I would like to apologize to the Canada

My Fellow Americaners,

My briefing memo on the unusual customs and practices of this, the United States of Earth, informed me that there is an annual tradition among the humans to play “practical jokes” and “pranks” on each other.  Though my species has a great distaste for the consonant p, and thus any word that begins with that vile excuse for a glyph is instantly distrusted, it fell to me, the Cultural Ambassador, to attempt to “socialize” in such a way as to indicate my species’ fondness for humans and desire to assimilate them in our new world with minimum screaming.  In a burst of grand magnanimosity, I thought it would be wise to partake of this celebration.

However, in the hours following the incident of which I will speak but little, it has been brought to my attention that I committed a few errors in my planning and execution.  Out of the expanded breadth of my cardial tubing system, I would like to share the following lessons that I have learned:

  • April Fool’s day begins on April 1.  This makes sense now that I realize that the April in ‘April Fool’s’ means the month April and not the character from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • If one cannot fully articulate the distinction between “prank” and “war crime”, then that person may not be the best choice for lead negotiator on the “Winning Back the Hearts of Our Neighbors: Alien Overlord Supercool Prank Team” and allow them unrestricted access to a paint ball supply store, the San Diego Zoo, and the blueprints for the Freemasons’ underground lair
  • When one “borrows” the Statue of Liberty, it is generally expected that the Statue of Liberty will be returned in more or less the same shape, size, color, linguistic ability, and quantumly identifiable identification as before
  • Releasing three pigs with the numbers ‘1, 2, and 4’ on them into a high school is clever.  Updating this classic prank with flora and fauna native to one’s homeland is thoughtful.  However, skreekagos should not be given equal doses of meth and steroids in the weeks leading up to this gratifying exploration of the merger of our two worlds.
  • One should always protect the humans in case any of them turn out to be useful later on

Edited to add:

  • Hamsters are not humans
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Jenny’s Social Survey

Two Farmers Without Internet Questioning Whether Something is Amiss

Hey, Bob?

Yes, Larry?

You ever notice something weird over there?  In the distance like?  Balls of fire and whistling through the trees, strange chirps when you pick up the phone?  You notice that the cows don’t come home anymore, and the cats wail like they’re in heat but we had them all neutered so they shouldn’t be all riled like that?  You notice that no one’s come in from the town in a while and the teevee ain’t got no new episodes of the Simpsons?  You think maybe something’s going on that we might should know about?

Eh.

I just feel like there’s something we’re not seeing over here.  Like the whole world is in on a secret and forgot to tell us.

Well maybe we’re not supposed to know.  None of our business.  Keep on walking and don’t look too long in the trees, I always say.

Bob?

Larry?

You ever think that maybe you should start paying more attention to your environments–that maybe if you glanced down once in a while before stepping in a bear trap, you’d still have both your legs?  It ain’t no wonder Martha left you, you dragging your stupid ass over the lawn like a broken pinata, all blood and tendons leaking over the yard and you screaming that there wudn’t no way people was bear hunting in the spring and it wasn’t your fault.  Maybe that excuse worked the first time but most people, they learn from an experience like that.

Eh.

Effen-a, Bob.  Effen-a.

Yep.

Larry?

Bob?

You saying maybe I should call Martha?

Jenny

Little Jenny (who still insists she is not little, but it’s a sore subject and she’s Southern so we’ll drop it for now but continue to refer to it in a passive-aggressive manner) would like to clarify that her skreekagog is not missing.  That her skreekagog’s name is not Admiral Fluffybutt.  And that her skreekagog did not eat Admiral Fluffybutt.  It is completely coincidental that two Jennys both with skreekagogs happen to live in the same human housing complex and that Little Jenny’s skreekagog likes to eat things that are the same size or bigger than him. 

Little Jenny and her skreekagog are at school and have been this whole time.  Since yesterday.  Little Jenny can vouch for her skreekagog’s excellent moral character. 

You can’t prove anything.

P.S. Little Jenny’s skreekagog would like it to be known that Admiral Fluffybutt was the clumsy sort and probably got accidentally eaten by a woodchipper.  A voracious and strangely attractive woodchipper.

Lost Pet!!

Lost Skreekagog!! Please help find beloved pet.

Purple and gray striped skreekagog missing since last night. Responds to the name Admiral Fluffybutt (if it feels like it). May be biting you.

REWARD!! $50 in cash or comparable value in rubber cement rations. Or payment for medical treatment (up to $50).

