Thank you for inviting my crew and me this Smakin Darit Ingtincton to speak to you. As you know we have just finished a 472-year cruise of liveable planets within our own galaxy. Of course we didn’t visit them all, but we did manage to visit over 400 places during the course of the trip.
Being almost a billion years more advanced than many of them there was little we could learn from most. On Planet Stackton we learnt a solution to the problem we’ve always had here of debris collecting on our stella-panels. Of course the Stacktonians like us are a long-evolving, highly developed planet, so we were not surprised to find something we didn’t know.
Perhaps the most stunning discovery was on Planet Earth. They are a very young planet where intelligent activity has been evolving to a relatively low degree over a mere several million years. There we found they had a contraption that absolutely stunned us. It’s such a simple concept and so obvious. I guess we were more amazed at our own lack of invention in the matter rather than in the creative Earthling invention itself.
We brought several examples with us in order to show the variety of design that is possible, and we shall be passing them on to our scientific experts so they can use these artefacts as a sort of blue print.
What are they, you might ask? Naturally we don’t have names for them as yet, so we refer to them in backward Earth terms. They call them salt and pepper shakers.
Hello. My name is Annette. My neighbour, who is a student at university like me, always makes me feel awkward with his crazy inventions, and this time was no exception. You see, I never knew what the jolly things were. I’d have to cluck away and sigh in admiration, and now I was looking at some contraption that had moving parts and he was over the moon with it.
I knew if I ask what it was he’d get offended, but this time the “invention” was so out of the box that I said “And how does it work?”
Well he went on a bit about aerodynamics and algebraic quartiles and everything else that I didn’t have a clue about, and in the end I was none the wiser. So I resumed my clucking and sighing and he seemed pleased enough.
And then he asked if I would like to go to the movies tonight. Of course I said “Yes!” It was the reason I had popped over to his house in the first place.
Norton thought that his invention would be as popular as billy-O. It wasn’t popular at all. In fact it sucked.
“This invention sucks,” said Gerald the Gadget Man on his television gadget show. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen an invention as useless as this. It’s a special garden stake for holding up the parsley plants.”
“Parsley doesn’t require staking,” said Nora on the Gardeners’ Breakfast Show. “This is the biggest waste of time and money that I’ve ever come across.”
“This is the most bizarre invention in years,” said Arnold on the Goodbye to the Morning Lunchtime Special. “At least it has given us all a good laugh.”
“I got given one last Christmas,” said Angela on the late-afternoon-between-reality-shows slot. “It comes in handy, especially if I want to prop a door open on a breezy day. A parsley stake! Ha ha ha! Now that’s funny.”
Only Jonathan had anything nice to say about Norton’s invention. “I think it’s excellent,” he said. “And it’s not a parsley garden stake. It’s a Dancalonator.”
Oh! What an embarrassment! Suddenly everyone felt quite silly.