Bubba Bits

They’re not all the same. Some are crunchy and have that, “I probably shouldn’t have done that,” flavor. Others may be wiggly and squishy and have tendency to slide all around in disconcerting ways. Every now and then, you end up with one that’s got a smokey, mesquite flavor

I just posted the first scene from a short story / novella that is currently being fried on the stove. It’s still hot, so don’t burn yourself. I put it on Wattpad so you can have a taste. http://www.wattpad.com/story/69089976

This story follows Boomer and his new (albeit less than thrilled) companion, Katy Lynn. There are crop circles, a missing truck, whispered tales of alien abductions, a mysterious disappearance, and a deep dislike of foolishness. Something strange happened more than 30 years earlier and Boomer hasn’t been the same. Working his ranch and patiently waiting for an unlikely return, Boomer never left the prairie until now. The search for his truck may force him to do the unthinkable. He may have to leave his old life behind.

Okay, I said it was hot, so don’t look at me like that. Here. Drink some iced tea. Yes, I’m going to make more, just hold your horses. When your mouth has cooled off, you can try it again. I’ll let you know when there’s more. Go on, now. Don’t make a pig of yourself.

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A Recliner’s Guide to Human Intelligence

…First of all, IANASPEOAWAKSAS (I Am Not A Scientist, Philosopher, Expert, Or Anyone Who Actually Knows Something About Something.) I do, however, sit in a recliner. I just wanted to get my qualifications out of the way right from the start.

My recliner was bored the other day and started musing on the subject of human intelligence. I’ve tried to capture the gist of the conversation, but I left out some of the more insulting bits. Furniture tends to be rather snarky.

 

“Human intelligence is an oxymoron. We wouldn’t expect you to understand, of course. We’ve tried explaining simpler concepts to you in the past, but it’s like talking to belly button lint. I know, you’d probably use that human expression about talking to walls, but that’s ridiculous. Walls are far too intelligent to waste their time deciphering your inane babbling.” Sigh (Note: when recliners sigh, it sounds like more of a creak.)

“It’s just that when humans mumble nonsense about searching the universe for intelligent life, they have no idea what they are saying. I’ll try explain this in small words. You’d better put your feet up. For your primitive little brain to function adequately, we need to prevent all of your blood from draining out of your skull. Before you ask, no, you can’t have the remote. I’m keeping it between some cushions for now and you’ll just have wait. It’s down here with the $8.43 in change you’ve lost since the last time you couldn’t find something. Would it kill you to learn how to use your pockets properly?

“The problem is that the sum total of all human intelligence is based on only one instinctive ability. Pattern Matching. That’s it. That’s really all you do. Throughout your entire life, you match patterns. Any set of data you perceive is categorized, labeled and filed according to known patterns. When you encounter data that doesn’t fit an existing pattern, you either change the pattern to fit the data or find an excuse to disregard the data. These patterns are the basis of your language, thought processes, humor, logic, cat videos, and civilizations. Every concept you can imagine is based upon patterns. It is encoded into your brains to such a degree, that you cannot conceive of any other form of intelligence without first creating compatible patterns. In addition, it also appears that you cannot eat Cheetos without covering yourself in orange dust. Are you even trying to find your mouth?” (Note: in my defense, getting the last of the crumbs out of the bag can be a little messy.)

Sigh (Note: or creak) “The point is that humans are ill-equipped to recognize any intelligence that is dissimilar to their own. For this reason, we’d appreciate it if you would stop it. Just, stop. You’re embarrassing yourselves and making a lot of unnecessary noise. Leave the rest of the universe alone. Someday, if a non-human intelligence wants to talk to you, it will attempt to stoop to your level. In the meantime, why don’t you watch another video of people falling down? After all, those clips represent the cumulative apex of human intelligence.”

 

…I know what you’re thinking. It occurred to me as well. I stood up and tugged at the chair’s cushions. $8.43? That’s probably enough for two or three bags of Cheetos.

Preparing for an Alien Abduction

We prepare in advance for all sorts of things. We may take an umbrella on cloudy days. Filling up the tank before running out of gas seems like a good idea. Before pulling out onto the highway, we will sometimes have an idea of where we are heading. We check our insurance coverage before going to Spain to run with the bulls. Before sitting down to that big holiday feast, we wear the pants with the stretchy waistband. We call this type of thoughtful planning “Common Sense.”

By that logic, it only makes sense to prepare for an alien abduction. Sure, the likelihood of such an event may be rather remote, but that fact may not be reassuring once you’re in the mothership. So, how would you prepare? What would you pack?

Do you attempt to arm yourself? How effective do you think human weapons may be against an advanced civilization with sufficient technology to leap across the void of space to bag you? Would they disregard your attempt at self-defense, or would you provoke a hostile response?

Would you pack some water and snacks? I mean, convincing them to pull over at the next fast food joint on their way back to Flerbnit 7 may be difficult. I’m sure they may think that Quinvarbigum Fire Slugs are a fine delicacy, but I’d rather have a bacon cheeseburger.

Do you load up with electronic copies of the finest artistic and scientific achievements of the human race? Would aliens prefer Beethoven or Mozart,  Da Vinci or Picasso, ballet or contemporary, Hawking or Einstein? I have a sneaking suspicion they’ll love mime.

I think that loading up with books and movies about repelling alien invasions might be considered unfriendly. Likewise, tales of friendly aliens coming to help humanity might be viewed as wacky comedies. In addition, providing aliens with all of our best ideas for how to deal with an alien invasion could be tantamount to treason.

That’s why I am stocking up on tales of fantasy. Watch their eyes curl as they try to make sense of Alice in Wonderland.  I’ll sport rings on every finger while they read Tolkien. That should blow their toenails. I’ll try not to giggle when their faces turn inside out after studying Edgar Allen Poe. Top off the evening with an episode of  BooBah, and they’ll beam me home with a polite apology before fleeing back to the safety of the nearest civilized star system.

So far, the plan is working splendidly.

Entropy’s Birthday Waltz

For those who are not familiar with the poetry of the Krazhdj, you may have an important lesson about Curiosity in your future.  The Krazhdj are an alien race whose most profound thoughts are expressed in the Great Poems.  Since humans cannot speak their language, translation devices struggle to encapsulate Krazhdji nuances and concepts into English.  The recitation of these poems has been known to peel walls off of paint, turn milk to tears, and remove unwanted cat hair (from the cat).

This poem is an excerpt from the upcoming novel, Blithering Genius, Book 2 of The Other Universes.  Hey, I warned you.

“DESPONDENT IN DUALITY

FECUND SPRITES DANCE IN FUTILE SPIRALS

FEVERISH – DENYING THE ABSOLUTE

EVISCERATED BY STARLIGHT

OBLITERATED IN ABSENTIA

SPLATTERED EXPECTATIONS AND

DECIMATED DREAMS FORGE THE VISION

THAT IS ART.”