My Cousin’s Not an Earthling

My Cousin’s Not an Earthling

No lie, my cousin, Alphonse, is an alien. And, no, I don’t mean from Quito or Timbuktu. I mean from Alpha Romeo III in the Triglyceride System, which is on the other side of the Milky Way, down there in the whorl to the left, or right, depending on which way you’re coming from.

I swear it’s the truth. He told me so himself and I believe him. After all, he can change channels on the TV with a nod of his head, light cigarettes with his right index finger, has six nipples on his chest, and I’ve never seen him sleep, not in the whole three years he lived in our attic after he burned down his house using a touch-tone phone with his fire finger.

Oh, I know, you probably think I’m kidding, or have had one mushroom too many, but I swear it’s true.

My mother says her sister Helatia was missing for a while back in the ’50s when the family was living in New Mexico and my grandfather was doing hush-hush work for some government outfit (he never has told us who). Aunt Hel went out one night to baby-sit for a vacationing family from Massachusetts, only they claimed she never got there. Anyway, just as panic was beginning to set in, Hel turned up with a smile on her face and her lipstick smeared. Before you could say uh oh, Alphonse had arrived.

Aunt Hel claimed right from the beginning she’d been abducted by aliens, but my mother still thinks it’s more likely it was Billy Bradley, or even the kid from Boston, Freddy or Teddy whoever. But they don’t account for Alphonse’s weird abilities, so I keep an open mind.

The exciting thing is that Alphonse has promised to introduce me to his outer space relatives the next time they come for a visit. Apparently, they do this a lot since MTV came on line. Grunge is just now sweeping the galaxy beyond the asteroid belt, and the Spice Girls are hot, so there’s no accounting for taste anywhere, but it would still be neat to meet someone not us, if you know what I mean.

What I really want to do is travel to another planet, but Alphonse says forget about it. If you think immigration is tough here, you ought to try getting a green card outside this solar system. There’s a three-year waiting list just to get a sponsor, and that’s not measured in Earth years. I’ll be dead for a decade before I’ll even qualify for an interview. So I guess bureaucracy is the same everywhere.

Anyway, for the moment I’ll stay put. And besides, it’s kind of cool to sit around with Alphonse, channel surfing and toasting marshmallows.

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