Please contact Jenny at Human Housing Unit 2047 if you have any information.

UFO Sightings

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1370307/UFO-frenzy-red-lights-hover-Colorado-town.html

Is it just me or are all UFO sightings starting to sound the same?  Strange lights or objects in the sky.  Someone who once knew someone who had a cousin that worked in place where they had a picture of a B-52 bomber says that it is most definitely not a military aircraft.  The sleuth reporter gives us a few more physical descriptions and pull quotes, all in an attempt to identify what the object is not: weather balloon, solar flare, really big firefly.  Surely the elimination of alternatives is the same as proof.

Mr Vandervegt said the lights made no noise and did not blink.

Wouldn’t you be more concerned if the lights DID make noise?  I think I would start dialing the NSA if the next time I turned on a lamp the bulb started talking to me or whistling dixie.  Satellites are also known for their propensity for silence as they march across the sky.  Space, being a vacuum, makes it difficult for noises of any kind to exist.

But don’t get me wrong, I really want UFOs to drop-in relatively unannounced, for aliens to give us the secrets to renewable energy, bipartisan politics, and the silent vacuum cleaner (random fact: we actually possess the technology to the silent vacuum, but people won’t buy it because of the perception that a non-deafening vacuum isn’t working properly, which is more than a little semantically ridiculous now that I’ve written it out).  But I don’t think that a couple of stationary lights in the sky is proof that our current blog theme is about to come true. Despite this, articles appear once every few months in local papers, and every couple of years it makes CNN.com or the Today show.  I suppose this is largely the result of a strong belief that aliens are out there, and since they’re out there, they may as well be here, and they’re here because of… well because of basic human motivations: exploration, manifest destiny, they got lost on the way to the gas station at Andromeda…  These basic motivations color our interpretation of the ‘evidence’ they leave behind, creating a never-ending cycle of ‘we found this, we think it’s because of this, therefore this is true because we found this’.  Kindof like how in a “haunted” house they find “anomalies” like cold spots or EMF, then they come up with a theory as to how the cold spots or EMF readings are caused by ghosts, and then the cold spots become evidence of ghosts.  But coming up with a theory, and then looking for evidence, or coming up with a theory and then looking for a lack of evidence, is a terrible way to go about proving something when you don’t even really understand the thing you’re theorizing about.

See, the problem with aliens is that they’re alien.  I can barely understand some of the cultural nuances of other humans; imagine trying to have a dinner conversation with a being that evolved in such completely different circumstances that they may not even recognize the concept of meals.  What if they absorb all their nutrients through their skin (all you biologists out there: shush, clearly these are magical aliens who only need a small amount of energy to sustain themselves), and the thought of sitting around a table as people stuff once-dead animals and plants into their mouths in front of each other is barbarism of the highest order.

Come to think of it, it is pretty weird how we’ve made the visceral destruction of matter and the beginning stages of digestion into a social event. Plus given the devolution into yelling and drunken toast giving at my family’s gatherings, I wonder if we misunderstand the meal system entirely.  It’s actually a form of psychological warfare, one that our forefathers insisted we learn and perfect so that one day when the meal-avoiding aliens arrive, we can shock them into submission with our table manners.

Just a thought.

So since we can’t understand aliens, we can’t properly theorize about UFOs.  I once heard a comedian wonder why aliens always seemed to visit the backwoods states and the people of more modest education rather than marching straight to the UN.  Well, for one thing: I currently live on Earth, speak one of the more popular languages, and unlike most people know that the United Nations building itself is not on international property (though it is inviolable) yet I still don’t know what their business hours are nor how to look them up.  How would an alien know how to get there?  Or that he should go there?  And if the alien comes from a more hive-minded species, it wouldn’t occur to him (or her or it or [insert alien pronoun of choice]) that it matters which earthling to approach first.

Or there’s the scientific explanation: aliens are watching us, studying us, occasionally picking up samples for their collections.  They, like Jane Goodall, remain aloof to observe at a distance and that is why we may catch brief glimpses out of the corner of our eye, but never encounter them directly. Why?  Why would aliens mimic our scientific process?  Is the scientific process, like math, a language that exists whether we are aware of its entire vocabulary or not?  Is the Star Trek Prime Directive truly universal?

