It startled me. I stared at the hand. It was a small one. A little finger sported a large diamond ring that sparkled like beauty pageant contestant. I looked up.
It had to be C.W., for nobody else had hung around the house that morning. I’d never seen him like this. He stood in the shape of an overweight, pudgy man past middle age with a half-bald scalp, the remaining hair pulled into a ponytail. A strange tint emanated from him and he seemed vaguely familiar.
I said, “What’s what?”
“You know damn well what’s what.”
“Sorry, I don’t.”
“Read the [censored] thing. Maybe it will jog your memory.”
I couldn’t remember C.W. using such language before. Pulling the sheet toward me, I saw the word “Memo” in large type. I looked and said, “What is this?”
“Read the thing,” he said, practically yelling and using the same expletive as before.
Glancing at it, I saw phrases: “Poor representative of your planet … prone to insulting his Earth Host’s wife and friends … engages in right-wing politics … shows an inordinate fondness for monetary gain … has set up multiple get-rich schemes that have failed … doesn’t keep his GUT in good condition … addicted to improper Internet sites … several warnings related to stalking … .” Confused, I glance at the top again and saw, under “TO,” the words “Falloonian Council of Elders.” I looked up. The orange tint had left his face and showed a fierce red.
“Did you write this [censored] thing?”
“Uh, no. Don’t know anything about it.”
“How about that [censored] wife of yours, Mrs. Big Dope or whatever you call her? This sounds just like some of the [censored] that [censored] might put together.”
“I’ll ask you not to speak of my wife in those terms.” I thought better of it. “Rather,” I said, “I warn you strongly not to let her hear you talking that way about her.”
“Somebody around here is guilty as John the Baptist,” he said, “and I’m going to get to the buttocks of it.”
“I think you meant Judas,” I said, “and if you want to get to the bottom of it, you might want to tune your Galactic Universal Translator.”
“Shut the [censored] up for a moment,” he said. “I’m trying to cogitate. Somebody here must have done this dirty deed. The Falloonian Elders are all over my [censored] tush.” He picked up the sheet and waved it in my face.
“Nobody here did it. I can assure you of that.”
“Somebody did it. My GUT tells me that it’s someone I know.”
“Have you considered,” I said, motioning for him to cease with the waving in my face, “that hundreds of people each week read my accounts of your charming escapades?”
“Charming my keister,” he said.
“It could be any one of them.”
That made him stop and ponder.
“That guy we drink beer with, what’s his name, Perry?”
“Oh, I don’t think so. He adores you. Don’t you remember the present he bought you?”
“The beer-holder that said something about don’t Earthlings ever shut up”?
“Something like that.”
“What about that ex-Green Beret out East? Michael D you call him.”
“There’s no such thing as an ‘ex-Green Beret.’ He is a ‘former’ Green Beret and shares your stories with all his friends. He would be highly upset if your stay ended.”
“There’s a whole bunch up in Ohio.”
“They like your politics,” I said. “Want to keep you on.”
“There’s that one makes furniture with his buddy. They have a lot of time to gossip.”
“They’re busy building things,” I said. “As the country folks put it, ‘They ain’t studyin’ you.’”
“I know,” he said. “It’s that guy who makes films, that Gary what’s his name?”
“He wants to make a documentary about you someday,” I said. “He’d be devasted to see you go.”
“The [censored] that did this,” he brandished the paper, “is out there somewhere. My translator has as set of Truth Indicator Tracer Synthesizers built in. Just wait until I let the guilty [censored] feel my … .”
I broke in here. “Tell you what,” I said. “Maybe some of your fans might try to guess who the guilty party is.”
He thought about this. “Might work,” he said. “This [censored] can’t stay anomalous forever.”
“No, indeed,” I said.