C.W. asked me for an hour or so of his time interrupted so I knew he was in serious mode. Imagine my surprise when he showed up as Bozo The Clown.
“What the … ?
“Howie Kazowie, little boy,” he said, taking a chair opposite me. “Are you ready to help old Bozo with his job?”
I sat speechless as he opened his notepad and clicked his pen to the ready position. He huge mouth opened into a grin and came up with “Ready?”
“I thought you wanted to have a serious conversation.”
“You look like a damned clown.”
“Shhh,” there are usually children following me around.”
“That’s my point,” I said. “Why the clown shape?”
“That’s the only way I can seriously discuss my topic du jowl, drawing his cheeks into a huge grin.”
“I think you mean ‘topic du jour’ don’t you?”
“I was making a joke, and don’t start in about my GUT.”
“I wouldn’t dare mention your Galactic Universal Translator,” I said. “Now what is up?”
“We are going to discuss what our planet sees as one of the most laughable aspects of your species. I’m simply dressed to fit.”
“And that aspect is?”
“The obsession your species has with conspiracy theories.”
“Yes. It came up again recently concerning an assassinated president, the one murdered by the lone gunman who sneaked a rifle to work, stayed in during lunch, and shot the president from the building where the gunman worked.”
“And the Falloonians think that was funny?”
“Oh no,” he said. “What they find funny is how your species has concocted such idiotic folk conspiracies around the event.”
“We differentiate between conspiracy theories, legends, and myths,” he said. The first is the most difficult to understand, and … .” He stopped. “Well,” he continued, “the most laughable, I’m afraid.”
That caused me to think. While I did so, he continued.
“How about the man who shot up a pizza shop because one of the presidential candidates was operating a child sex-slave ring in the basement?”
“That wasn’t funny to the manager of the shop who had a rifle pointed in his face,” I said. “And besides, I think we blamed that one on the Russians.”
“Would it have been better to blame it on the Schcrooarandians?”
“They’re considered by many to be the greatest jokers of our Galaxy.”
“Or how about the former president who managed the demolition of two of the tallest office buildings on your planet from the White House and managed to have an airliner flown into each one to cover up his crime? They still laugh about that conspiracy effort all over the Opaque white fluid rich in fat and protein, secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of their young … Way.”
“You mean the Milky Way?”
“Old Bozo was just joshin’ you, lad. Wowie kazowie. What fun.”
“I’m leaving,” I said. “I have better things to do.”
“Wait,” he said. “You need to hear this.” He reached inside his outfit and produced a scroll, which he unrolled. “This was compiled by a Falloonian youth with the comparable education of one of your twelfth-graders. He did it as a homework assignment.”
“How old is he.”
“In earth years?”
“He would be three months old.” Before I responded, he continued. “I’ll skip right to the meat of it.” He read, “It the absence of a single shred of evidence, physical documentation, or deathbed confession after more than 50 years, Earthlings, believe that a master conspirator, hereinafter referred to as ‘MC’ compiled the following conspiratorial body to cooperate seamlessly in the assassination of the aforementioned president.”
He scrolled a bit, with great ceremony.
“An actor playing the role of a crazed gunman who may or may not have known the role was terminal.” He looked at me and raised one of his huge eyebrows, then continued.
“The Dallas, Texas police department, the Cook County Sheriff’s department, various American Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard officers, the American CIA, various organized crime organizations, the Cuban president and government, Lyndon Johnson and wife, the entire American media establishment … .”
“Stop, please,” I said.
He ignored me. “the American FBI, … .”
“The equivalent of a military platoon of armed gunmen scattered secretly among the throngs lining the parade route, … .”
“That’s enough,” I said.
“One more line,” he said. Before I could protest, he skipped to the bottom and read. “Study Conclusion One: … .”
That caught my attention.
“American earthlings should immediately receive the galactic title of Doobprndoong now being held by the inhabitants of the planet Boochedufhaimerz++.”
“And what,” I asked, “does that award mean?”
“Wowie kazowie son,” he said. “It means ‘Goofballs of the Galaxy,’ more or less.”