Bobo Blows His Cover


I think you have been reading too many comic books!

Human fiction is filled with UFOlogists and aliens who dare not let the secret of their identities slip for fear of the dire consequences. Usually, aliens are depicted as withholding their identity in order to avoid disturbing the development of Human society. That, of course, is pure balderdash! Any anthropologist worth his weight in hangles knows that cultures, like all moving objects, have momentum. Extraordinary events are accommodated, and phenomena which are excessively strange are simply disregarded. So a visiting alien needn’t concern himself in the slightest about causing a change in the development in the Human race. One conceals one’s identity, not to protect Humans, but to protect oneself. Even if you tell the truth, you will simply be disbelieved. Tell too many of the wrong people that you’re an alien, and you’ll spend the next ten years trying to escape from an asylum.

I had to learn this lesson all over again for myself. But it was partly deliberate; I really wanted to experience this phenomenon first hand. My heart was in my throat the whole time; and then it backfired!

You see, it was my turn to make a presentation last week, so I decided to confess to the UFO Society that I am an alien!

They thought the Hugmups were cute, but several of them criticized the “Imperial Duchy of Thorgelfayne” as unbelievable. First of all, they said that only an empire could be imperial, and they added that aliens capable of space travel would hardly have constitutional monarchies. They did not buy my explanation of translation difficulties at all. I told them that the Thorgelfaynese monarchy is not hereditary, and that succession is based on academic achievement. They thought that was very inventive of me, and commended me for my ability to think on my feet.

The astronomer called me on the carpet for my selection of Tau Ceti (which he firmly believes cannot support life), and several others made good-natured fun of my description of Homeland. All in all it was a disaster: they not only disbelieved me, as I expected, but they treated me like a simple-minded child! This was humiliating.

They commended me for my excellent and humorous presentation, and generously forgave me for introducing science fiction into what was supposed to be a group dealing in science fact. Fortunately, I am so dark-skinned that they could not see me blush, but my face was burning hot as I protested the reality of my story. Whoever thinks that UFO club members are gullible certainly never ran into these folks.

I was crushed, and I must have showed it, because Mr. Anderson was particularly solicitous as he drove me home. He sought to comfort me in that strange, cold, and distant Human way.

We were driving down Sutter’s Mill Road, when suddenly a brilliant shooting star appeared before us! Mr. Anderson pointed at it through the windshield. “Oh, no!” I groaned, “I forgot all about my doctor’s appointment!” Mr. Anderson did not understand why a shooting star would remind me of my doctor’s appointment, but he did want to investigate the vacant lot where the thing seemed to have come down. (The trees were still swaying.) I was alarmed, but I pretended to be uninterested and begged to be taken home instead. I tried to convince him it was just a small meteorite; but, my luck running from bad to worse, he insisted.

You should have seen that poor guy’s face when we encountered the shuttle from Earth Watch Base! He was absolutely white with fear! Or maybe it was simple astonishment. I don’t think he ever really expected to see an alien spaceship, and there it was! I never knew Human eyes could open so wide! I had to lead him by the hand to the shuttle, where my physician awaited me.

The doctor scolded me for being late, then proceeded to hug me like a long, lost friend. (There I go thinking in Human terms; actually, he hugged me like a total stranger.) Mr. Anderson remained stiff as a board, but he blushed deep crimson as the entire shuttle crew embraced and kissed him. They showed him around while I got my checkup. They figured that the utter shock of the experience would prevent him from remembering much. This is normally the case. Afterwards, Mr. Anderson drove away stunned. He never spoke a word!

So at last night’s meeting of the UFO society, everyone continued to condescend to me because of my failed but very cute presentation last week; but it was obvious to all that Mr. Anderson held me in considerable awe. He didn’t say much, but when he spoke to me he called me Dr. Bobo with deep reverence. Finally the housewife (the one with the interstellar lizards) called everyone’s attention to this fact and demanded an explanation. Mr. Anderson stuttered out an incoherent account of last week’s events with the shuttle, which he only half-believed himself. He even got much of the story wrong. He ended by stammering that I really was an alien! Oh, the tumult! No one knew what to believe! Then Mr. Anderson said that the aliens sure were cuddly, and that he had a wonderful time. Then he collapsed on the floor and cried!

You wouldn’t believe the commotion that caused!

I am not going to attend next week’s UFO meeting. No sense unbalancing their minds any further! But their reactions have provided me with hours of paperwork. Fascinating!