Sunday, August 29, 2021


 I worry when he gets like this.

The Alien C.W. was buried in a pile of papers and notes this morning looking much like a harried professor at “publish or perish” time. He paid no attention to me. I sat, sipped my coffee, and watched. Actually, I sometimes like it when he is quiet. We are still under a restraining order on account of the “garage band” he started despite the fact that we have no garage.

Anyhow, he finally looked up and saw me. “I’m busy,” he said.

“I can see.”

“Minor assignment for the Falloonian Elders.”

“Don’t mind me. I’ll not interrupt you.”

“Good,” he said. He returned to his work.

He shuffled papers, wrote a note, and turned back to me. “It’s a report tracing the development of mental cognizance in your species, from the end of the Neanderthals to present. Pardon me if I’m too busy to visit.”

I nodded. Minor assignments require concentration as well as major ones.

He struck through some writing and looked at me. “It was developing well for a while, cognizance was. Now excuse me.”

I nodded.

He retained his stare. “You were making great progress.”


“Yes. Your ancestors discovered that dances didn't make it rain and sought the physical facts. This led to findings that allowed the Egyptians to forecast flooding phenomena that led to a stable civilization lasting for a longer time than that which has passed since their last great empire. Now if you will excuse me, I’m busy.”

I nodded.

He didn’t return to his work. “I found it amusing at first that your ancestors tried to turn lead into gold.”

I nodded.

“But then I discovered, from reading this,” he held up a worn copy of The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer, “that this seeming folly actually led your folks to a development of the Scientific Method in research.”

“So our development went well?”

“Not really. I’m sorry. It faltered, but I can’t go into it now.”

I nodded.

He put the book aside and turned to me again. “Seems apparent to me that religion hindered the development.”

“Oh? How?”

“Can’t you see I’m busy?”

I nodded. He started to go back to work but stopped.

“Seems that religion led to an understanding of power, and how to use it, as opposed to the seeking of knowledge.” He reached and held up a copy of the Bible. “These folks weren’t very high on knowledge.”

“No,” I said. “No they weren’t. You can ask Paul of Tarsus if you happen to run into him during one of your enphasngs. ”

He ignored me. “That set the stage for rule by force, over rule by reason, as a method of retaining power.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes, all because of religion. When the dark side of politics joins the anti-cognizance stance of religion, all hell, pardon the allusion, may break loose: darkness and destruction, with the aid of religion as a tool. Now you’ve bothered be enough. I must work.”

“Fine,” I said. “But I wouldn’t publish your findings here on Earth.”

“Are you kidding?” he said. He buried his nose back into his notes.

Friday, August 27, 2021


 I came through the living room and C.W. was reading news on my wife’s Ipad. He was in the somewhat unusual shape of a well-dressed, and very attractive, teenage girl. He/she was shaking his/her head.

“What’s up,” I asked.

Seelishkrepi++sar,” he said, being himself, the alien. Then I heard his Galactic Universal Translator hum.

“Say what?”

His Gut was Telling him something.

“Bizarre,” he said.


“There’s a feature article in your news source about the passing of a woman who became famous for having sex with every member of a Rock and Roll band in one night. The lead singer mentioned it in one of their hit songs.”

“I seem to remember,” I said. “So?”

“Did you know her?”

“Someone pointed her out to me in a bar once,” I said, “but I can claim neither acquaintance nor recipience.”

“And she was famous for that act?”

“Well, that and stories she told about performing same-same for other bands and famous musicians who came to town. They call them ‘groupies’ and she was the national heroine.”

“So what worthwhile achievements garnered her such notice? How did she earn the acclaim?”

“Just being famous, I suppose. You aren’t the first visitor who asked me about her.”

He retreated into his character.

“So,” she asked. “If I do the same, can I, like, be famous? I mean, like, you know, for, like, having sex with a famous person or maybe more than one.” The eyes that looked into mine were as blue as a quiet winter’s sky and beaming from a face as fresh and innocent as a newborn lamb’s. “My friends, like, tell me I should become somebody, and I’m, like, I don’t know how.”

