It was only after someone in the navigation department made an erroneous calculation that the flying saucer made a wrong turn at Alpha Centuri and wound up circling the earth. This caused the chronologic department to drop the ball also which effectively placed the spaceship in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Zorg and the crew found themselves dodging airplanes, ships, cars, and the blank-faced bipods that were always looking up (unaware their mouths were open) and scratching their heads in curiosity. Whatever these things were, they were a constant source of entertainment to the aliens who believed the bipods so dumb they’d look up and question the source of rainfall and risk drowning.
But nothing was more fascinating than the idiot race of television children to the aliens. They seemed so… alien like themselves. By observing the constant stream of advertisements that pervaded the airways, it was obvious this was a species of immense contradictions. These tell-tale commercials were constantly interrupted by annoying movies, game shows, sitcoms and weather reports. Finally the aliens used their superior electronic know-how and managed to erase these mindless human escapades into boredom so they could comfortably watch and learn from the revealing advertisements and infomercials.
It quickly became apparent to the aliens that food was tantalizingly portrayed around lunch and dinner time that activated the salivary glands that activated the leg muscles that prompted people to seek these unhealthy foods as fast as they could. They even referred to these foods as “fast foods”. They’d be motivated to get into these huge machines with wheels that consumed a pollution-producing fuel that filled the atmosphere with a smog that caused sickness and death.
During the day, some of these earthlings would get into these toxic, exhaust producing vehicles that made people sick and then drive to a field or track where they’d do strenuous exercises to promote good health. Zorg thought some one should write a book about this.
These cumbersome mobile-machines were created in various developmental stages, and now they were too wide for the designated lanes and parking facilities built for them originally, which caused all kinds of traffic problems. The aliens openly wondered if the people who designed the roads were in fact the same ones who drove these machines on those roads. Both the people and their cars were getting bigger and bigger yet the people on this planet worshiped thin, tan, sexy models and the sleek cars offered on TV. There was something desperately wrong with this picture.
The advertisements offering food were only matched in number by weight loss programs designed to combat overeating. This was a very confused race indeed.
It was Zorg that first noticed pills and all kinds of medications and artificial implants were sold during the day but during the night lawsuits were offered on TV that initiated a legal attack on the very same products. Apparently people were naïve and believed pills would cure ailments instantly and lawsuits would produce wealth just as quickly. The whole entertainment network system reeked of people taking advantage of other people to make money. Man’s greatest enemy was man.
Over the years, additional, long-term, observations were made. One of these included a fish known as “trout”. Hatcheries would raise these infant fish from fry, and then months later they’d load the grown fish into tanker trucks and then people would drive them to streams and lakes where they’d release the trout. This made great sense at first, but then, at a later date, the streams and lakes would be invaded by people bearing long sticks who would crowd together as the sun came up and do their best to outsmart and pull the fish from the water. The end results were either that the fish outsmarted the people and got away, or the people caught all the trout and then there weren’t anymore and the people had to start the process all over again.
Another anomaly, at four year intervals the earthlings voted and endowed certain individuals with tremendous powers which these individuals used to further their own personal interests while abusing the masses. People, it seemed, would vote people into office and then, almost immediately afterwards, they’d scorn and try to disgrace the very same people who abused the power bestowed to them. The problem seemed to lie equally with the corrupt officials and the people who elected them in the first place. Everyone pointed fingers and blamed someone else for their own incredulous actions. This was as clear as a bell from outer space.
Stranger yet, all kinds of medications promoting male performance in bed were presented day and night on the televisions which promised sexual enhancement and total satisfaction for the male yet the women were only offered contraceptives. It was clear men had the upper hand (and everything else that came with it) in this one-sided venture. Why didn’t the women speak up?
The aliens also enjoyed experimenting on these funny two-legged animals that were so predictable. Sometimes they’d cause a street light to remain red for an extended amount of time to see the reaction. By bending time, the aliens learned where people’s minds would wander when the opportunity arose. In other tests, they would add a couple of minutes to the duration of electronic toothbrushes as the morning race “to get ready for work or school” was on. This brought on feelings of frustration and anger and resulted in some of the most interesting behavioral research results. Women seized these spare moments to recall specific dates of birthdays and wedding anniversaries while the minds of men drifted into a more primitive direction.
The aliens launched something called the “DNA mating game” that consisted of finding the perfect match for certain “mentally well-developed people” even if this meant finding the match in a different time zone. Sometimes a match would be made between a male from 2012 and a female from 1799. The two subjects would be extracted, introduced, and without fail they’d hit it off in the back seat of the space ship and produce offspring every nine months or so.
Years later, as the offspring from these DNA matching couples would meet, dance, fall in love and mate; they would produce a most interesting progeny. An evolutionary quantum leap, the young were smaller in size, had a grayish skin, long bony fingers and enormous heads that bore large black insect eyes.
Unfortunately, these creatures had an irresistible, inexplicable urge to abduct other humans and conduct physicals on them aboard spaceships which could travel through time. This could pose a problem someday as some of the abductees did not have health insurance for these exams and received bills for the remainder of their lives from literally all corners of the universe.
Finally it was decided that an official meeting between the aliens and the earthlings should take place. The aliens were still trying to figure out how to get home but they needed a good laugh to tide them over until they did. The aliens would teach the humans to stop looking upward to the sky for answers or downward into the dirt to learn how ancient civilizations survived, but to look straight ahead and begin thinking in a forward direction as well. The concept of “free will” would be reintroduced to those who have heard this term but never understood the meaning or value of these words. The rest would be up to them.
The date was set and the aliens began making their plans and working on their speeches, being careful to keep the words on a third grade level to match terrestrial newspapers. Originally, August 15 in the year 2099 was selected since the earthlings obviously preferred things ending in the number “99” (as all their shopping malls had indicated) but it was later decided December, in the year 2012, was the logical choice because this date was purported to mark the end of mankind for some superstitious reason. The aliens felt they’d have the upper hand in a situation such as this.
Conshohocken, Pennsylvania was chosen for this historical site mainly because it was easy for Zorg and the boys to pronounce and they liked the way it rolled off the tongue. Schenectady, NY was never considered although Valley, Alabama was the first runner up.
The “Manyunk Invasion”, as the media later reported, was under siege at 9 pm on December 14, 2012. It was decided that night time was best so they could turn on the running lights of their space craft which was ultimately more impressive and there was really no need for everyone to see the scrapes and dings from parking encounters of the third kind.
The large parking lot the convention center offered was chosen as ground zero which became the alien’s own undoing. Unaware there was a Trekkie Convention going on, the crowds that gathered around the flying saucer were less than impressive. Zorg had prepared himself for nearly any contingency including a reception of fear that would escalate into hate and violence but old people waving pens and begging for autographs had never crossed his mind.
By eleven o’clock that night, the aliens’ had signed their names hundreds of times and writing cramps were setting in. The crowd graciously applauded and roared as the dejected aliens took off and vanished into the black sky. It was solemnly decided that the time was not right for a meeting of this kind and the interesting bipods should remain a mere side attraction, notable by some, on excursions through the galaxy for the time being. Sadly, “free will” would remain a concept shared by only a rare few in this corner of the universe.