Captain’s log, Star date -312836.81 (November 1, 2011, 8:15 P.M., Earth, Eastern Standard Time) I have found myself somewhere in the Fort Lauderdale quadrant of a strange peninsula called Florida. I’ve been to this planet before and am acquainted with some of their customs, but a great many of them still escape me. I’ve just entered a bizarre, although familiar, enclosed commerce location. I must navigate my way through large shelving structures with assorted food items on them, without calling too much attention to myself. The inhabitants of this alternate universe are particularly social and well-dressed tonight. Since I have not applied my cosmetic disguise, I am certain that I am going to run into a life form I have met on a previous voyage; that I most definitely would not like to see right now. My intended destination: The Deli, I must initiate the Prepared Submarine Sandwich Interface at warp-speed, my crew members and I are hungry and too lazy to make our own sustenance.
“Can I help you find something?” a being wearing what appears to be a hair-net and a paper hat asks me. He doesn’t have any hair, so I can only assume he is wearing these headpieces as a sign of allegiance to his clan or tribe. He is pushing a large bin of recently deceased animal carcasses around a refrigerated coffin. They have been mutilated and displayed on tiny foam trays enclosed in a thin, transparent plastic coating. “This creature is obviously dangerous; he kills and then humiliates his victims by arranging their flesh in meal-sized portions. He even weighs them and then marks their bodies with adhesive coated strips of paper tombstones that read “On Sale”. I must avoid his advances, or I fear I may be next”. I had to be quick on my feet. “I’m actually looking for adult diapers,” I say stealthily, knowing that this will keep me from having to answer any more questions and I will be able to escape unharmed. The life form looked at me quizzically and then communicated that these devises are located on aisle 12. I thanked him and then quickly walked away. “Ground Chuck is on special tonight” he called after me as I reached a safe distance. “Oh, God! Which one was Chuck? What did he do to meet such a horrible demise?” I think, briefly considering warning the others, but they seem totally comfortable surrounded by eminent danger. “You fools!”
I made my way towards aisle 12, to keep the savage I just encountered at bay. Yes, he may be a twisted murderer, but he is damn good with directions. The adult diapers were stacked neatly on a display to my left. I was going to walk by them as I had only used them as an exit strategy in my clever ruse, but became distracted by the packaging. The bundles of absorbent undergarments had an artist’s rendering of two elderly carbon based life forms drawn on it. They were depicted seated on a park bench, peacefully smiling. “I don’t understand this culture. These beings seem to be elated that they shit themselves,” I thought as I held the packaging, examining it.
“Sara?” I heard coming from over my shoulder. I had let my guard down, and opened myself up for an ambush. I turned to see who was speaking to me, it was a creature that was commonly referred to as “Jim”, but I had renamed “Asshole” after he tried to put the moves on me when I drove him home from a social gathering a light year or two ago. Not only was I not wearing make-up, but I was holding a bag of Depends. “I hope he doesn’t notice” I thought. “Oh, shit! What in the hell happened to you?” I said upon seeing a bright purple bruise encircling Jim’s right eye. “This? It’s nothing’” he said gesturing towards his face. Through my previous visits to this location and its surrounding areas, I was able to determine that Jim had evidently been on the receiving end of what is referred to on this planet as an “Ass Whoopin”. “Just some guy as at a bar, he thought I was hitting on his girl” he went on to explain. “That’s probably because you were” I said smiling, realizing that even on this strange landscape, I still didn’t have control of my mouth.
Jim was holding a box of feminine hygiene products, so I didn’t feel so bad about being seen with a handful of grandpa diapers. “You ever notice how happy they want people to feel about losing control of their bodily functions, Jim? How’s the wife?” I said, not really caring about the answer. Jim was married to a surgically altered human being from a far-away galaxy, named Brazil. She is a strange, jealous lump of flesh who believes that all of the female species that come in contact with her mate wish to own him. I speculate she married him for an intergalactic Green Card. If was able to communicate in her language I would tell her that the female species she worries so much about would not be a problem if Jim did not go out of his way to sleep with them.
“You’re crazy, girl!” he said, lightly punching my shoulder and ignoring the wife reference. “No, Jim. I’m not” I said, hitting him back, just a little bit harder. “We should get together for a drink or something…sometime” he added. “I just told you I wasn’t crazy, Jim.” I said, dryly. The beauty of this planet is that you can say pretty much exactly how you feel and if you use the right inflection, its inhabitants think you are engaging them with humor. Jim was no different. I wrapped up the niceties and continued on my mission. At least I had only come in contact with Jim and not a life form I would be unable to insult and have to speak with at length. On my way towards the fabled Deli Department, I made a wrong turn. I was now smack dab in a location marked Holiday Décor. I will never understand the thought process of the people here. Yesterday was the celebration of Halloween. It is the practice of children dressing up as false idols and then begging for candy from other, taller locals. Like I said before, I am familiar with some of the customs. The practice of moving from Halloween directly into the holiday called Christmas puzzles me. I didn’t have a calendar of events with me, but I believe the alliance that is responsible for the inventory of this commerce location were ignoring a day of celebration in between the one called Halloween and the one called Christmas.
Yes, there is a date set aside for gluttony and watching an organized sport called “Football” coming up. I’d have to look it up to be sure, but if my memory doesn’t fail me; I believe they skipped over Thanksgiving. The historical literature of this culture tells me that this is a celebration of invading forces, called Pilgrims, wandering into a place now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims arrived nearly starved to death and ill, then met the individuals who already lived there. The invaders willingly accepted the help of the locals and ate the great feast that the indigenous life forms helped them cultivate and prepare. Although, I wasn’t there, I can infer through my studies that the Pilgrims repaid their gracious hosts by killing, raping and enslaving them. Sounds like a reason to celebrate to me. I escaped the holiday section within inches of my life, a small female life form had cornered me and excitedly rambled about all the things a man she called “Santa” was going to bring her. “Turkey first” I declared, as I ran.
I arrived at the Deli counter, placed my order for two sandwiches and waited. In my down time, I used my communication device to peruse the mug-shots posted on the informative internet based website controlled by this location’s form of law enforcement. Jim and his wife quickly popped up on the screen of my device, both bloodied and swollen with the words “domestic disturbance” under their names. “I knew it” I thought. “There is no intelligent life here”.