Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Correspondence: A Letter to an Alien Life-Form

To What-ever-you-are,

Greetings? We come in peace?

Well, it’s probably more likely that you’ve come here. In which case, please don’t hurt us. Earth has lots of amazing things to offer you, like Lady Gaga's wardrobe, Neil Patrick Harris and the recipe to Sizzler Cheese Toast. If these don’t impress you, then you should find a new civilization to pillage and plunder, cause it doesn’t get much better than Sizzler Cheese Toast, and that’s a fact.

If you don’t hurt us, I’m sure we could find a way to live together in harmony, although it might take a while since we’re still working on the living in harmony bit at the moment despite being all the same species. I’ve seen enough episodes of Doctor Who to know that in time we could totally live in peace with one another. Unless you’re Dalek, Cybermen or Sontaran, in which case I’d appreciate it if you’d promptly Fuck Off before you ruin everything you giant pricks.

So I guess we should, as they say here on earth “get to know each other”, especially if we’re going to be engaged in some sort of multi-galactic Politics. We’re human beings, or humans for short. We have survived her for a relatively long time and we have opposable thumbs, which are awesome and really nifty for holding things and turning doorknobs. There are also animals on this planet, some of which we like to eat, and some of which like to eat us. We don’t like the ones that eat us very much, except Sharks, which we like to celebrate for an entire week (a week comprises of seven days), which we call Shark Week.

This is a picture of a Shark. Source:
Don’t jump to the conclusion that we worship sharks like gods though. We are really diverse creatures, and although some may indeed consider sharks to be gods, there are many others that pray to other deities and then there are some who don’t believe there are gods at all.

Sorry for the religious talk, I know it’s one of those things you aren’t supposed to talk about the first time you meet someone.

So, uh, you like, uh, stuff?




Dear As Yet Unidentified But Possibly Still Existing Creature from Outer Space,

How’s it going? I’m well, happy, fed and warm, so things for me are pretty good.

I have so many questions to ask you, questions I feel I should ask if I’m lucky enough to be granted an audience with a real live alien. You don’t mind being called that, do you? An alien? If you have a preferred name please send it along and I’ll make the change. Maybe I should capitalise the a…

So I should probably start with telling you a bit about myself before I grill you! (I don’t mean literally grill you like cook you, it’s just a phrase, a saying…a metaphor? Do you have metaphors in your language? I sure hope so.) I’m a human being and I live on the planet Earth. I’m of the female variety of humans and I like to eat ice cream, although if you had to break it down a large percentage of my diet wouldn’t really be made up of ice cream, so you probably shouldn’t use that as material in any human being dietary research studies. I bet you’ve never had ice cream, have you? You poor creatures!

I’m pretty small for a human, really, there are in fact human children who are larger than me by age twelve. So again, not really a useable fact about the average human, my height. I spend a lot of my time going to things with friends; shows, dinner, pubs, but I also spend a lot of time working. Half the time I work with children and half the time I write. Do aliens, sorry, Aliens, have to have jobs? In fact, is there a currency that you work with that necessitates having paid employment or are you a ‘everyone pitches in and takes out what they need’ kind of society? Does that work for you? Here, we call that the ideal of communism, the commun- part I assume meaning communal and the -ism something we just like to chuck on the end of words to make them end, but don’t worry, you’ll get used the language, anyway the point I was making is that we’ve never really gotten that kind of communism idea to work properly with us, so if that is what your society is like it’d be great to see it in action! How’s that for a tangent though, I start out giving you a basic introduction to my life as an earthling and I wind up at communism!

That’s probably enough about me anyhow. If it’s alright I’ll ask you some more questions now, but if you find any of them rude or embarrassing please just disregard. Ok? Ok. Here we go. First question; I have always wondered if you guys wore clothing? And how you communicate with each other? Also, do you keep pets? Is there more than one species living on your planet? How do you die? Are there illnesses you catch, or degenerative diseases, or is it just old age that does it to you? What is your average life expectancy? Have you built structures, like buildings for shelter? Do you live in family groups or grouped somehow else or singularly? Do you have a concept of work time and down time, or is it all go go go for you, like it is for ants? Is there such a thing as Alien governments, or any type of societal hierarchy?

I should probably leave it there, I always ask all these questions and it ends up requiring a huge reply from my reader! I hope you write back, and if you do please feel free to ask me any of the same sort of questions and I’ll happily answer.

I have this fear that you’re going to turn out to be, well, a not very exciting type of Alien. In my mind I picture you as an intelligent creature with independent thoughts and a concept of things like life, other species and exploration of other solar systems. It’s possible, though, that you’re just some kind of bacteria like single celled organism, some kind of amoeba, and that would be disappointing. You might be vegetation also, of course, which probably means you wouldn’t answer this letter. Anyway, if you are a bit more primitive than I’m expecting, I’d like to share with you some knowledge that we humans have that might really excite you. It sure did wonders for our species, that’s for sure.

See it! That’s called a wheel. I tell you, get the wheel involved and the possibilities for life are endless. If you go to this page here it’ll tell you all about what it does and how we use it.

That’s probably enough for now. I hope this letter finds you well, and that maybe one day we can meet. Just give me a warning in advance, though, because otherwise I might get a bit of a fright initially. I’m sure you’re a lovely Alien though, once a person gets to know you.

Well, cheerio! Please write back!


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