Greetings, Council members, members of the Junior Council, and Franky, the transmissions operator. I hope this transmission finds you all in a state of gelatinous comfort.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my secret alien observations about humans with you today. I understand the consequence of delivering insubstantial information will result in my being sent to Space Prison for the commencement of my shoplifting sentence regarding which I wholeheartedly maintain my innocence.
EARTH…. It’s blue, green, round, and chaotic. There are rocks and plants, and oceans, and kangaroos. It is a place where many strange and interesting things happen. There are a lot of creatures co-existing, with some creatures trying a lot harder than others. The human species in particular encapsulates a broad spectrum of different cultures, values, and personalities. A single human may feel the angry, the happy, and the sad emotions all within the same earth day. In fact, they are subject to so many feelings and thoughts it is no wonder they have trouble living in harmony with one another. They’re often not even in harmony with themselves.
I can now say with some authority that it’s not easy being a human. It’s not.
Council members, it’s tricky business.
First of all there is a lot, and I mean A LOT, of shit you need to stay on top of.
You start by learning how to walk, talk, count, spell, and color pictures; then you have to remember to say please and thank-you, and share things, and to never get so excited about a gift that you forget to read the card first. Then, around 5 years old, just when you’re starting to feel all nice and comfortable being a human, they tell you you’re going to die someday, which takes some getting used to. So now you’re wondering what happens when you die, and if God is real, and if ghosts are real, and if God/ghosts can see you when you’re going to the bathroom. Then you have to go to school and do homework every single night, and juggle relationships of all kinds, and figure out which interactions work with what humans, which is extremely time consuming since each human is different. Next you have to pick a thing to do, and then do that thing every day except Saturdays and Sundays, and this is how you get the money. Money is neither good nor bad, but you need it to live, and it takes a long time before you don’t have to worry about never having enough of it. You have to prepare food 3 times a day but it can’t just be donuts every time. You have to bathe consistently, try not to break any laws or hurt anybody’s feelings, maintain a general sense of what’s going on in the world, and return phone calls, emails, and texts in a timely manner all while keeping a watchful eye out for murderers, poisonous spiders, harmful bacteria, identity theft, and quicksand.
It is a tall order, Council members. The human has a lot to navigate. Except when they are very small and new to the world.
When humans are babies their brains are squishy and undeveloped, so they are usually pretty happy creatures. Their elders care for them and sing them songs and give them toys. They do not have to think about global warming, or politics, or solid foods. They are innocent and worry-free.
They have no idea that their days of sponge baths and storytime are numbered. Council members, if one of those innocent, clueless babyhumans came to me and said, “L, would you please condense all the information you’ve learned since your first day on earth 30 years ago into an itemized list and then tell it to me right now so I can bypass the pitfalls of growing up,” I’d pause for a moment of worldly reflection, stare off into the horizon, and then I’d be like, “OK, babyhuman, here’s what you need to know:
First, be as friendly to people as you can find it in your heart to possibly be. Be nice to animals, and your babysitter and your teachers. Don’t waste your time on Happy Meal toys because you will never, never collect them all. It’s not even worth getting your hopes up so just don’t.
Once you reach physical maturity, you are basically responsible for your own well being. In any given situation, all you can do is act according to what you think is right. Don’t sweat it too much if you’re wrong! Be honest with yourself about who you are, and know that you’ll only ever be as awesome as you will allow yourself to be. Achieve small goals to build confidence! Also to build confidence: act like whatever weird thing you just said or did was a calculated move on your part and you knew exactly what you were doing when you did it. No one will know the truth.
You’re entitled to your feelings no matter what, and for the most part you don’t owe anybody any explanations. Unless you do, in which case you’ll know because your heart will hurt slightly once in a while until you deal with it. Don’t feel pressure to talk if there’s nothing to say. Don’t sensor your own enthusiasm because you think it isn’t cool because enthusiasm is actually very cool and is also super contagious.
Be persistent when something means a lot to you. Don’t back down from worthy challenges. Be as discerning about how you spend your time as possible. Find the level of adventure that works for you. Realize that good times are measured in quality not quantity, and it’s totally acceptable to spend most of your earth weekends at home. Don’t worry too much about what the other humans are up to. Remember they’re not just good or bad; they’re as complicated, flawed, and vulnerable to quicksand as you are.
When you’ve thought about things long enough, decide what’s important to you. Have perspective. Have hope for humanity. And above all, babyhuman, love yourself and trust yourself.”
To be clear this is a hypothetical situation… a real babyhuman would never ask these questions, because babies can’t ask any questions because they can’t talk.
Council, there was no wise, adorable 30-year old alien woman to teach me these things. I had to learn them for myself, from the time of my babyhuman disguise to the time of right now. As the secrets of how to be a human have finally begun to reveal themselves to me, I would like nothing more then to remain on Planet Earth to further my research into the next decade. There is so much more ground to cover, Your Highnesses, I am just getting started. I will face broader challenges, explore new territories, and gather all the information I can— and I will claim it all in the name of the Council of Interdimensional Species Activity, which is you fine people.
One last thing. Though they are strange and fickle creatures, the humans are capable of amazing things, especially when they work together. Their civilizations appear to be built on their species’ collective knowledge: they invented fire, then bricks, then brick oven pizza, then all-you-can-eat brick oven pizza with unlimited toppings. Now they have iPads. Soon, they will have robot maids. They will not stop in their quest for discovery and invention; they are getting smarter and multiplying all the time. If I may say so, Council members, I believe it is in the best interest of this Council, and the Local Cluster at large, for me to continue my surveillance.
If there are no questions I will leave you to your thoughts. Thank you again for your attention. I anxiously await your decision. You guys are awesome. The best-looking Intergalactic Council I’ve ever seen, OK? Seriously. OK I’ll let you go. Not guilty. Signing off now. Transmission complete.
L is a space alien conducting research on human behavior for an organization of highly secretive intergalactic watchdogs while trying to be cool about things and blend in with her surroundings. On Earth she greatly enjoys rollercoasters and tiny fried foods, but greatly dislikes humidity and overdraft fees. She has never committed any crimes of any kind.
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