A   L E T T E R   F R O M
T H E   E D I T O R

BY HARRY J. TIPPLE


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I'm afraid I have a confession to make. There is something I need to get off my chest. I've decided to do it now before it's too late. By late, I think you know what I mean. Think of trips to church with grandma. Riding in her cream-colored 83 Malibu in charge of her purse and the bars of Land O'Lakes butter inside. How everyone in the dark Lutheran church would hush as she mounted the organ stairs, eyes held shut for another blind xylophone recital. The Christian hymns and tribal dancing as she senselessly banged on the keys with the butter sticks. How the butter never seemed to go soft, even as she threw the bars at the applauding congregation before pinching her way to the gravel parking lot with hands held out like lobster claws.

As I was saying, a confession. A little something I need to get off my chest. Basically, a little green alien. Don't be surprised. This alien has been standing on my chest for the better part of the morning and I simply need to get him off. As you know, he is approximately 1.782 inches tall and made of green plastic, but I feel strongly that it is time for him to move on. Off of my chest that is. First I will have to stand, however. Lying down in crowded places and gazing is fun, like in Grand Central Station, but this is not Grand Central. This is the office reception area. Apparently I'm blocking the door.

Oh, by the way. Have you noticed a large, vaguely human silhouette outside your window? Waving from side to side in the summer evening? Supposed to let you know, pay it no mind. It is only my old friend Jack, browsing in the tree. He is studying his website design. Yes, I know, neither here nor there. But who can keep up with it all?

Usually the alien stands on top of my monitor where he does a wobbly dance as I wipe down my screen, but sometimes he requests to stand in other places, such as on the printer or my boss's shoulder when he's not looking. Let's cut to the chase. Today the alien went too far. Possibly just by existing. On my way into the building he totally blindsided me. Even Professor Booksey agrees: "wary uncalled for." Booksey is my chief advisor: a bearded sock monkey. He has small glasses that are propped on his snout but the glasses are completely horizontal and thus entirely useless. Nevertheless, he follows the deconstructive philosophy, "On the one hand, on the other," and refuses to take sides.

"Whichever hand grew first," Booksey proclaims, "That is the one that's more skillful. Therefore, invert. Spend some time on the other hand." Easy enough for him to say! Usually he resides in a plastic bag which fortunately comes with a warning: "This bad is not a yoy." Otherwise it's the cardboard lectern. This morning, however, Booksey emerged to hitch a ride to work on my hand. People were clearly thinking: "Oohh, creepy," especially when Booksey and I exchanged words. They were unnerved, I suppose, by Booskey's apparent grasping, the way he was being "handled." But despite the subway bar in his mouth, Booksey is feeling less skeptical. "Come out of your bags people," he said, evidently feeling quite full of himself. I'm trying to encourage him to use more curse words.

"No use piffering. Just call it excreta and move on." Those are the observations of my highly esteemed colleague Mr. Brick. "But one warning. The worst is when we place too much weight in what our respective Bookseys say or do. The antics of my Booksey, for instance, led me to believe that peaceful coexistence with time/space/kookla is possible. As if!!! That is it for the preliminaries. Proceed with the questionnaire unflinchingly, with both arms raised in a triumphant "X". THANKS-YOU for your time."

Ever notice how the apostrophic "you" in love songs, such as those by Air Supply, seems to refer to heroin? Alien does not like it when it's time to sing the heroin love songs. On top of all the tears, it makes him plug his plugs. Perhaps that is how I can get him off my chest, by singing heroin love songs. Booksey stays inside his bag and pretends to be neutral. He no like fluster. Plus, due to his reliance on the crayontron, he now only accepts tests answered in wax. "Please Booksey," I cannot but beseech. "What about ear wax?" I think he's coming around. He raps me on the head with his Play-Doh walking sword. I ease from the hammock before the crane lifts up. We, all of us, carry on.




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