Every time the clock strikes midnight, the entire house goes dark for 15 minutes. It doesn’t just go dark; everything switches off. I don’t find it scary, but it’s a nuisance. My girlfriend, who lives with me, finds it a bit scary however. I have to reset my alarm clock. I have to reset the oven clock, and the microwave clock, and the coffee machine clock. The night light above the garage door turns on when the power returns, only to not go off until it is reset. But the biggest hassle of all is that unless I thought to set it earlier, the bread-maker turns off in the middle of its cycle and there is no bread in the morning.
Needless to say, I called an electrician. He checked everything and said there was nothing wrong with anything and it shouldn’t happen. I got the feeling he didn’t believe me. He left, saying the only possible explanation was that things were being turned off by the supply company. Why don’t I phone them?
So I phoned them and all they said was don’t be silly. There’s no reason in the world why they would cut the electricity to my house for 15 minutes every midnight. It was a bit of a relief because my ex-wife works at the supply company and I was afraid I might have struck her on the phone. She despises me and we’d be incapable of having a civil conversation. So luckily I didn’t get her when I called the power company. But it still doesn’t solve my problem as to why the entire house goes dark for 15 minutes every midnight.
Now that cosmic aliens have become commonplace, and in the main taken for granted, certain serious problems have arisen.
I’m not talking about interplanetary marriages. These of course can create hitherto unthought of problems. A human and an alien falling in love is a bit like being besotted by a pet cat. Nothing wrong with loving ones cat. It’s the procreation bit that makes the mess. There are now all sorts of bylaws and mores to govern transplanetary sex. How does an Earthling, for example, have sex with a creature who has… Oh, doesn’t matter…
But it’s the racism that gets to me. As an alien on Earth from the Planet Spectrifica I can only say I have felt the full force of Earthly bigotry many a time. Earthlings used to discriminate against Asians and Blacks and Europeans and any subdivision they cared to create that was governed by looks or beliefs. These days this full-faced vengeance is aimed at aliens from outer space. They cannot accept the fact that every alien from every planet has features Earthlings posit as being ludicrous. Only the other day I saw two Earthling schoolgirls giggling at a Tronkinish who had three belly buttons on his/her forehead. The various races on Earth are now united by their common hatred and scorn of aliens.
That is why I have founded a group that gives voice to protest against these bigotries. It is called ALARM. For the name I simply took the first letter of every word in the name; which seems to be a practice used by the Earthlings. For example there are UN and BLM and USA and UK and NASA and so on. So I settled on ALARM.
ALARM is become increasingly popular with us aliens. We stand together against the ignorance of Earthlings.
Some Earthling asked (on television would you believe): What do the letters of ALARM stand for? I said that ALARM stands for ALIEN LIVES ARE REALLY IMPORTANT. They said that would be ALARI not ALARM. I simply sighed and thought, There they go again. Earthlings continue to impose their restrictive perceptions on every living creature in the Universe. It seems they will never learn. If scrunchers weren’t illegal on this backward planet I’d get one and scrunch the lot.
Randy had “pinched” Willy’s girlfriend of two years. Needless to say, Randy and Willy were no longer friends. Willy decided that revenge was the best option. Randy was on Willy’s unwritten list: To Be Murdered.
Of course Willy didn’t want to spend the rest of his years behind bars. An undetected murder would take some creative planning. There were two viable options: accident or natural causes. All other forms of death could be construed as being possibly murderous.
Willy didn’t have enough knowhow to construct a death by natural causes. You would have to be a doctor or a chemist of some sort to engineer that. Constructing an accident was the best and only option. There was no hurry. Willy had a new girlfriend. The old girlfriend was a distant memory, but the memory of cheating Randy was still fresh in Willy’s mind.
A car accident? An industrial accident? (After all, Randy worked in a flour mill). Falling off a roof or out of a tree? Something like that perhaps.
The mutual rancour between Randy and Willy grew. Willy’s new girlfriend, the literary Sandy, oft quoted William Blake:
I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow.
Willy was now just two days away from implementing his carefully planned murder. That was when Randy’s plan was enacted. It was a perfect murder. Willy, the murder-planner, is no more.