The Aliens Are Here

Jerry Layton

© Copyright 2004 by Jerry Layton


Cartoon of two aliens.

In many Class B science-fiction movies, some harried person races across the screen screaming, “ The aliens are coming; the aliens are coming.”

Well, my fellow earthlings, I am here to tell you that the aliens are not only coming, they are here, and they have been here for a long, long time.

No, don’t go around looking for eight-foot, green, scaly, bug-eyed creatures, and don’t expect any strange behavior from your neighbors (or at least no stranger than usual.)

The aliens are not pod clones as in “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” As a matter of fact, don’t expect to see any overt signs, because the aliens have decided to cleverly and insidiously hide themselves until they are ready to strike.

But take my word for it, my friends; they are here…all around us: on every street, in every home, shop and factory; in every country on this imperiled world of ours.

Forget all about nuclear bombs and biological weapons. We are in far more danger from alien-induced mishaps that have killed and maimed more people than all wars put together.

You see, people, these aliens reside in…gasp…in machines…in all of the ordinary, everyday machines that chug, ping, puff, chatter, whine and whirr and, even more frequently, clog, jam, stutter, revolt and die.

And that is the crux of the alien conspiracy, to create in us a slavish, mindless dependence on them, then to turn on us, destroy us and take over the world. Ha, ha!

How else can we explain the millions of accidents (?), injuries and deaths that have taken place in the presence of machinery?

Oh…oh, excuse me. I know I’m being paranoid, but I have reason to be.

I am a mechanical geek. I am terrified of machines, and I can’t tell you the number of times I have been shocked, stunned, immobilized, chagrined and humiliated by these demonic devices.

And I am not alone.

It all began eons ago when God (or was it Gog) placed on this Earth the first human being.. On that day, in a far-flung galaxy, some superior being said, “They are such an inferior species, they should be easy to conquer. We will send out advance units, disguise them as machines and soften up the human race in preparation for the final conquest. It won’t take long, a few thousand years…a pittance in the grand scheme of things, and, in the meantime, we can have a ball watching those poor idiots trying to figure out what is happening.”

And so it began, with the first caveman, who tried to use the simplest machine, a lever, to move a particularly heavy rock in his field, just to have it roll in the wrong direction and crush him.

It was there in the town of Jericho, where the city fathers used the latest technology to construct walls designed to stand forever, only to have them come tumbling down at the blast of a single trumpet.

Or it was at Pisa, where an architect planned a magnificent tower to reach to the sun, only to have it inexplicably lean to the side at an alarming angle.

Surely, there must have been some alien smirking on that site on that day.

But it is at this time, today, when machines have proliferated so much, that the magnitude of the problem can be seen.

They are out there every day, and they are working against us.

There are sometimes major insults, such as when an airplane engine quits or a microscopically inspected rocket explodes, causing massive loss of life.

But these are isolated, singular incidents. It is the daily, common happenings that are far more catastrophic.

Take the light bulb, for instance. You are about to settle down to read that great new novel you have heard so much about. You turn on the lamp, There is a blinding flash, then the world is plunged into darkness. As you fumble around for a replacement, the aliens wreak collateral damage by having you bump into a door, stub your toe and stumble over a discarded shoe, breaking several bones in the process.

Or the automobile. You are on your way to work, but it is not an ordinary day. You are late, and you need your motor to respond instantly.

So what happens? It doesn’t work at all; it’s dead. Some besotted alien has sucked the last bit of juice out of your battery. And somewhere, deep in the bowels of that great machine, the boys are having a grand old time at your expense.

Or the television set. You are in the middle of your favorite football game; it is a critical moment. All your team needs is a field goal to-

Suddenly, there is a major power failure, blanking the screen and leading you to curse the power company, the tv manufacturer, the network, God, and anyone else you can think of.

But these are just minor appliances, small change in the world of alien mind games,

It is when the machines become bigger-ticketed and more complex that the true malevolence can be seen.

Among my other talents, I am a singer and a songwriter. As such, I rely heavily on my karaoke machine and my computer to prepare materal for my performances. The karaoke has a key changer, a godsend, since much of the original material is not in my key. Throughout long years of use, the key changer has performed admirably and is still in good shape.

But once the key has been changed, it is necessary to tape record this material, so it can be used.

The machine (there’s that word again) has two tape decks, only one of which can be used for recording. And which one should choose to break down at a critical juncture? You got it!!!

One of the buttons has broken off and cannot be repaired. The only answer is to buy an expensive new machine.

I use a computer program to compose and arrange music. As a musical novice, it takes me forever to get the notes and the instruments together. When, at last, the work is done, the computer has a built-in CD burner, so I can record my work, (if the aliens allow me to.)

Under normal circumstances, it works beautifully. But recently, when I was recording 40 separate pieces for a revue I was producing, the machine quit, stalled and would not accept a single note.

Just another agonizing example of alien discord. But it was one recent incident that brought on this current tirade and led to the certitude that there were evil forces at work against us. It was my first encounter with…musical sting…a computer virus or a worm.

Just the other day, my computer went crazy. Images froze on the screen and refused to be canceled. Uncalled-for web pages and ads began to pop up all over the screen. There was a dire warning that a “parasite” was lurking in my machine and gobbling up any URL’s I typed. I could not get into the internet. Programs multiplied on my computer like cancer cells.

And the virus didn’t confine its depredations to online programs. It affected non-internet programs as well, changing them so rapidly that nothing stayed on the screen long enough for me to work on it.

I can see the alien being, growing, morphing, revealing its true form. I see it spreading its tentacles into every corner of every computer in the world, like the monsters in the classic horror films.

Since I am in the midst of several important projects, my frustration is immense. I am depressed, and, were I not so afraid of dying,I would commit suicide.

I have no doubt about it. This is it. Armageddon is here…the final moment. A few more years of these attacks will drive us all so crazy we will self-destruct.

What can we do? How can we prevent it? Is there hope?

Yes, if we start now to realize the danger that surrounds us and act immediately to stop it.

We must turn against the machines, repudiate them completely. Be wary of even the simplest of machines. Remember the guy with the rock.

We must go back to a more basic, non-mechanical age.

Make this your watchword, “There is no machine you can trust.” When even an electric razor can cut you, what can you trust?

So do it now. Act at once. Don’t falter! Don’t be tempted; don’t be seduced. Do that and maybe…maybe… there is hope. 

Oh, I'd better stop writing now. It's not safe to write about these things. My refrigerator is watching me. My computer screen is glowing eerily. My. . . . . . .

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