Tag Archives: space

Kaybe Finds a Friend ©

The Enchantment is a dingy roadhouse on the outskirts of Letongaloosa. It’s the kind of place every college town needs to maintain academic accreditation. I go to the Enchantment to have a soft drink and chat with friends—some of whom live here and some, like my robot alien friend KB 11.2, live a long, long way from here.

My Alien friend Kaybe looks like a giant tuna fish can. Erector Set arms sprout from the curved sides of his body. Three spindly legs drop from the flat underside of his stainless steel torso. He has ball bearing wheels for feet, and three sensor-eyes wave at you from the ends of floppy antennae on the top his lid.

Kaybe comes from the Alpha Centauri star system. Many years ago on a visit to Earth, Kaybe saved my marriage. We have been friends ever since. Kaybe communicates telepathically– his voice comes into your mind. When we speak English, Kaybe sounds like CNN’s Anderson Cooper. When we speak Spanish he sounds like the Mexican comedian Cantinflas.

There are a variety of cosmic characters at the Enchantment none of whom are around here: Four-Finger Fanny, Henry the Hulk (about whom I have written) who is small but who has a deep voice, Minature Mike, who is huge and very shy.

Four-Finger Fanny speaks telepathically, but she also speaks human, for which I am grateful. It gives me a headache to speak telepathically for very long.

“Kaybe’s back in town, said Fanny. ‘He has a companion. Come on out, have a soft drink and chat.”

“I’d love to. See you soon.”

I drove out to the Enchantment, slid into a back booth and ordered a soft drink.

A little later Kaybe rolled up to the booth, and another alien who looked just like him, rolled up right behind him.

“Hello, good friend,” said Kaybe, telepathically.

“Hi, pal,” I replied. “Who’s your friend?”

“This is K.B.11.3, nickname K3. She’s an old (eons old) friend of mine. K3 just swung in from beyond…well she comes from way beyond any place you’d recognize.

‘’It’s a pleasure to meet you Ms. K3.”

“Just call me Three,” she said telepathically.

“So, what’s going on in the outer reaches?”

“Comets, black holes and the reach of infinity. What can I say?”

“Here on earth things are roiled and getting hard boiled. Elections are coming up and people are all excited to see what happens. Do you choose your leaders by elections? I assume you do have leaders and followers.”

“Eons ago we had leaders. But we evolved a system of governance where everyone has an equal say.”

“How do you deal with divergent views?”

“We talk it over—and we talk it over and we talk it over and we talk it over. We don’t measure time like you do in this section of the galaxy, so these conversations last and last. Eventually when we have turned up and discussed the galaxy of information and opinion and we have pondered it all for a long, long time all that “stuff” begins to seem old and raggedy. And we say, This stuff is old and raggedy. We’re not going to waste any more discussion on old, raggedy stuff like. Let’s play some board games.”

“Indeed?” I say. “That’s fascinating. What you are describing as “stuff” looks and sounds very much like what we here on Earth call politics. We’ve been chewing on the same political soup bones for decades, but we act like the “stuff” is new and compelling.

“So, do you chuck it all out and go and play board games?” asked Three.

“That would be marvelous,” I said. “That would be SO sensible. We could just agree that some “stuff” will never be resolved and go play board games.”

“Do you think that will work?” asked Three.

“I’m afraid not. I think we’d get into a big hassle about which board games are “socially and politically acceptable,” and which board games are not,” I said.

That’s stunning,” said Three. “What a wonderful bunch of “stuff,” that is.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” I said.

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Kaybe Makes Contact©

Something jogged my memory the other day, and I realized it had been a long time since Kaybe, my alien friend from outer space, had contacted me. Long time readers will remember Kaybe, but if you’re a new reader, here is an update:

Do you believe in aliens from outer space?  I do. I’ve been friends with one for decades. KB-11.2 doesn’t have green skin and luminous eyes like the aliens one sees in sci-fi movies. In Kaybe’s part of the universe they’ve solved the problem of time and space. For them, crossing six parcecs is like going to the grocery store.

Kaybe looks like a giant tuna fish can. Erector Set® arms sprout from the curving sides of his body, and three spindly metal legs drop down from the underside of his flat stainless steel torso.  He has ball bearing wheels for feet.  A floppy two-foot antenna, with three sensor-eyes, stick out of the middle of his lid.  Kaybe comes from the Alpha Centauri star system. Many years ago on a visit to Earth, Kaybe saved my marriage. He communicates through mental telepathy

          Since I first met him, Kaybe and I have had many fine adventures. He usually stops by The Enchantment when he is within a few hundred parsecs of Earth. Another of my alien friends, Four-Finger Fanny, works as a waitress there.

