JJ makes Alien Contact.
After decades of staring into space like a gormless muppet and wondering "what's going on up there? Can we contact aliens?" I finally decided to pick myself up out of the gutter and find out damn it!
When it comes to geeky gadgetry I'm one of the most geekly people I know (I know at least five people in Brussels), notwithstanding that most of said gadgetry is foisted onto me by my loving employer and politely overlooking the GPS incident with The Protagonist, it makes perfect sense. On top of that I have a remarkable ability to say a couple of badly pronounced words in a huge variety of languages. Once I'd thought it through the only question that remained unanswered was "why the custard didn't you think of that before? piehead!"
So I gathered up all the equipment; old mobile phone, four pda's, gps unit, half a dozen wire coat hangers (staple of any DIY project), string, silver spray paint, glitter, 17 metres of kitchen foil, silver platform shoes, oversized goldfish bowl (in case I have to travel), empty yoghurt pot, 24 cans of Maes beer, large bag of potato crisps.
It didn't take long to strip down the pda's and hook them up to the phone and gps with the coat hangers, so I moved the assembly onto the balcone while I got ready. I wasn't really sure about the platform shoes but it was too late to start taking risks, I put them on with the golfish bowl and wrapped myself in foil and proceeded to spray and glitter. There was some stuff left, string and the yoghurt pot but that's DIY! I can just squirrel them away for the next project.
Finally, at around 7pm I was ready. A slight hassle dragging the bean-bag onto the balcone without damaging my spacesuit, but I managed it. I was just sitting there for a while watching the punters outside the Portuguese bar. That Spanish opera singing bloke was there again, bloody racket, I waved but he just looked at me and sat back down with his mates.
I must have dozed off, when I woke up the pda screens were going mad with static but there were some shapes in the background, I couldn't believe my luck! Normally this only happens in Bollywood, then I remembered what the string and yoghurt pot was for. After a dash to the kitchen I attached the yoghurt pot with string to the mobile 'phone and planted it against firmly against my ear. I remember thinking I was glad I'd washed and dried the pot thoroughly, but if I hadn't it would have been a great comedy moment for my blog (yoghurt in ear), it's a shame and a surprise that didn't happen.
Then was the moment which would change my life forever, I heard a voice, it was crackly and distant sounding so I figured this had to be a Voice From Space:
vfs : ###n #### ####op ### re## #### ####### e#####
JJ : Hello, JJ speaking
vfs : ###n y### ####op ### re## ###r sod#### e####!
JJ : hang on I'll move about a bit, it's a really bad signal
vfs : ##en y### ###top ### re## ###r sodd### e#ail!
JJ : wait I'll just go over here a bit
Then it all became scrambled again but I thought the last word was email. When I opened my laptop I had an email from vfs it read "open your laptop and read your sodding email!" I conveniently overlooked the fact that his email address was "vfs" and he'd sent the same message on email that he was trying to speak on the phone and it was in English, it was too early in the morning to think about continuity errors, but maybe I could get some answers from vfs;
JJ (by email) : Oh shit! I thought you were from outer space
vfs : I am
JJ : then how come you're emailing me? In english?
vfs : Because we have email on our planet dimwit and I've been on a TEFL course
JJ : No way! they don't teach words like "dimwit" on TEFL
vfs : have you ever been on a TEFL course?
JJ : No
vfs : then shut the fuck up
JJ : steady on there space man, there's no need to be uncivil
vfs : I'm not, it just seems like that because you don't pick up nuances of expression in email
JJ : good point, my mistake
vfs : what do mean 'space man'? have you never seen Planet of the Apes?
JJ : errrmmm, you're a monkey?
vfs : I'm not a monkey, I'm an Ape, you ignorant stinking human
JJ : you stole that line from the film, why are you so hostile?
vfs : it's all explained in the film, evil humans, good apes, monkeys in-between. Our goal is to build a spaceship and get over there to wipe your planet out before you can spread your evil into the cosmos
JJ : How long will that take?
vfs : Probably a while, but we've got some flying machines up off the ground now
JJ : Flying machines? we did that decades ago, have you visited a nearby moon or anything like that?
vfs : No, have you?
JJ : We did that ages ago, we're going for a planet next and then, who knows we might head in your direction.
vfs : Shit. If you're so smart how come your communications technology is so lousy?
JJ : I'm talking to you aren't I?
vfs : Good point, errrmm, what are your views on intergalactic relations?
JJ : Going by local history I'd say say we're likely to kill most of you and steal anything valuable we can find
vfs : well, I suppose you are quite evil after all
JJ : Yep, and we're determined to fly into space
vfs : Shit, our tv always shows aliens as evil invading nasties but I didn't really believe it
JJ : Well you might like to mull it over for a bit, in the meantime I'm going flood your email with junk just so you get an idea of the things we can do
vfs: evil stinking human!
JJ : stoopid monkey!
That was it, vfs deleted his email account, a crowd of angry villagers threw my radio into a ravine and accused me of witchcraft. I've lost count of how many times I've been pursued by an angry mob and accused of heresy, it's odd because Etterbeek is quite nice during the day.
Anyway, that's one less thing to do before I die. Although making alien contact wasn't actually on my list, that's only because I couln't be bothered to finish writing the list.