By John McDonnell
The pill that Horst gave Larry had the effect of sending his metabolism on a roller coaster ride, and Larry crashed on the down cycle. He fell asleep on the sofa with his head in Edna’s lap, snoring loudly. Edna didn’t seem to mind that she had a large pink rabbit snoring in her lap while she watched her favorite TV shows.
Dolores peeked in at them, and since everything seemed quiet, she tiptoed off to bed.
About 3 AM the TV set started glowing bright green. At the same time it began emitting a series of high frequency beeps, and then a pattern of pulsating multicolored circles. Edna thought it was grand how these new TV shows had so many delightful special effects.
Then there was a high, tinny voice coming from the TV set. “Transmission for Agent Z9 Double Six Click (followed by a few glottal stops). Give us your coordinates.”
“Why, I’m right here,” Edna said. “Although I’ve never been called that name. You may be confusing me with my friend Blanche. She had the most ridiculous last name, with a whole string of x’s and z’s in it. You couldn’t pronounce it at all. It came with that horrid little man she married, and I always thought she should have divorced him because of it. I like a good short name, like ‘Smith’.”
“Agent Z9,” the voice went on. “Please give a report on the last 100,000 years of human history, and your recommendations.”
“Poor Blanche died years ago,” Edna said. “Do you know, I remember when you could buy a ticket to the movies for 25 cents? I think Roosevelt was president then, although I don’t remember if it was Teddy or Franklin. I was quite the dancer in those days -- I don’t suppose you remember the Black Bottom? My mother said it was too risque, but I was a wild girl and I used to hike my skirts up and -- well, now you’ve got me telling naughty stories,” she said, giggling.
“Is this planet worth colonizing, Agent Z9?” the tinny voice said.
“Do you know, I’ve often wondered why my acquaintances on the TV don’t stop in for a visit,” Edna said. “I’ve invited them many times, but they haven’t taken my offer yet. There’s a nice young doctor named Brad, or Brent, or something like that, he has the most stunning blue eyes, and I’m sure he could cure this ringing I have in my ears, but so far he’s been too busy chatting up blonde secretaries and I haven’t been able to get his attention.”
“We won’t be visiting this quadrant of the universe for another hundred million years,” the voice said. “Do you have anything to add to your report?”
“I do try to watch my diet, of course,” Edna said. “I used to like sweets, but now it’s nothing but sugar-free this and low-fat that for me. My daughter means well, but she has no appreciation for a couple of slices of chocolate cake, or a pudding with whipped cream on top.”
“Very well,” the voice said. “We will take this planet off our list of places to colonize. This will be our last transmission for another million years. Goodbye, Agent Z9.”
“Oh my, so soon?” Edna said. “Well, it was nice chatting with you. Call again sometime.”
The TV screen flickered, the green light disappeared, and the screen resolved itself into a game show, which Edna happily began watching.
In a few minutes Larry stirred, then sat up.
“I had the strangest dream,” he said. “It was as if my home planet was trying to contact me. You didn’t hear a transmission where they were calling, ‘Agent Z9 Double Six Click (followed by a few glottal stops)’, did you? That’s my official title.”
“What’s that, dear?” Edna said. She was trying to remember the name of that nice host on “Family Feud” years ago, the one who was so friendly with all the contestants, especially the young female ones.
“Richard Dawson!” Edna said.
“What?” Larry said.
“Richard Dawson was the host on ‘Family Feud’. Now, what was it you wanted to know?”
“Never mind,” Larry said. “It was probably just a dream.”
“I always say there’s nothing wrong with dreaming,” Edna remarked. “It takes the edge off reality.”
COPYRIGHT JOHN MCDONNELL, 2010. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.