The Enchantment is a dingy roadhouse on the outskirts of Letongaloosa. It’s the kind of place every college town needs to maintain academic accreditation.

I go to the Enchantment for a soft drink with friends—some of whom live here in Letongaloosa  and some, like my robot alien friend KB 11.2, Henry the Hulk, Miniature Mike, and Four-Finger Fanny, live a long, long way from here.

 

Four-Finger Fanny speaks telepathically, but she also speaks human. I’m glad she does because it tires me to speak telepathically.

Four-Finger Fanny doesn’t look like an alien.  She looks like a

40-something waitress with sore feet and a tired back—which she is, actually. Fanny works at The Enchantment. That’s her day job. Her real assignment is to be earth’s contact with the Powers that Be in this sector of the cosmos.

I called the Enchantment and asked for Fanny.

“Hello,” she said. “Long time, no hear.”

“I apologize,” I said. “There’s been a lot going on. Fanny, is Kaybe due to swing by the solar system anytime soon? I haven’t been in touch for ages. I need to visit with him.”

“Funny you should ask,” said Fanny. Kaybe just sailed in this morning. He was a few parsecs away so he swung by to say ‘Hello.’”

“Kaybe!” I said.

His answer came telepathically. When Kaybe speaks English his words come in sounding like Jimmy Kimmel. When he speaks Spanish he sounds like the Mexican comedian Cantiflas.

“Hello, old friend, how goes it?”

“Emaline is well, but I’m at loose ends. I need to get away from Earth and all the stuff in my life. I want to go into outer space. Can you help me do that?”

“Kind of “ET Call Home,” you mean,” said Kaybe.

“Yes, but rather than calling, I want to GO there,” I said.

A couple of days later (who knows how long it was in space-time) Kaybe called me.  He actually called me. The telephone rang. He was using his Jimmy Kimmel voice.

“I can beam you up, Scotty,” he said.

“What should I take with me?”

“Just the clothes you’re wearing.  You don’t even need a toothbrush.”

“How long will I be gone?”

“You could figure somewhere between two shakes of a lamb’s tail and several months.”

“What should I tell Emaline?”

“You don’t need to tell her anything. To her it will seem like two shakes of a lamb’s tail.”

The next thing I knew I was hurtling through space. I was standing inside a clear plastic ball. Comets and asteroids and stars whizzed by me. I felt happy and loose and at ease.

The next thing I knew I was home—upstairs sitting at my desk.

I picked up the phone.

“ Kaybe, that was great! THANK YOU!”

“Anytime, old friend, be well.”

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Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Kaybe and Four-Finger Fanny©

The doorbell rang. When I saw Four-Finger Fanny I knew that I was needed at The Enchantment.
The Enchantment is a dingy roadhouse on the outskirts of Letongaloosa. It’s the kind of place every college town needs to maintain academic accreditation. I go to the Enchantment to have a soft drink and chat with friends—some of whom live here and some, like my robot alien friend KB 11.2, live a long, long way from here.
As you may remember, my friend Kaybe looks like a giant tuna fish can. Erector Set arms sprout from the curved sides of his body. Three spindly legs drop from the flat underside of his stainless steel torso. He has ball bearing wheels for feet, and three sensor-eyes wave at you from the ends of floppy antennae on the top his lid.
Kaybe is from the Milky Way, but his home planet is several parsecs closer than the Earth to the center of the galaxy. And his people have solved the problem of traveling faster than the speed of light.
Kaybe speaks telepathically. His words form letters in your mind. Four-Finger Fanny is also from outer space, but she just looks like a middle aged woman who has spent too much time on her feet.
Kaybe and Four-Finger Fanny communicate telepathically, but Four Finger
Kaybe and Fanny.
Fanny also speaks human. I’m really glad she does, because I’d rather not converse telepathically. It’s tiring and I tend to get a headache when I spend too much time communicating telepathically.
“Hi, Fanny,” I said. “What’s up?”
“Kaybe and I need your help,” she said. Kaybe picked up a rock the size of my fist from Mars last time he stopped by there. She unwrapped the rock from a yellow cloth in which she had wrapped it.
“ He needs a new rheostat and I need to retire and get off my feet,” she said. “We thought you could contact the National Space Administration and see if they want to buy the rock.”
So off I went to our nation’s capital, and to our five-sided military building.
I had put the rock into a red cloth bag and the bag into a corsage-sized box that I held on my lap. As I watched, I could see no recognizable pattern as to who got treated kindly and who got ignored or invited to take a long walk on the mall. People who looked like hicks were ushered into offices immediately, while some well-dressed folks were treated like a dog catcher’s assistant.
Then I saw a large, tall man in a military uniform with enough fruit on his chest to open market. As he walked down the hall people parted like the waters of the Red Sea parted for Moses.
“That’s my guy,” I said to myself, and fell in behind him.
I’m short and narrow, and he was big, tall and self-absorbed, so I sailed along in his immediate wake like a dingy behind a cruise ship. And, believe it or not, he walked right up to the offices of NASA and entered. I melted in behind him and tapped him on the back.
There was was a pause. Then he turned like a giant redwood wearing shiny black shoes.
“You want to buy a moon rock, general?” I asked, opening the box and bag and holding them up to somewhere near his chest.

