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The aliens were hard to take seriously. They looked like a child’s idea of a monster; a cartoonish fantasy of what ugly is supposed to look like; a Disney version of a party balloon. First of all, they were brightly colored with stripped heads and polka dotted bodies And they waddled like penguins on tiny feet. It was hard not to laugh but unwise to do so. Everything about them was funny—their droopy eyestalks and their honking voices that sounded more like a car honking traffic jam than an intelligible language.
But to pass them off as some sort of cosmic joke would be a great mistake. First of all they were highly intelligent. Far more intelligent than us. They had solved inter-stellar travel for one thing. And second of all they had weapons far more advanced than anything we could even imagine. They were at least a century or two ahead of us in that department. And thirdly, they were extremely thin skinned and short tempered. If they thought that they were being laughed at, mocked or made fun of, out would come their weapon and you and your smirking face would be reduced to a pile of clothing on the floor. Your body returned to its constituent atoms with a hilarious, comic pop.
The connection between cosmic and comic was not lost on the human population. The whole invasion thing should have been fodder for late night comics or endless skits on Saturday Night Live except for the fact that it had reduced the number of comics to a frightened few. It was an awkward situation for our species. Finding humor in the most dire situations had always been our one saving grace. Robbed of making fun of our overlords was as good as surrender. Still, the comic possibilities were too tempting to ignore. The price for a joke might be death, but humanity rose to the occasion. We lost thousands of comedians. They were martyrs to humor, a source of pride and frustration to us all. Make a joke about their ridiculous appearance, their funny shape, their outlandish language and you would vanish completely.
After a few years the human race was reduced to a grouchy and short tempered bunch. Without humor we languished in a limbo of discontent. Any mention of the aliens had to be scrubbed clean, parsed and analyzed for any humorous content. Eventually photos of our leaders standing next to these invading piñatas were accepted as normal. People were afraid to laugh at anything for fear their laughter would be misconstrued. Laughter became a private, almost secret affair. Robbed of our greatest weapon for coping, our sense of humor, the subjugation of humanity was complete.
micheledutcher - That's what SHE said! Is it cold enough for ya? A priest a rabbi and a penguin walk into a bar. Orange you glad I didn't say banana? Resist!
dandrew72 - Amazing story. The only thing I didn't like about it was that I didn't write it first :) Really, really great job!!!!!
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