands’ Rights?”

“Yeah. We could march against Mrs. Big Dope and her friends.”

“Count me out,” I said.

“As one of your country’s founders said, ‘A right not protected is a right forfeited.’”

“Which founder said that?”

“I don’t know. One of them probably did. Anyway, we can catch the women coming out of the supermarket and surround them with our signs and posters. Then we’ll take over the fabric store. Come on,” he said, grabbing a brush and turning to a poster. “Help me.”

“You are on your own,” I said. “But I do hope you will have plenty of help.”

“God hates hags,” he said, as he began to paint the letters.

“Uh, C.W.” I said, “you have had some bad ideas in your life but this is the absolute worst.”

He ignored me and grabbed another poster. He looked away and thought for a moment, then began to paint, muttering as he did so. “Male lives matter.”

“Give me a break,” I said. “This is ridiculous.”

“Great causes call for great courage,” he said. “That’s what one of your famous statesmen said.”

Think of the money to be made
selling supplies for generic protests.
Is this a great country or what? - C.W.
“Which statesman?”

“I don’t remember. Maybe Robert E. Lee.”

“Maybe we need to have a long talk,” I said.

“Don’t bother me now,” he said. Then he grabbed another poster and began to write, “No piece. No pea…”

“C.W.,” I said, yelling it. He hadn’t heard the car arriving or the voices growing near.


“It’s my wife and her friends,” I said as the door opened.

He glanced up. He quickly swept up the posters and thrust them into my arms. “I’ve told you a dozen times,” he said. “This is a monstrously stupid idea. I’m telling your wife.”

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