The Alien C.W. had been hiding from me since that incident over the antique sewing machine. I was looking for him.
I heard that from my work area and knew it meant trouble. Surely enough, I walked in and found Arnold Awesome at my computer. Yeah, it was the Alien himself in one of his favorite shapes. He turned and saw me.
“Hey sir,” this is beyond awesome. Come look.” he said, pointing at the screen and seizing the initiative in one swift move.
I looked. “What? And don’t use the word ‘awesome.’ It makes you sound like a sophomore.”
“I am a sophomore,” he said. “But never mind that. See here?” He pointed at the computer screen.
“It’s just the daily news,” I said. I’ll read it later, after you have straightened up your mess in the sewing room.”
“Mrs. Big Dope said for me not to worry about it,” he said. “All is forgiven. Now check this out.”
“I’m a man, least I will be in four more years.
This is, like, great.”
“Don’t insert ‘like’ into your sentences. It makes you sound illiterate. Besides, you are an alien.”
“Elucidate.” He loves that word.
“Means I have choices now that I didn’t have.”
“In Falloonia, we have no choice about ‘Shtukwida++kreap,’ don’t you see?”
His Galactic Universal Translator hummed. “What you might call ‘marriage’ in your society.”
“Ahh.” I sipped my coffee.
“So look what I can do here. Your Elders say so.”
“What are the main two things in choosing a mate-partner?”
“You tell me.”
“Making sure you like them and making sure you can procreate with them.”
“That’s the way you see it?”
“Yeah, but the order is important for us men.”
I felt my eyes start to roll but controlled them. “How so?”
“Some guys tell me that it seems that you like one until you procreate and then find out that you were wrong. By then it’s too late. You are left with all sorts of responsibility.”
“Your Elders say now we can procreate first—a man like you or me can—then decide if we like them.”
“I’m confused. What happens next?”
“If you don’t like them after the unit is born, you just try another choice. What is it you say, ‘No harm, no foul’ or something like that?”
I sighed. “And what happens to the object of your first attempt?”
“The other half of the species required for procreation?”
“What do you mean?”
“The non-male bearing the child from the experience.”
“Oh,” he said. “They aren’t among the chosen.” He closed the computer. “Look,” he said, “I have to run. I wasn’t being exactly truthful about Mrs. Big Dope forgiving me. I’m lighting out for the next territory over with some buddies.”
“Yeah, we’re trying out for parts in a movie they are filming there.”
“A movie, you say?”
“Yeah, it’s one of those ‘coming of age comedies’ about a boy like me spending his summer vacation seducing his girlfriend to win a bet with his pals.”