The friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie, or song that explains what humans are all about. What do you pick?
A thin shadow fell across my face. I opened my eyes and sat up, clearly my bit of peace and quiet was not to last. A very pale gentleman, with large eyes, stood before me in an ill fitting outfit of Bermuda shorts and a Free Hugs T-shirt, which looked an awful lot like what was hanging on my neighbours line earlier.
“Are you lost? Can I help you?”
“Yes, please.” was all the reply I got. I’m not sure why I motioned for him to sit down, I’m usually a little leery about strangers who wander into my backyard. At least I guess I would be, this is the first time it’s happened and I was curious, I had already had a visit earlier in the week from a Grt Grt Grandmother, so who was this fellow I wondered.
We studied each other as I poured him a glass of lemon juice. His head was too large for the skinny body that it sat on and there wasn’t a line on his face yet he didn’t seem young. He kind of had a ‘out of this world’ look about him. Not sure what he thought of me, the face held no expression, too much botox perhaps?
“What do you want?”
“Please explain humanity to me.”
“Explain humanity?” Oh is that all?! Yeeshk!
“Yes, please.” he leaned forward expectantly. “Perhaps there is a book, or movie, that would sum it up nicely.”
“Um, yeah, I don’t think so. There is no one book or movie or anything that would explain humanity. Humans are nasty and nice, greedy and giving, killers and pacifists, haters and lovers. We can find all kinds of reasons, stupid or sane, to kill one another. You have bad people who give the allusion of good and good people who do bad things sometimes.” I took a sip of juice.
“If you really want to know about humanity, just stick around for a year or so, watch the news, travel the world, you’ll soon see.”
“Hmm, perhaps I shall.” And with that he sat back and eyeballed the washing line in the other neighbours yard.