“Why don’t you read something besides the news,” I said.

Thursday, August 26, 2021


 When I walked into my office/music room this morning, there sat Charles Darwin. Of course, it was the Alien C.W. shapeshifted, but gosh, he looked like the photos of Charles Darwin. I couldn’t think of an appropriate greeting. I finally managed, “Dude.”

“I never said it,” came the reply.

“Never said what?” I sat my coffee on the desk and sat.

“Most of the things they attribute to me.”

“The ‘Mark Twain Effect’ you mean.”

“What’s a mark twain?”

“A person,” I said, remembering that C.W. sometimes gets deeply immersed in his character when he does what he calls “enphasing.”


“False attribution,” I said.


“Saying someone said something they didn’t.”


“Like when you said my wife said you could borrow our car when you said I said it would be okay.”


“Misquoted. Now what’s up?”

“I never said it.”

“Said what?”

“That evolution was ‘the survival of the fittest.’ That counts for two misattributes or whatever you call them.”


“Yes. I never used the work evolution.”

“I think I read that somewhere.”

“Then you know I never attributed descent through modification as ‘survival of the fittest’ or such nonsense.”

“So I understand.”

“How silly,” he said. “If it occurred over millions of years that blindness would allow some of your species success in surviving on scarce resources, causing a change in sight characteristics, would that mean they were fit in all respects?”

“Not by the standards of the film industry.”

“The what?”

“Never mind.”

“And what if it happened that the unknowing, uneducated, unlearned, and non-cognitive were to prove more adaptable to seizing political power? Fitness or extinction?” His face dropped, the long white beard forming a cushion. Then his head rose. “Tell me,” he said. “If A equals B and B equals C, does A equal B?”


“Good,” he said. “There’s hope. But you have no power, do you?”

“Not a bit.”

His head dropped again. After a long silence, I rose and turned to leave the room. As I reached the door, I heard a soft snoring.


Sunday, August 22, 2021


 The Alien C.W. was bent over my desk this morning looking much like a harried accountant. He looked up, raised his green visor, and stared at me. “Ah,” he said. “Just the person I wanted to see.” He stopped, took a pencil, and drew a line under a line of figures and returned to staring. “Did you find out?”

“About what?” I sipped my coffee with a great deal of deliberation. I like to mess with his three minds.

“About the census that your people take ever few weeks.”

“Ten years,” I said.

“Earth years,” he said. “When are you going to switch to Galaxy Time?”

“In ten seconds,” I said. He didn’t laugh.

“Well, was it accurate? Did you ask her?”



“She’s been retired for some time,” I said. “In Earth years. She said it was a bit different this time. Said the census was a good as the people and institutions that undertake it.”

“And it is important?”



“To orient government aid.”

“Your government does that?”

It used to. Now the main purpose of the census, according to the news, is to determine legislative power.”

He stared.

“Oh,” I said, “And bragging rights.”

He leaned back and put his fingers over his eyes in the universal gesture of exasperation. I could tell he missed his other two sets of eyes and hands. He took a deep breath and spoke. “You Earthlings,” he said. “Bragging rights?”



“It’s like this: If your community, city, or state is growing in population, it is a good place.”

“And if it doesn’t?

I made a gesture of a knife being drawn across my throat.

“Do your people understand the principle of Skroodeep++,” he stopped. Thought and stared at the ceiling. I could tell his Galactic Universal Translator was speaking to him. He nodded and said, “The principle of ‘cause and effect’ at all?”

“A few do.”

“When they do, how do they assign a cause to population growth?”

“Most often they attribute it to what they call a ‘quality school system’ and leave it at that.”

“A quality school system?”



“That means you are correct.”

He stopped. A frown of thought contorted his face. Then he relaxed. “Wait one,” he said, turning to a note pad on his far side. He scribbled something and turned back. “Okay,” he said. “Where were we?”

