Monday, August 15, 2005

What I'd Say to the Martians--Jack Handey

by Jack Handey

People of Mars, you say we are brutes and savages. But let me tell you one thing: if I could get loose from this cage you have me in, I would tear you guys a new Martian asshole. You say we are violent and barbaric, but has any one of you come up to my cage and extended his hand? Because, if he did, I would jerk it off and eat it right in front of him. "Mmm, that's good Martian," I would say.

You say your civilization is more advanced than ours. But who is realy the more "civilized" one? You, standing there watching this cage? Or me, with my pants down, trying to urinate on you? You criticize our Earth religions, saying they have no relevance to the way we actually live. But think about this: if I could get my hands on that god of yours, I would grab his skinny neck and choke him until his big green head exploded.

We are a warlike species, you claim, and you show me films of Earth battles to prove it. But I have seen all the films about twenty times. Get some new films, or, so help me, if I ever get out of here I will empty my laser pistol into everyone I see, even pets.

Speaking of films, I could show you some films, films that portray a different, gentler side of Earth. And while you're watching the films I'd sort of slip away, because guess what: the projector is actually a thing that shoots out spinning blades! And you fell for it! Well, maybe not now you wouldn't.

You point to your long tradition of living peacefully with Earth. But you know what I point to? Your stupid heads.

You say there is much your civilization could teach ours. But perhaps there is something that I could teach you--namely, how to scream like a parrot when I put your big Martian head in a vise.

You claim there are other intelligent being in the galazy besides earthlings and Martians. Good, then we can attack them together. And after we're through attacking them we'll attack you.

I came here in peace, seeking gold and slaves. But you have treated me like an intruder. May be it is not me who is the intruder but you.

No, not me. You, stupid.

You keep my body imprisoned in this cage. But I am able to transport my mind to a place far away, a happier place, where I use Martian heads for batting practice.

I admit that sometimes I think we are not so different after all. When you see one of your old ones trip and fall down, do you not point and laugh, just as we on Earth do? And I think we can agree that nothing is more admired by the people of Earth and Mars alike than a fine, high-quality cigarette. For fun, we humans like to ski down mountains covered with snow; you like to "milk" bacteria off of scum hills and pack them into your gill slits. Are we so different? Of course we are, and you will be even more different if I ever finish my homemade flamethrower.

You may kill me, either on purpose or by not making sure that all the surfaces in my cage are safe to lick. But you can't kill an idea. And that idea is: me chasing you with a big wooden mallet.

You say you will release me only if I sign a statement saying I will not attack you. And I have agreed, the only condition being that I can sign with a long sharp pen. And still you keep me locked up.

True, you have allowed me reading material--not the "human reproduction" magazines I requested by the works of your greatest philosopher, Zandor or Zanax or whatever his name is. I would like to discuss his ideas with him--just me, him and one of his big, heavy books.
If you will not free me, at least deliver a message to Earth. Send my love to my wife, and also to my girlfriend. And to my children, if I have any anyplace. Ask my wife to please send me a bazooka, which is a flower we have on Earth. If my so-called friend Don asks you where the money I owe him is, please anally probe him. Do that anyway.

If you keep me imprisoned long enough, eventually I will die. Because one thing you Martians do not understand is that we humans cannot live without our freedom. So, if you see me lying lifeless in my cage, come on in, because I'm dead. Really.

Maybe on e day we will not be the enemies you make us out to be. Perhaps one day a little Earth child will sit down to play with a litle Martian child, or larva, or whatever they are. But, after a while, guess what happens: the little Martian tries to eat the Earth child. But guess what the Earth child has? A gun. You weren't expecting that, were you? And now the Martian child is running away, as fast as he can. Run, little Martian baby, run!

I would like to thank everyone for coming to my cage tonight to hear my speech. Donations will be gratefully accepted. (No Mars money, please.)


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Likes: Toasters, porches, lavender honey, and tight hugs

I sleep with my down comforter on, in 90 degree night heat, with no air conditioning in my house.

I raid my mom's closet every break to see if my taste in clothing has changed enough that I can take more of her old clothes. I always do.

I used to dislike the smell of cigarettes. I got used to it in France. I still don't smoke.

