If You Can Read This…

Artwork: “Rigelian Map of the World” Reproduction by The Estrella Moon Workshop

“Human see, human do.” – Dr Zigfreed Quasanberg

When people found out that I was going to be travelling to Earth to study the apes, I was always posed the same questions. “Do they bite?” “What if they try to eat you?” “Don’t they sniff each other’s private parts?” “What if they try to blow you up with an atomic bomb?”

My mother was particularly worried – she gave me several hundred packets of anti-bacterial wipes.

I must admit, I was apprehensive about the venture myself, and on many nights I would awake with a start after suffering terrible nightmares about being bored to death by a primitive chat show host or being fried in batter by an adolescent sous-chef.

Luckily for me, many of the preconceptions of humans turned out to be untrue.

Within the first few months of arriving, I was relived to discover that, no, they aren’t all obsessed with wrestling, yes, it’s mostly the males that wear moustaches, no, they don’t all fling their poo around and no, they don’t try to pick fleas from you at every opportunity. Although, I have to admit, after only three months of setting foot on this little planet, I was down to my last packet of wipes.

What was interesting to note, was the preconceptions Earth apes had of other Earth apes. The range of biodiverse apes on this planet is often a cause of discrimination, rather than the typical cosmic congratulatory recognition that we all made it out of the primordial slime and managed to adapt so very well to our surroundings.

Soon, it became apparent to me that some apes on one side of the planet were highly suspicious of some apes on the other side of the planet. Some apes treated others differently because of the slight difference in the colour of their skin, (I dread to think how they’d react to the multifarious skin tones of the rest of the galaxy) and some apes actually considered themselves superior to others based simply by the geographical region in which they were born. To me, they were all equally as stupid as each other.

I adapted to living on this rock very quickly. I blended in with the apes by gaining employment at a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation as a data-control systems analysist, (Whatever that is! – After several months, no one seems to want to question me on what I am doing, so I keep on doing it.) and was soon accepted by the other office apes as part of their troop.

I observed with enthusiasm their strange customs and traditions, such as giving pieces of silver to Tracey each week for coffee and biscuits, chattering about Brian’s sweat glands when he was not present, worshipping the clock and taking turns to open, close and hit parts of the photocopier after it had jammed.

So why by the great beard of Zog did I decide to come to Earth?

My interest in humans began when I was a child after my father had given me a life-sized human stuffed animal, which I affectionately named Pudge. My career as a zoologist really began from then. I adored my human and although Pudge, over time, became tatty and smelly, and lost one arm, I loved him more than anything else in the entire universe.

As I grew, so did my interest in humans. With Pudge vigilantly watching over me from my dresser, I would immerse myself in storybooks about fascinating tales of Earth. Accounts of valiant princes, acrobats, boogie-woogie, waterslides and nuclear warheads span around my mind. By the time I graduated from West Phecda University, Pudge was still there, waiting patiently for me on my dresser.

I had always fantasised about what Pudge would say and do if he were a real biological being. Would he try to bite me? Would he try to eat me? Would he sniff me, fling his poo or try to blow me up with an atomic bomb?”

The opportunity to study the primitive social, physiological and psychological nature of real living and breathing humans in their natural habitat was too great an opportunity to miss – and a chance to finally discover all of the secrets that Pudge had been hiding away from me for all of these years.

Maybe, if he were here now, he’d start a blog.

Until next time, keep evolving!

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