“Let me look at that,” he said in a voice that sounded like thunder in an echo chamber.
“Where did you get this?”
“My friend, an alien from outer space, picked it up on Mars.
“I’ll give you ten thousand dollars for it.”
“How do you know it’s real?
“It’s real. I was an astronaut. I own the only other rock like this on earth.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a horse-choking wad of large denomination bills
And that, as the man said, was that. What a joy forFanny and Kaybe..
Nowadays when I roll into The Enchantment, folks sometimes applaud.
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Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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EARTH DAY 2017

 

+ We observe Earth Day when we pick up an empty soda can in the middle of a supermarket parking lot.

 

+ There are 6.7 billion galaxies in the universe. Other folks out there somewhere  must honor a different Mother Earth than we.

 

+ Earth’s hard crust covers a warm heart

 

+Childlike awe is a good way to celebrate Earth Day.

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Love Talk ©

 

About a year ago I wrote a column titled, “I Speak Alien.” In that column I told how my friend from outer space, the alien KB-11.2, had saved my engagement and my marriage by teaching me Mujerspeak, the native language of my bride-to-be Emmaline.

Recently my alien friend surged to the rescue again. This time Kaybe helped a colleague ofmine. Dr. Morris Amaraduckski is a professor at Letongaloosa Community Junior College where I teach. Morrie’s teaching and research field is polychromatic einsprechen. Scores of LCJC students have become linguistically nimble after taking Dr. Amaraduckski’s course, “Theory and Practice of Tergiversation, Circumlocution and Equivocation.”

All his life Morrie had been too busy for romantic distractions. He was a focused individual.

He sailed through high school, college and graduate school with topnotch grades by keeping his eyes on a computer screen, and the seat of his pants on a chair at the library. After hereceived his Ph.D., and came to teach at LCJC, Morrie focused on getting tenure. He taught his classes vigorously, and he published prodigiously. For a number of years after he gained tenure,

Morrie just focused on being focused.

Then one day, WHAM, Morrie fell in love. The object of his affection was Sally Beeglesdorf-Hannraty, wife of the late George Henry Hannraty, DDS. Sally moved to Letongaloosa to run aflower and gift shop after the untimely demise of her husband. Sally and her spouse had lived foryears on the East Coast where people talk loud and straight, and have funny accents.

When Sally moved to Letongaloosa she talked loud and straight and had a funny accent.

She caused culture shock among the locals who, as a general rule, speak quietly and bea around the bush a good deal. Sally’s social life was straitened and her flower and gift shop’sbusiness suffered as a result. But Sally was intelligent. She soon realized that Letongaloosa was not the East Coast, and that Letongaloosans weren’t going to adapt to her. She decided to adapt to Letongaloosa.

Sally enrolled in an elocution class at LCJC, and well before the semester ended she hadlost her East Coast accent, toned down her loud voice, and learned to put “at” on the end ofher sentences—as in “That’s a nice dress, where did you buy it at?”

There remained one serious problem. Sally still talked straight. She always called a spade a spade. Sally felt that speaking honestly was a matter of moral integrity, not a matter of accent orvoice level. She refused to compromise when it came to expressing her honest opinion. As aresult, the newly accent-free, soft spoken Sally remained in straitened social circumstances,running a business that attracted all too few customers.