There is this sponge that my aunt claimed can clean up any stain. When she demonstrated by writing an obscene word on my grandmother's white purse in a Bic pen, the sponge didn't work. She still gave me one anyway.

I write in four different journals.

I just made that last fact up. I don't feel like counting exactly how many journals I'm writing in right now. We'll say four.

I am going to Evanston tomorrow.

I enjoy getting lost and not knowing where I am going.

When I was little, I caught fireflies and kept count of how many I caught every summer. One night I caught 300. That summer I caught over 5000. In addition, I caught one wasp.

I assume I won't get married until I'm at least 29, and that I'm not having kids until I'm 32. I also assume I might not have kids at all if my career is more important at the time.

I've got more skeletons than you do. Promise.

I hate possum.I also hate things that have lots of scales/holes/visible veins/fleshy particles. God, those things are disgusting. (This includes, but is not limited to, sponges, honeycombs, fish flesh.)

Hell for me would be loneliness.

Today I realized that, for me, college is half-done, and the hometown that I thought would never be the town I came back to from college has been that town. This made me laugh while I was driving and the moment felt pretty cathartic. I don't know why.

I've had more dreams involving Aslan lately since I was eight. These dreams rock and often involve flying.

My cats and I play games that involve chasing each other around the house. I am as entertained as my cats are.

I have to sleep and stop thinking random thoughts, or I'll never be able to drive to Chicago tomorrow.

To sleep.


Tuesday, August 9, 2005

It might sound silly, but...

I cried throughout the entire ABCWorldNews broadcast tonight.

I grew up watching Peter Jennings deliver the news every night in my house. I'm not sure how many people between the ages of 3 and 18 watched the news as much as I did when I was little. In fact, I'm pretty certain I was more well-informed at the age of 12 of worldly matters than I am now.

It's reassuring to have a familiar face enter your home every night by satellite and tell you what's happening in the world. If they're there saying it to you, everything has to be okay to some extent. I learned almost every big news story through Peter Jennings. My first memory of anything particularly newsworthy is of the Berlin Wall coming down, and I remember watching him hold up pieces of the wall. Knowing Peter Jennings has died also makes these events I witnessed through his accounts seem more transient--moments that hung for a moment, suspended by media coverage and then slipped back under the tide of more important, pressing events. It also makes me feel old.

It was like the likes of Peter Jennings that got me saying when I was little that I wanted to be 'on the news.' For me, Jennings was a little bit like my dad, too. His ties and stiff collared shirts reminded me of my dad, who'd often still be wearing his own ties and stiff-collared shirts from the office when we'd all watch the news together.

I am not sure exactly why I wanted to write this down, but it seemed important to me. I didn't realize I'd be so affected by his death.


Sunday, August 7, 2005

A Little Memory

When I was little, I used to do these things I called "Moon Dances."

When there was a full moon in the summer, I'd get dressed up. "Dressed up" usually meant wearing my white slips that were meant to be worn under dresses, which I thought were really sophisticated without dresses over them. I'd also put on make-up, very exciting at the age of six or seven.

Once I was all dressed up, I would have my parents light all the candles on the porch. I'd choose a CD I wanted to dance to and turn the speakers of our living room stereo to face outside. My favorite CD's to play were either Pavarotti's Greatest Hits, Nat King Cole or Ray Charles.

Once it was all ready, I'd dance all night--on the patio, on the porch--and I'd run--up the walkway to the pool, around the pool and into the "back-backyard." I'd jump on my swingset and twist in between the bars and swing. In the moonlight, with my sophisticated white slip, I probably looked much like a streak of white searing across the dark smoky green of the yard.

I think that's nice. I hope that these types of things don't die with age.


Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Back in the US of A

C'est la grande question, la seule, au fond celle que j'ai toujours entendue même lorsqu'elle n'était pas formulée, et quelquefois aussi je l'ai posée--les mots, les yeux--, d'autres fois non ou bien murmurée, juste pour voir, juste pour savoir--mais souvent non, souvent tue, réponse non sue, inventée, suggérée: est-ce que tu m'aimes, est-ce que c'est de l'amour, ce que tu éprouves, ce que tu dis, ce que tu fais, est-ce que c'est de l'amour, est-ce que c'est l'amour?

--Camille Laurens, L'Amour