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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • JOSHUA'S COLUMN — Why I shouldn’t meet space aliens

  • In which the phrase "Take me to your leader" becomes a bigger headache than it needs to be.
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  • The time: a late summer twilight, with just a faint blue glow in the western sky. The scene: a rural Minnesota gravel road between two corn fields. Joshua is driving his car down the road when the engine stops. The car rolls to a halt. Joshua: “Doggone it. What a time for the engine to die.” (He turns the key, but the engine doesn’t even turn over.) Joshua: “Meh. I guess I’ll just call for someone to drive out and get me. Hey, my cell phone isn’t working either. Waaaaaaugh!” A blinding bright beam of light strikes the car from about a mile up. It broadens as the source lowers at several hundred miles per hour: a glowing flying saucer as big across as a basketball court. It hovers over a corn field, colorful lights fading off and on. Joshua gets out of his car and wanders toward the flying saucer, shielding his eyes. A ramp lowers to the ground, and an alien walks out and toward Joshua. The alien resembles an idealized glowing child, as seen by a really nearsighted person not wearing glasses. Alien: “Greetings. We come in peace. Take me to your leader. Joshua: “No. You take me to your leader.” Alien : “Huh?” Joshua: “You take me to your leader.” Another alien leans its head out the flying saucer doorway. Other Alien: “What did he say?” Alien: “He said he wants me to take him to our leader.” Other Alien: “Can he do that?” Alien: “He just did. What should I do?” Other Alien: “I don’t know. This has never happened before.” Joshua: “You know, I was in a hurry. If you’re not going to take me to your leader, at least let my car start so I can keep moving.” Alien: “Um ... Well, could you at least point us toward your leader? Tell us which direction to go? That way, maybe?” Joshua: “To be honest, I don’t know who I’d point you to. I don’t think there’s really one leader everyone on Earth agrees on. And what’s so special about leaders anyway? Why can’t you just talk to me?” Alien: “I don’t know.” Joshua: “Because you co...” Other Alien: “What is he saying now?” Alien: “He wants to know why we want to talk to his leader. He wants to know why we can’t just talk to him.” Other Alien: “Does he have anything of value to say?” Alien: “I don’t know. I’ll ask him. Do you have anything of value to say to us?” Joshua: Look, it would be simpler if you just take me to your leader instead.” (Joshua starts walking toward the flying saucer’s ramp.) Alien: “Hey, I don’t think you can ... I mean, you can’t go in ...” Joshua: “Oh, so my planet’s good enough for you, but your spaceship is too good for me? The nerve! I’ve never been so insulted. Go home. I don’t want to talk to you any more.” (Joshua turns and strides back toward his car. The alien runs after him, waving. Other Alien calls from the doorway.) Other Alien: “Wait! I just talked to our leader. He says the Earth being can come in.” (Joshua stops, straightens his shirt, and turns.) Joshua: “Okay then. What’s your leader called?” Alien: “(Unpronounceable)” Joshua: “(Unpronounceable)?” Alien: “Yes.” (Joshua steps into spaceship and disappears into the light.) Alien: “I wonder how they pronounce the word ‘lunch?”

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