1974-12-19 Sense and Nonsense
Last Sunday morning a friend confided to us that he is secretly an extra-terrestrial being. This was rather startling news to us and we were inclined to be sceptical of his statement. He did look a little pale and shaky, but otherwise resembled a reasonably normal, badly in need of some “hair of the dog that bit him” human being.
“Have you ever seen me during the week?” he asked. This question required a lot of thinking. We had known him for years and assumed he worked as a logger. I was sure I had seen him driving to and from work many times. However I am not good at distinguishing people when they arc surrounded by an automobile. I wave enthusiastically at strangers and ignore friends all the time.
“Didn’t I see you in the Post Office last Tuesday?” my husband queried. “No, as a matter of fact I have never been in the Post Office. I don’t have a post office box, and I never write letters”, answered our friend. “Not a soul in this town has ever seen me in this human flesh from Monday morning ’til Friday night”, he added.
We were naturally astonished at this statement. On thinking it over though we realized there were large gaps in our acquaintanceship with him. Weeks would sometimes go by between his visits. Then we would run into him at a dance or house-party and somehow he would end up at our place for the night. I was extremely intrigued by his remark hinting that he had a different appearance and was not in his “human flesh” on weekdays. Being the inquisitive type, I asked him what he had meant by this.
He blushed and then blurted out, “Actually I look like a small green worm, although I hope, an intelligent looking worm. All week I exist in the dormant state in a corner of a dancehall or under somebody’s living room rug. Sometimes I end up curled inconspicuously under a bar table or in a cocktail lounge. On Friday night or at the latest, Saturday night, someone invariably spills a drink on me. The alcohol is what metamorphosises me into what you see now”.
“Sometimes”, he added wistfully, “the affect wears off before the weekend is over and I return to my normal state rather suddenly. You wouldn’t have a small drink in the house, perchance?” The thought of a small green worm on the breakfast table prompted me to quickly pour him a rye and water. The poor man was looking a trifle green and did seem to be shrinking a little.
“There are a lot of us around, you know,” he continued after a healthy swallow of the whiskey. “Have you ever been to a party and suddenly noticed a stranger in your midst? Everyone believes that the newcomer arrived with someone else, and nobody cares that much. Someday we plan on taking over your planet – that is if we ever get together and sober up”.
“By the way have you any more of that whiskey? Would you mind taking it a little easier on the water this time, please!”
Our friend left rather hurriedly after finishing our whiskey. However none of us can remember hearing the door slam when he departed. This morning my son asked a strange question. “Are there such a thing as ice-worms, Mom? Last Sunday I was vacuuming the hallway and near the door there was some snow on the rug. There was an ugly worm in the snow so I sucked it up with the vacuum cleaner”.
Now I am in a dilemma. Should I pour some whiskey into the vacuum cleaner bag or should I let sleeping dogs (pardon me, “worms”) lie, and put the bag out with the garbage.