It was the first day of classes for Spring semester. As usual, Morrie had a full roster of students enrolled in his popular course, “Theory and Practice of Tergiversation, Circumlocution and Equivocation.” One of those enrolled was Sally Beeglesdorf-Hannraty. Morrie had his back to the class and was writing on the chalkboard when Sally walked in and took a seat at the front of the room. Morrie turned around, and their eyes met. A jolt passed through them both. It was love atfirst sight.

A flustered Morrie jibbered and jabbered for the first few minutes of the class. Then he pulled himself together and called the roll. Then he fixed his gaze on a spot on the wall at the back of the room, and began to deliver the lecture. Sally found that she could keep from fidgeting and sighing loudly by tuning out Morrie’s voice, and staring fixedly at the blue lines on a page of a spiral notebook that lay open on her desk. She didn’t take a single note. The students, understandably, were bored. It was a painful fifty minutes for everyone.

Finally, to everyone’s relief, the electronic sheep bell that signals the change of classes at LCJC, clanged . The students streamed out. Behind the lecturn, Morrie was uncharacteristicallytongue tied. Sally sat demurely and uncharacteristically silent.

 

“Ms. Beeglesdorf-Hannraty…” Morrie began.

“ Sally,” said Sally, interrupting him.

“And I would be gratified, indeed, warmly appreciative, if you would address me simply as Morrie. That is the sobriquet by which I am known to my nearest and dearest friends,” said Morrie.

“Right,” said Sally.

“If you have no other pressing engagement, my dear Sally, may I induce you toaccompany me to the cafeteria for some light refreshment and a bit of conversation?”

“Sure,” said Sally.

Though they spent two hours sitting across from each other at a small table, neither of them could remember, later, what they had talked about. But somehow they knew that they were going to be part of each other’s lives from then on.

The next time they saw each other was at the second meeting of the class. Morrie wasfeeling ebullient and articulate. He was braced by the thought of seeing Sally again. Sally had spent all morning having her hair done. When she walked into the classroom she was breathlessly excited to see Morrie again.

The class had barely begun when the scales fell from their eyes.

Morrie began his lecture with a brilliant, if somewhat circuitous, explication of euphemisms as a conversational deflection technique. On the chalkboard he diagramed Wallburner’s Euphemistic Deflection Model, and recommended it to the class as a powerful linguistic tool for conversationally disarming friend and foe alike.

“With Wallburner’s Model,” said Morrie, “you can express your opinion articulately andpowerfully, and at the same time prevent your conversational opponent from taking offense.

When you use Wallburner’s Model, you never have to say you’re sorry.”

“What a bunch of crap!”

The words sliced through the air like a laser. There was a collective intake of breath. Morrie’s face froze, his mouth ajar. Dozing students’ eyes popped open. People sat up straight and looked around the classroom, trying to identify the speaker. The voice had been as quiet and well modulated as the words had been crude and combative.

“I beg your pardon,” said Morrie, gazing at Sally.

“I said that’s a bunch of crap,” said Sally. “Euphemistic deflection my hind leg. Where at did you get such baloney at?” she asked in the same quiet, well modulated tone she’d used in the first outburst.

All of a sudden Morrie and Sally were going at each other in what can best be described asa dogfight between a feisty rat terrier and an aloof, purebred afghan hound. Morrie’s eloquentcompound-complex multi-syllabic sentences in defense of euphemisms and decorouscircumlocutions soared with erudition. Sally flamed back with rapid fire four-word zingers andgraphic, monosyllabic epithets. It was a highly stimulating exchange for the students, but it was a very, very grim business for the two combatants.

That night my alien friend KB-11.2 entered the picture. Kaybe, as you’ll recall, looks like agiant tuna fish can. Erector Set™ arms sprout from the curving sides of his body, and three spindly metal legs drop down from the underside of his flat, stainless steel torso.

Decades ago Kaybe taught me Mujerspeak. Today my fluency in that language is a key to my happy home life. Apparently Kaybe is still assigned to do good works in this quadrant of the galaxy, because he beamed himself down to the den where Morrie sat brooding darkly over the romantic train wreck he’d just been through.

Kaybe’s assignment was a tough one, and he carried it out beautifully. He taught Morrie to speak a direct, straight to the point language called Ritefrumdashoulder, and he taught Sally to speak an easygoing, loose-limbed language called Goinroundabarn.

I was invited to their wedding a few weeks later. Toward the end of the ceremony, the minister asked the bride and bridegroom the “do you” question.

Sally replied, “My response is absolutely, indubitably, unquestioningly, totally, andecstatically in the affirmative.”

Morrie said, “Yep.”

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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