The night he decided to get abducted by aliens, Roger was just drunk enough to decide it might work.
Roger had been wondering how to become famous. All his plans to become well-known had failed. He’d tried to be a famous sportsperson, but they didn’t have a World Paintball Championship, and when he tried to play rugby he got trampled under by fifteen hundred-kilogram Afrikaners. Then he decided to become a famous movie star. One audition later, and that was out. They didn’t make him a romantic lead. They refused to cast him even as a mook, because he didn’t look villainous enough.
Then someone suggested he tried music. So on karaoke night at the local bar, he did his best to set the joint on fire. It very nearly did set the joint on fire, because the stampede of people trying to get away overturned a decorative candelabrum by the door and seared the curtains.
Then he tried politics. He stood for election to the local council, and gathered a grand total of three votes, including his own. He never did find out who the other two voters were.
After that he thought of becoming a famous serial killer, but that had an obvious disadvantage: in order to be successful, he had to keep his identity secret. Besides, he was allergic to blood, even his own cuts and nicks while shaving made him want to faint.
But he wanted to be famous. As he gazed into the depths of a bottle of mescal, the caterpillar’s corpse inside gazing back at him, he cogitated on the problem. The caterpillar, rotating slowly, looked rather like an alien, he thought. An alien from the Andromeda Galaxy.
And that’s when the Idea struck him.
“I’ve got to be abducted by aliens,” he muttered, a wild gleam in his eye. “That’s the ticket, that is!”
“What are you talking about?” His drinking companion looked up at him, befuddled. “What alien?”
“You just drink up,” Roger told him. “I’ll be back...sometime.”
Now, he thought, stumbling outside, just how did one get abducted by an alien?
The first thing he needed was night. No self-respecting alien would ever appear during the day. Well, it was night, and a dark, moonless night, too; good for aliens.
Then, he had to be on a lonely country road. It wasn’t a lonely country road, but that could be fixed with a little driving, as long as he managed not to draw the attention of cops with breathalysers. So, folding himself behind the wheel of his car, he drove off with exaggerated care down the exact centre of the street. The gods were kind, and nobody got rammed or killed.
Half an hour later, the houses around disappeared. All around now stretched the arid plain of the Great Karoo, dotted only with scrub. Roger slowed down until his car was barely moving, and waited for the aliens to come.
And then they came, right on schedule, bright lights hovering over the road, revolving orbs of blue and green and yellow. The lights settled down on the road ahead of the car, and a ramp came sliding down.
Roger stopped the car and got out. He felt no fear, and no surprise. He’d wanted to be abducted. He’d gone out of his way to be abducted. The aliens were merely doing their duty.
The first alien emerged. It did not look like a little grey man with a huge egg-shaped head and gigantic black eyes. It came out of the flying saucer and came out and came out and came out.
Roger jumped back a couple of steps when all the ten metres of creamy white caterpillar-flesh came crawling down the ramp, and a couple more steps when the alien reared up into the sky and stared down at him from a pair of compound eyes like shields.
“Well, earthling,” it said, in a heavy Mexican accent, “let’s go.”
“Go where?” Roger managed, gulping.
“Why, to be abducted, of course,” the alien said, sounding surprised. “Isn’t that what you want?”
“Well, um, yes,” Roger said. “Actually, I want to become famous.”
“Oh, you’ll be that, all right,” the alien promised, grasping Roger by the shoulder and pulling him up the ramp. “We’ll probe you and process you, and then drown you in a nice bottle of alcohol. Human in alcohol is a prized drink amongst us. And you – you’ll be served up at the banquet in honour of the Galactic President himself. There’s no higher honour.”
“But that’s not what I wanted!” Roger shouted. “That’s not what I wanted at all!”
“But you want to be famous, don’t you?” The alien sounded irritated. “What do you want us to do, make you a galactic ambassador or something?”
“Well,” Roger replied, “why don’t you, then?”
The alien stared at him, nonplussed. “You know,” it said at last, “I haven’t the faintest idea.”
And that is how His Excellency Roger the First became humanity’s envoy to the Galactic Empire. He’s famous and well-liked, but for one thing. He never attends the banquets.
The human in alcohol makes him want to puke.
Copyright B Purkayastha 2012