Conspiracy: Aliens are just as selfish, insidious, surreptitious, and fond of white cat petting while smoking cigars and sitting in black swivel chairs as we.  They’re after our helium stores (the US Government sells helium at a ridiculously cheap price despite the fact that it is a very limited resource and we’re due to run out in a few decades).

I’ve suddenly forgotten where I was going with this and now all I can think of is a bunch of squeaky voiced aliens in a ship full of party balloons.

So here’s a question for any readers out there: you’re standing in a field when an alien approaches you.  What’s the first thing you say, and how does the alien respond?

Top Google Trends

  1. Jersey Shore cancelled
  2. Charlie Sheen actually IS a bitchin’ rock star from Mars
  3. Salinity poisoning
  4. what nerves do you want to anesthetize
  5. IFOs
  6. what do skreekagogs eat
  7. what do skreekagogs not eat
  8. how can you tell if a skreekagog is eating your leg
  9. palin is watching
  10. no one cares
  11. the end is not nigh, it has passed and we all have come out relatively unscathed.
  12. okay, not all of us
  13. the quick brown fox is dancing over the Latvian dog.
  14. is it true that le resistance is passing messages through common google searches
  15. no
  16. try yahoo

Craigthazar’s List: Roomates

We are two human females seeking a neat, non-smoking, human for the third bunk in our doomsday bunker. Males welcome to apply, but please understand that we will not be interested in “repopulating the planet” with you. Ever.

Rent: 1 gallon gasoline & 1 lb consumable foodstuffs / month

Utilities: none (not “none included” – there just aren’t any utilities)

Features: smoothish concrete floors and walls, all steel tables, chairs, and plates, and THREE bare light bulbs create that stark, post-apocalyptic feel you’ve been looking for! Bunks are almost 5 FEET LONG!! If you would like a tour of our luxurious bunker, wait by ruins of the Styrofoam Jesus, blindfolded, at 12:35am any Wednesday in months containing the letter r. We look forward to meeting you!

I don’t know why, but I just feel like writing about a piano recital

Carol Ann Marston (which was not her real name), daughter of Lord Alistair (also not his real name), supreme commander of the space invasion ship Enterprise (surprisingly, the real name) has practiced Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata every day and night since her first night on Earth.  She had read many books about alien composers on the long, long space voyage from her own planet (which has a name far too long and unpronounceable to come up with an approximate fake) and had fallen in love with Beethoven not for his music, but for the fact that he, like Carol Ann, was deaf.

Her father had insisted that Carol Ann learn and master a musical instrument, and though the instruments of her home planet were quite suitable for the hard of hearing (by human standards), they would not do for Carol Ann.  Hers was a species born to hear the shift in air pressure, to detect the nuance of salinity in the slippery tips of her many appendages hanging from her mouth (we would call them tentacles but apparently that term has negative connotations when spoken in certain circles).  It is a synesthetic experience, their rapidly developing brain associating movement, constriction, size and color as distinct tones, chords, harmonies, and other musical terms so advanced that we humans do not have words for them.  Carol Ann could never play these instruments, not because she could not learn to mimic the movements and posture, to grasp the stringed whipshap and pound the many cymbaled sspk, but because for a species born inside its own shell, for a species that wakes to the rush that we would identify as ocean, to that species any one that cannot hear at all may as well lay him or herself upon the sand and allow the salt to eat his soul away.

But Beethoven would not bade Carol Ann thus.  Or so she believed as her father wheeled the broken down Baldwin upright into his living room and showed his daughter the piano teacher fresh caught from the local music school.  The piano teacher fretted that the instrument was dreadfully out of tune, terribly unfit for a lordling’s daughter, impossibly out of good repair and if he could just slip down to the local music store he would find a tuner, a replacement, or a better cushion for the seat.  But the Lord was unimpressed with such protestations and set the family skreekagos to look after the tutor’s comfort.  Which the tutor appreciated.  Very much.  A lot even.

Carol Ann progressed quickly, insisting that she begin with the Moonlight Sonata, and end with the Moonlight Sonata.  It would be the one piece she would know to play and her human friends–which she would find or make shortly–would all clap and beg for her to play it again.  She would be invited to holiday parties at which there would be a piano–she and Billy Joel would play their two songs and leave together as soon as their consecutive duet was over.  (It should be noted that Carol Ann does not understand that a duet is meant to be simultaneous and not consecutive, but as she is quite deaf and her tutor is currently playing hide and seek with the skreekagogs, there is no one capable of explaining this to her.)

