Wake at 5:45 AM, look at the woman, awhile, decide to let her sleep, turn on the coffee maker, wash the night away, pour coffee, open the computer and bring up my latest WIP.
Bob vs the Aliens
This story grew out of a running list of things that irritate me. Figured an alien perspective on humans would justify my annoyance.
Annoyance #1, Racial Prejudice
It was an otherwise ordinary day when the Aliens landed on Earth. God’s Muslim soldiers murdered unarmed civilians, Christians blackmailed souls, businessmen sold weapons and cornered resources while politicians denied everything as Humankind collectively looked up to see strange beings dangling from little umbrellas. No ships. Just Aliens descending in brightly colored spandex suits. They had coarse black hair that their men wore closely cropped and tightly curled and that on their women hung straight down past the shoulders in braided mop-like strands. If they were men and women. It turned out each had both sex organs and employed them simultaneously during unpredictable but noisy mating seizures. They had slanted eyes, large noses and pale white skin. They were three feet tall and fat. It was later learned that each suffered some physical or mental handicap. They had been genetically altered to represent Earthlings.
By chance, Bob Whatt became the first man on the street to be interviewed about the Aliens. A very average looking man even when seen up close, Bob was selected to represent the average man from a crowd of ordinary people watching TVs through Davison’s Department Store window on Peachtree Street. “Tell us your reaction to this historic event, Sir.”
“Surprise of course. And shock. Then suspicion.”
His reaction surprised and shocked Piper Wellington, interviewer for the European news website, Socialism Revisited. She arched into the offended pose of a news personality confronting social injustice. “How can you be suspicious? Don’t they seem much like us?”
“Exactly my point.”
A commotion erupted at the window behind them before the astounded Piper could override such a negative view of people and near-people. The TVs had gone off. This was the moment power failed throughout metropolitan Atlanta, an event nearly as significant as the arrival of Aliens but considered ho-hum at the time because the whole world routinely suffered blackouts. The significance of Atlanta only became apparent in the days ahead as the blackout spread and the power never came back on.
Bob traveled the lecture circuit speaking at funerals but, because of the interview, he received an invitation the next day to Valdosta, Georgia to speak at the weekly WTF! meeting. Different behaviors and beliefs threatened WTF!’s cloistered view of God’s world as They shared it with Him. Surprised and shocked by the appearance of the Aliens, they were deeply suspicious.
“Have you seen them!” Roy Ledbetter, tall, gangly, amiable and easily disturbed, punctuated by stabbing his ice cream cone at Bob.
“Nope,” Bob admitted. “You?” They were sitting in White’s Only Ice Cream Shop, Serving 34 Kinds Of Vanilla.
“I’ve seen them on TV! They’re ugly as sin!”
“Ever notice sinful women can be beautiful?”
“Just saying, Roy, don’t believe everything you see on TV. If beautiful can be sinful, maybe ugly can be good.”
Roy stared at the Confederate flag on the wall behind Bob until certainty returned to his face. “You sure got a way with words!” He stood and nodded appreciatively. “See you tonight!” He went out the door hardly noticing an Alien held it open for him. Probably every town had one by now. The Alien waddled over to Bob’s table and wafted its armpits at him.
All Bob could think of was, “Old Spice?”
Obviously pleased, the Alien pulled out a chair and sat down. “You may call me Old Spice. I greet you,” he sniffed, “Rubber Tire In Sun.”
Bob waved the waitress over. “Give Spice here whatever it wants. I’ve got to go to- “
“Take me with you,” Spice interrupted. The round face smiled like a man-in-the-moon cartoon.
“I am going to the restroom.” The Alien looked uncomprehending. Or normal. “We humans do that in private.”
“Oh.” The round face elongated to a clown’s frown.
There is something disconcerting about a face that expressive, Bob thought. When he returned, he sat across the table from a stern visage that made him think of Winston Churchill.
“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary,” Spice quoted. “It fulfills the same function as pain. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” When Bob did not respond, he added, “Well, what do you think?”
“You sound like a politician.”
“But, do you agree?”
I’ll let you know after I know what you want.”
Exasperated, the Alien slammed its double dip ice cream cone on the table with predictable results.
“Your temper just cost you two dips,” Bob smiled at the obvious. “What do you want?”
“I want to go with you.”
“The restrooms are behind the bar,” he pointed.
“No! We …Aliens do not use restrooms.”
“Remind me not to accept any overnight invitations.”
“What I mean,” Spice dipped a stumpy digit into his ice cream and licked it appreciatively, “Is that I want to go to the meeting.”
“WTF!? You Want to go to a WTF! meeting? In this town?”
“As your guest.”
“Those people hate you.”
“They do not know me.”
“That’s why they hate you.”
Spice’s left eye rotated inward while the right eye glared accusingly at Bob. “Well, that does fit our profile of humans. Is it racial prejudice?”
“Yes,” Bob laughed. “And please keep both eyes pointing in the same direction when you talk to people. You look like an idiot.”
Spice “Hmm’ed.” The inward eye seemed to be making a mental note. “Why an idiot?”
“Sorry, more human prejudice. I just said you look funny and stupid by comparing you to someone who is. I wouldn’t say that of course, if I were face to face with a real idiot.”
“Because they wouldn’t understand you,” Spice nodded understandingly.
“No. Because I would.”
Spice’s right eye spun inward to join the left one for a disconcerting moment, then both eyes popped forward to look knowledgeably at Bob. “According to Braincrib Notes, humans fear people who are different. That is why they are prejudiced against them. They may even hate them, until they get to know them.”
“No. WTF! hates people different from themselves even after they know them. It’s part of their own identity.” Bob shook his head in disbelief. “You guys have a lot to learn.”
“Good. Then you understand why I must go with you.”
At 7:20 AM the woman, still in her pajamas, kisses me on the head. The morning smells of bacon with breakfast. PBS radio is pointing out that we don’t know what Trump’s policies are and is explaining how calamitous those policies will be. I reach for my list. There, right below taxpayer funded opinions, is argumentum ad ignorantiam, arguing from ignorance. People who argue that because we don’t know something, whatever they say about it must be true, truly annoy me.
Annoyance #2, Argumentum ad Ignorantiam
… to be continued
(Follow Writing DaysZ to read Bob Vs The Aliens as it is being written. To read the current draft, go to ROFLtimes.com/BvA.pdf)