331. When aliens spoke
© Bruce Goodman 6 September 2014
When the space craft landed, the aliens spoke beautifully phrased English. Each sentence was a haiku that fell from their lips like a springtime cherry blossom falling lyrically from a branch. When they became excited, they spoke in fourteen-lined sonnets that made Shakespeare sound ho-hum. Could we perhaps compare the beauty-of-their-turn-of-phrase to a summer’s day? Conversely, questions were asked in simple, well-phrased prose, which had the clarity and directness of a fork of lightning.
Humans expressed astonishment. It was pointed out (didn’t we know?) that earthlings were considered the least intelligent beings in the universe. This was out of millions of intelligent life forms. We were way, way lowest on the list; the dumbest; the ugliest orally and aurally. In fact, the aliens’ name for our planet could be translated literally as “Wet and Banal”.
“My goodness!” said an alien suddenly pointing. “What’s that?”
“It’s a wheel,” said an earthling.
“Well I never! Golly gosh!” exclaimed the alien, forgetting to speak in the form of a sonnet. “What an absolutely splendid idea!”