Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Neighbor Riley Talks to Outer Space

At first glance, my friend Riley seems normal. He lives in a normal neighborhood. His wife and two children seem normal enough. But if you spend more than fifteen minutes with him, you would notice something wasn't quite right.

One day I asked to borrow his weedeater. He grimaced so strongly I reached for my cell phone to call 911. But after a pause, though his grimace never quite left, he said, "Look, my weedeater isn't really a weedeater."

"But I saw you using it to eat weeds last week."

"That was a cover."

"Cover for what?"

"Can I trust you?" His eyes darted to his garage and back at me.  

"I'm pretty sure I can handle a basic weedeater."

"That's what I'm telling you." He leaned closer to me and raised a finger to make his point. He whispered, "My weedeater is more than what it seems. Can I trust you to not say anything to anyone?"

"About your weedeater?"

"Listen, my weedeater is really an antenna so I can talk to the space station."

"An antenna?"

"Right. I hook it up to my tool box."

"You're kidding."

"No, really. I'm dead serious." He poked me in the gut with his finger.

"I think there are only Russians up there now," I said.

"Trotski bulloski monotrilutski."

"What's that?"


"That was Russian?"

"Don't tell anyone."

"Does this mean I can't use your weedeater?"

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