Artwork: “Invaders from Earth Promotional Poster” – Cosmic Domain
“You can usually quote anyone about anything, but don’t quote me on that.”
– General Lee Sed
You may be familiar with a certain classic movie in which an alien race invades a planet.
The story begins with several large alien cylinders raining down upon the planet. The aliens clumsily stumble out of the cylinders, grunt at the locals and then quickly retreat into their tripods to help them get about. Once inside their fighting machines, they begin to blast everywhere in sight with their heat rays.
As the story unfolds, we follow a doctor of the planet. As her husband is kidnapped by the aliens, she chases them around the countryside where she witnesses their total destruction of the planet’s towns, retail parks and cities.
Meanwhile, a youngster observes through his telescope one of the alien cylinders crash down into a nearby sandpit. His father investigates the crash site and returns as an idiot. Pretty soon, all of the townsfolk are acting in this unusual manner. The young boy encounters the doctor and together they futilely attempt to inform the locals that they are under the influence of the invading aliens.
Throughout the story, the aliens’ strange behaviour is observed in more detail. The aliens often release a pungent guff, litter the planet and gobble up the inhabitants. The local army have some success in attacking the tripods. However, it soon becomes clear that a full planetary evacuation is required.
The story concludes with the alien invaders catching a cold and subsequently dying out relatively soon after that.
If you hadn’t guessed yet, I am of course referring to the classic movie – Invaders from Earth.
So what an irony, that I myself am now afflicted by an Earth virus, passed onto me from some sniffling ape!
As I lie here in my bed, reduced to a snotty rag of whinging bones and swaddled in a feverish duvet, I contemplate the incredulous scepticism with which Earthlings regard such a viral vandal in their society.
The act of having to notify your place of work that you are inflicted with a deadly virus is an exasperating one.
Firstly, it is required that you actually speak to an ape via a telephone to prove that you are in fact sick and not lying.
It is at this crucial moment, when the ape answers the phone, which you will feel yourself at the peak of physical fitness and suddenly present a perky and positive tone. However, many experienced apes will have evolved to disguise this situation by employing a series of complex social processes.
Let me explain. Firstly, it is wise to adapt a slow serious tone of voice with sharp intermittent sniffs to give the impression that one is very ill indeed. By imitating an idiot, the ape can successfully give the impression that their faculties are indeed extremely diminished as a result of the sickness.
Secondly, many apes will employ several props to help make this more convincing. For example, by shoving tissue paper up each nostril, the caller will give the effect that they are heavily congested.
Additional coughs, snorts, sniffles and throat-clearing noises, will signal to the receiver that the caller is afflicted with a very strong cold. (Note: Remember that it is only audible signals that are of any effect. Any visual displays will be ignored.)
At this stage it is important that you do not give any indication that you will be virus-free anytime soon. It is well worth planning your sickness for at least one week. However, the receiver will be quick to inform you that after 7 day’s absence you will require a note from your doctor to confirm that you are not lying.
Once this deed is done, you can rest assured for the remainder of your absence, that your work colleagues will be very aggrieved that you have left them additional work to do. It is therefore very important that you find time to promote your illness on any social media sites.
For example; “I wish I wasn’t so ill. When will this awful infliction end? I am not enjoying being away from work at all!” …or something to that effect.
(Remember, many Earth apes have a sense of great pride in the fact that they can manage to associate with others whilst suffering from a contagious virus and therefore expect the same of others – no matter how much they may spread and assist the virus in evolving.)
After finally undertaking these demeaning social tasks, you are free to clamber into your bed and attempt not to die.
It is courteous to email your manager towards the end of the week with a message that you are beginning to feel a lot better and that you expect to be in on Friday. This will ensure that your troop of apes have sufficient time to demonstrate a concern for your health and enquire into why didn’t you take longer off, so you could recuperate?
At least I got to stay in bed and watch Invaders from Earth again. Only this time, I am now a little more sympathetic to the Earthlings.
Until next time, keep evolving!