What the Alien Told Me

(NOTE: This was previously posted at my Barling Myspace page.)

I got the strangest thing in the mail the other day. Addressed to me, in a small sealed padded manilla envelope, was an inexpensive cell phone with a wierd green thumbprint on it.

The return address said “Heaven.” 

It was charged. It worked. It was wierd. I left it on the table in my living room.

A few hours later, it rang.

“Hello?” I asked it.

“Hello. Um, Stephen?” a voice probed.

“Why, yes,” I cautiously replied.

“Do you have any idea who this is?”

“None whatsoever.”

“Good. You shouldn’t. Fact is, no one does. Until today, that is.”

“Interesting. So who is this, anyway?” I jockeyed for position.

“Well, I expect you won’t believe this, but … brace yourself… I’m calling on behalf of… Ancient Beings From Another World Just Checking In To Let You Know We’re Watching.”

“Pardon? Is this some kind of survey, because I haven’t got time…”

“No, no, Mr. Barling, I assure you. I am one of thousands of other-worlders trained in your language, designated to call on this day to let you know that we’re watching.”

“Really?” I let the incredulity ooze out. “Have I been downloading too much porn and overindulging in Frasier reruns again?”

“No, Stephen. Not you in particular. You, the earthlings. Specifically, homo sapiens, as you call yourselves.”

“Okay, you got me. What are you selling?”

“I’m not selling anything, Mr. Barling. I’m telling you something. We are watching you earthlings and we’re a little concerned. And you should know because if you don’t get your collective act together we’re liable to be more than a little terse with you.”

“I’m sorry, I’m just catching up. Did you just threaten the Earth or something?”

“I’m just saying it wouldn’t be out of the question and certainly not more than the trimming we’ve delivered to some lesser barbarian plagues.”

“Okay. You’ve got to back up for a second. You’re calling on behalf of Ancient Beings from Space or some shit, and you’re telling me that humans need to wake up or we might recieve a ‘trimming?'”

“That is correct.”

“Well Halle-fuckin-luia, Brother! I’ve been sayin’ that since I was ten!”

“Yes, Stephen, we know. We keep very extensive records. Microprocessing does amazing things after millions of year of evolution. You do believe in evolution? Yes, of course, it’s in your file.”

“Who is this, really, because you got me. You totally got me.”

“We’ve gone over this, Mr. Barling. Let’s move on to more pressing affairs.”

“Your English is very good. I’d have never guessed you were foreign, er, alien.”

“Yes, well, when you live to three hundred thousand years of age, there’s plenty of time to work on the complexities of primitive dialects. It’s really quite fascinating. I know several hundred, though only a few dozen are any use.”

“Really, three hundred thousand years?”

“Yes, and so will the future homo sapiens if he is allowed to evolve to fullness.”

“Allowed to evolve to fullness? Ah, so this is where the trimming comes in…”

“…May come in. We have decided to call you and millions of others today to let you know that you should be more aware of yourselves. Many great thinkers and leaders have come to you. Their philosophies were consistent with universal law. Man has at times heeded their words and at times mocked and ignored their words. You must choose to live by the Golden Rule. It must be adhered to at all cost. All Morality is Universal, and I’m not saying that cosmically. I mean “universal” as opposed to “subjective.” Common sense and compassion tell you what’s truly true. All evolved beings live by this rule. And those who do not, well…”

“Trimming?”

“More like unstoppable meteor showers that eliminate most mammalian life. Simple but way more effective than warfare. And very cheap. You will not develop the technology to stop it for another fifty thousand years. And by then, many of you will have left the planet. If we let you…”  

“Wow. Who is this, really?”

“You have one thousand years to work it out. Then we’ll be back. It was very nice speaking with you, Mr. Barling, but my supervisor tells me I must go, and the battery’s about to die on your phone. Good luck, Stephen.”

Strangest sales call I ever got. But I definitely want to buy some.

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