Top graphic by Jeff Worman
I’m always waiting for the next shoe to drop.
The next asteroid to rain.
The next ship to land.
Or some barbeque.
The government is supposed to make some big announcement about what’s been going on here over the last 150,000 years or so. Toward the end of the month. They’ve waited this long; what’s a few more days?
They’ve leaked a few tidbits to the big boys early on that are pretty much same old, same old. I’m hoping they say we’ve been at war with 3 alien civilizations (that’s what they told me anyway I think) since our nuclear aspirations, another alien civilization that aids us (or controls us) – we have a base on the moon, they have theirs on the dark side and everything we know about the nature of our existence is a made-up fantasy to keep us in line. And the leaders are all space aliens. Even the good ones. Your choice who’s good. That’s democracy.
Or is it free will?
Actually, I was just hoping any of this world even matters.
Someone must think so.
The extra-solar Oumuamua tumbles every eight hours to scan for signals from the drones it sent out. Like the tic-tacs that the USS Nimitz reported.
At least we have Space Force now (that we know of) and some hope of doing something about asteroids threatening our home planet. At least, I think this is our home planet.
Or threats from space aliens.
Or our adversaries blowing up our satellites.
It seems we have another mysterious radio signal from the center of the galaxy again. I doubt it’s in Morse Code. Does anyone even know Morse code? Or ACSII, maybe Pig Latin.
Maybe it’s that cook book from the Twilight Zone: “To Serve Man.”
Remember that one show where they land, make us all warm and fuzzy only to fatten us up for the slaughter?
I understand Kansas City is a hot spot for spaceships lately.
They definitely have good barbeque.
What would be the difference between pulled pork, burnt ends and slaw with beans — or human beings with white bread — to aliens from light years away?
It’s all in the sauce — isn’t it?
It was a long drive there as that was way below FTL. Faster than Light, right. I get better mileage if I stay under 186,000 miles per second. Is there a speed limit for spaceships from other worlds or interdimensional vessels?
Who would police them? God?
In any event, while in greater KC, the best barbeque was not the most posh but maybe the best presentation. They all tasted great. Good thing I gave up being vegetarian, so I have more to talk about than seitan and tempeh.
One had a view of the downtown.
Kansas City is 2 cities. Is this a tale of two cities or just the quasi-dimensional ramblings of someone that needs food?
Kansas City is bigger than I thought. I crossed the river. There’s another Kansas City. It was Kansas. I think. Or was it Missouri? One was downtown in the Plaza, that was Missouri. Two were in suburban Shawnee, Kansas. My favorite was the Bates City Barbeque in Shawnee.
I even bought a bottle of the sauce and use it on chicken, rice and beans.
Along the Shawnee Trail, hard to believe pioneering souls made their way across this same route. To make their way West. West, that was a place. Still is. Wide open space, like the latest new frontier: outer space.
Now, I saw jet fighters overhead: no UFOs or covered wagons.
No real covered wagons anyway, just commemorative statues next to the drainage ditch and next to the ramp to the interstate. Across from a strip mall.
Here in Wisconsin we have cannibal sandwiches and butter-burgers. Aliens may like that.
We have barbeque too but we’re known for cheese. Embarrassing unless you remember that’s what pizza is all about really. Everyone loves pizza, right? Unless you get soy cheese. They churn that out here too.
We’re known for UFOs too but not lately.
When I traveled to South Dakota I tried to continue the BBQ thing. I will too when I’m off-world.
When asked what their thing was, they said chislics. Cubes of lamb or beef but not like a wisdom of wombats and their cubes. Deep fried, with a little flour and what tasted like A-1. I had it served with fries. Traditionally it is served with soda crackers. It is thought to have been introduced by John Hoellwarth, who immigrated from Crimea to Hutchinson County, South Dakota, in the 1870s.
Was he chased by tic-tacs or space invaders?
I was also compelled to go to Devils Tower and had mashed potatoes for some reason at Wall Drug.
Notice how space is in the news lately?
Billionaires wanting a capsule with a view.
Everyone wants to leave.
Fine with me. Let them go.
We’ve given up on this world. It’s time to move on. Meanwhile, Brazil has signed on to our Artemis Accords so they too can reap the benefits of colonizing the universe whereas Russia and China want the universe for themselves.
The universe is a big place and when we ruin that, there’s always the multi-verse.
I don’t expect much. Do you?
When we finally do hear that the Air Force shot down flying saucers near Roswell in 1947, have been at war for millennia, we’re so callous now it won’t matter. We’ve been living in the shadow of imminent destruction forever. For the most part, it will get in the way of most people gaming – or watching sports. Right before traffic and weather. There will be a few car commercials, an ad for the disease du jour and then a preview of the next 150,000 years.
And an exodus to the stars…
Be sure and get extra sauce. It’s going to be a long drive.
Jeff Worman lives in Walworth County, Wisconsin where there is water and a crisp, cool night sky conducive to the creative process. He has been drawing and writing since he was able to hold a pencil in his hand. Worman started out as a high school intern at the Bugle-American, an alternative newspaper in Milwaukee, and was a founder and long standing contributor to the Crazy Shepherd which emerged from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is published currently as the Shepherd Express.
Worman’s column The Hourly Why was conceived in 1982, published broadly in underground newspapers over the decades and can be found online today at www.thehourlywhy.com. He also channels his signature character Deke Marler who hosts Music Time USNA (United States of North America), a radio show from the future, spinning ads for hovercrafts and brain implants, traffic reports between earth and sister colonies, with interstellar news and weather. Blues jams with musicians from his neck of the woods feature Worman on the harmonica and, on occasion, his parodying lyrics.
In addition to cartooning, illustrating and reporting, Worman serves as secretary of Kettle Moraine Community Broadcasting, which is home to WFAQ-LP-FM, 101.3 Mukwonago and wfaq.com. He has a great love of the outdoors and champions charities by riding those long distance centuries on his road bike to raise funds.