Before I could speak, he said, “Just a second. I forgot something I was supposed to do for Mrs. Big Dope. I’ll be right back.” With that, he arose and left the room. He no longer takes promises to that individual lightly.

I couldn’t resist. Checking to make sure the wasn’t watching, I walked over and checked his note pad. On it he had written a brief note, which puzzled me.

“Falloonian Elders' Report,” it started. Then, “Dog whistles.”

Friday, August 20, 2021


 I found the Alien C.W. picking my new guitar when I arose and went to my "music room" this morning. You won't believe what I saw. He had chosen the shape of a country singer and was belting out a marvelously weird rendition of the old standard "Working Man Blues."

He stopped when I walked in. "Tell me something, Slick," he said.

"I told you once not to call me that."

"Oh yeah, I forgot, Hotshot."

I ignored him. "Put that guitar down, I had to lie to the Commanding Officer about how much it cost. It's not for you to destroy."

He returned it tot the case. "Tell me something, Sport."

"As in, what?"

"Hit's Fridee, ain't it? trrying his best to imitate a southern drawl.

"All day."

"Why do your people hate their jobs so much that they only live for Fridays?"

"Not all of them do."

"Then let's you and I write a song titled, "I Love My Job" and see how it sells."

He had me there. "Don't you have something to do?"

"I'm doing it. It's called 'research.' You ought to try it sometime."

"Tell that to the Magahatters."

"They hate their jobs the most, don't they?"

I sensed a rocky road ahead. "Do Falloonians love their jobs?"

"You wouldn't understand. Why don't employers make the jobs more fun?"

"I don't know. Profits I suppose."

"But look," he said, pulling a worn and dusty book from a table, "This says that happy workers produce more."

"I'm going to leave you to your research now."

"Good," he said. "I'm working on another hit."

"I don't think that's a good idea," I said. "You had the Political Correctness Police descending on us with your last."

"This one's different," he said. "It's called 'How You Gonna Walk Straight With This Job Up Your A…?

"Stop it," I said.

"Asset account," he said. "What?"

I walked out, closed the door, and went for breakfast, walking straight as I could.

Thursday, August 19, 2021


An old friend showed up this morning. Yes, it was the Alien C.W. Showed up, best as I can guess, as Mark Twain. He was still up to his old tricks. Said he had been visiting other galaxies where the craziness wasn’t as severe. He acted as if nothing had happened, which was unsettling.

“Had a question,” he said, “how long do your wars last?”

“What do you mean?”

“What is the Standard Unifying Consistency Kinetic for engaging in a war. Your government must have an SUCK factor for controlling costs and casualties. And the private sector must have a metric for projecting Pundit Underwriting costs. The PU factor must be severe in times of war.”

“And you want to know how long they last?” I asked.

“It’s a phenomenon unique to your planet,” he said. “Same as your penchant for knowingly being burnt by overexposure to sunlight.”

“They last as long as they last,” I said. “No longer. Once side just quits and then the other has to as well.”

“Sort of like your standard act of sex?”

I stopped to think, and he continued.

“If you don’t have a SDF, they, wars that is, could last 20, maybe 100 years,” he said. See, some of the other galaxies are wondering about your planet passing the Chiroptera Scat Stability test. Too low on the CSS might bring about serious action. The ship from Tulegria that dropped your Initiation Cells on Earth are beginning to fear they have made a mistake.

“The what kind of test?”

“It’s named after a joke about bat dropping and insanity. Tulegrians have this weird sense of humor.”

“You mean like bat sh--?” I stopped.

“Precisely. Now our research shows that not only might these irrational acts be indeterminate, there is also the profit motive. Is it really true that both sides in these CSS acts are financed from the same sources? If so, that will increase scrutiny and accelerate repercussions.”

“What sort of repercussions.”

“You are familiar with the concept of a virus, aren’t you?”