Whether it can be said that Carol Ann learned to overcome her tremendous disadvantages: deafness, alienness, youngness (she is scarcely five years old after all, barely out of her nautilus) to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata so sweetly that the harshest, most intolerable of men would weep (I’m looking at you, Abe Newman) is not for me to say at this time.  I do not mean to be coy.  Rather, I mean that his mighty great benevolenceness, Lord Alistair, has asked that I report on his daughter’s first recital, this coming Saturday evening at the Holiday Inn Bar right after the Society of the Preservation of Former Nuns Karaoke Championship.

Be there and hear for yourself.  I know I will be.

Apocalypse Bunkers

Doomsday Bunkers Experience Sales Bump

Normally I put “real” news items in secret posts, but this was too peculiar to hide.  Apparently in light of the uprisings in the Middle East and the Japanese earthquake, the sale of fortified bunkers (or reserved rooms in larger deluxe models, insert your own Hotel California joke here) has increased dramatically.  For me, the novelty of having my own radiation and biological weapon proof room stocked with protein bars and enough novels to last me 10 years is enough to tempt me.  I mean, what else was I going to do with that $200,000 I won betting on the ponies?

Oh, the $200,000 model only gets me a tent and a bottle of vodka?  Hmmm.  Well how about $20 million?  I would hope a pool, Zachary Quinto, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Allison Janney, Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin–all of whom will be perfectly willing and capable to draft and perform little plays for me every night while I sip margaritas.

But assuming Mr. Quinto et al. are unavailable (the only logical explanation being I lost them in a coin toss to someone else), whom would I invite to join me in my game of hide and seek with the end of the world?  I hear there’s an excellent new horror film about a group of 9 or so individuals who get stuck in a bomb shelter underneath New York City and slowly go insane.   Since I would prefer to survive the end of the world, my question is this: what makes people turn?  You would think the survival instinct would be pretty strong, so is there a balance to strike between the various stress factors and the highly effective habits of life prolongation?

Wow, is that actually a word?  I’m not getting any squiggly red lines so I guess so!  Anyway, factors!

Cabin fever presents various complications, and so inviting any claustrophobics would be a no-no.  But what about the shelter makes people crazy?  For one, I imagine absence of natural light.  Also boredom, lack of information, stale air, fear of the ungodly horror going on up above (where no doubt zombie carebears are cavorting about, skinning humans and wearing them like dresses, insert your own lotion joke here).  But with the right group of friends, couldn’t you turn it from horror movie into chipper buddy comedy?  You and your Sassy Minority Friend kicking back the beers and having daily squabbles over who’s hoarding the monopoly money while trying to figure out how to weasel out of the College Dean’s lousy rules?  Err… you know, because clearly there will be several bunkers interconnected and one will have a dean-like curmudgeon who prohibits after-hours parties.

This is my proposal: A standard Doomsday Bunker Roommate Matching System.  Kindof like Match.com only the stakes are exponentially exponentially higher.  Infinity times infinity higher.  Choose wrong, computer algorithm, and humanity dies out! Oh… you wouldn’t mind that?  Well then.  I’ll do it myself.

It should definitely be more advanced than the standard College Roommate questionnaire where they think that seeking the confession that you listen to music when you study is somehow more important than inquiring as to whether you like to eat other people’s hair or bathe in the blood of virgins.  Some suggestions:

1) How many ways do you know how to cook radioactive rodents?

2) How many TV shows on DVD can you contribute to the cause?

3) Blue-Ray movies?  Games?

4) Do you have a copy of the Encyclopedia Brittanica you can bring?  Wikipedia has ruined my ability to go without knowledge of the mating habits of the common vorpal squirrel at my fingertips.

Somehow I don’t think that species exist–but I’m in the middle of writing this post and don’t want to get stuck in a hyper-linking orgy.

At any rate, apocalypse survival plans require preparation.  Not just in stockpiling water, board games, pairs of classic boots that will never go out of style, but also the people that you’re going to be spending the darkest of days with.  You can’t just plan on inviting your friends, because what about your friends’ friends, their parents, siblings, pets.  I once started making a list of the people I would bring if I ever got a plus n invite from an alien ship to explore the galaxy and before long I had a list that was pushing triple digits.  I don’t even know that many people, but  when you consider lifetime sentences, people start getting picky about abandoning significant others and relatives.  Whatever.  I should’ve learned to be a hermit.  Then I could just go for the tent with vodka and blow the rest on angry birds updates for my iPad.