Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Starship Underpants - Episode Five

A STORY FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART

We could see right ahead the unidentified flying object. It was another space ship. So it now became an identified flying object, which is a logical difference between an un-identified flying object and an identified one. Once when I was in London, standing next to a tall building, I looked up and there was an un-identified flying object coming towards me. By the time I identified it I was squashed down by a grand piano. Let that be a lesson to all musicians out there. What a discordant note it was for me that day. Can you imagine what it's like being hit by a grand piano? It could have been worse I suppose. Thankfully the pianist wasn't there too and the fat lady singing opera. What a newspaper headline that would have been. Man dies under fat lady singing Rigoletto.

"La donna e mobile qual piuma al vento,
muta d'accento e di pensiero.
Sempre un amabile leggiadro viso,
in pianto o in riso, e menzognero.
La donna e mobil qual piuma al vento,
muta d'acc...ento e di pensier, e di pensier,
e... e di pensier."
 
Which roughly translated means, "woman is fickle, she changes her thoughts, words and voice, like a feather in the wind. Until she falls on you like a tonne of bricks and flattens you into a pulp!"

Anyway ... back to the Starship Underpants.

"Open communications channels," said our Captain touching his left nipple intercom, "all known languages! All frequencies. All musical styles ... except Opera!"

At this the communication system said:

"Hello out there! ... Bonjour là-bas! ... Hallo da draußen! ... Ciao là fuori! ... Hola por ahí! ..."

"OK ... make it English only," interrupted the Captain, "I have seen this on TV. Whenever spaceships meet aliens from other planets on TV and the movies the aliens always speak perfect English. So let's communicate with this spaceship in English. If they don't understand we'll speak very slowly and very loud. That often solves the problem.

"I remember going on holiday abroad often enough as a child with my parents. It was full of foreign people who did not speak English. We spoke slowly and loud. In time things changed. Now, wherever you go on Planet Earth you will find people speaking in perfect English better than the English themselves. Except in Glasgow ... I still can't understand them!"

"I went to Glasgow once," said Number One, our Commander. 

There followed a period of silence whilst we all waited and looked at Number One.

"And?" asked the Captain, "what happened then?"

"Oh ... nothing," said Number One, "I remember buying a pint of milk there!"

"I spilled a glass of milk once, Cap'ain!" said Spanner our engineer from Glasgow, "what a dour and sombre day that was. Dismal and gloomy it was I tell ye. For two weeks we had tea with no milk in it. Canne imagine that? A family of six and a cat with no milk for a fortnight? 

"We were poor Cap'ain. Very poor indeed. The whole of Glasgow was. So poor even the rain would fall elsewhere. On the rare occasions we had a rainbow it was in black and white. My father used to sell furniture for a living. Our own. At school, I was so poor I could not even pay attention. My teacher wrote in my School Report 'Spanner will go down in History ... And Maths, and Science, and Geography ' and everything else I shouldn't wonder. It's a miracle I work here as an engineer. I only came on board when the spaceship was in Glasgow to visit the toilet. Before I knew it  they made me  the engineer here because I managed to un-block the toilet!"

"Sir, may I remind you that there is an un-identified UFO up ahead," reminded Calculus, our robotic engineer. 

"Indeed there is," said the Captain, "hail him on all frequencies in English only. Speak loud and very slow!"

"Anyone out there speak English?" the communications system blared out very slowly and loud.

"On screen ... magnify ..." said the Captain, "let's see who we are talking to".

On the screen ahead of us we could see the pilot, or captain, of the other space ship. It was a banana.

"What's going on here," said the Captain, "we've just left a bunch of onions in the Onion Nebula and now we have a bunch of bananas. Good thing we're not in the Milky Way ..."

 "I am Musa," interrupted the banana. (This is a joke for intellectuals). "Who are you?"

"Ivor Spatial-Anomaly here," replied our Captain.

"Does it hurt?" asked the banana.

"Only when I sit down!" replied the Captain.

"I have a jar of ointment you can put on it!" suggested the banana.

"Won't putting a jar on it make it more painful?" asked the Captain.

There followed a short period of awkward silence. It was obvious that the banana was getting somewhat irritable.

"You don't look like a human!" our Captain remarked.

"Why should I be?" replied Musa, "you humans are arrogant. I have seen your sci-fi programs on TV. Whenever you meet other species on TV they always look like humans. Sure, you might alter their features a little to make them slightly different, but basically they are always human in nature. And they always speak in perfect English. That's your human arrogance to the fore. What is wrong with me looking like a banana? I am a banana and proud of it. And I speak in banana language. If I talked to you in banana you would slip at the first words".

"I did not meant any offence by it," stuttered the Captain, "only ... we've just met some onions in the Onion Nebula. And now we meet you ..."

"And because I am a banana you think I am bent? Is that it?" asked Musa, "I am as honest as the next man ... eh ... next banana. Which happens to be bent too. We are not all that slippery, you know. Nor are we always green".

"I am sorry, I meant nothing by it," apologised the Captain as he touched his left nipple to cut the sound out. Then he asked Number One, "you take over ... and be more diplomatic! Don't upset him. You know how slippery bananas can be. Remember ... be very diplomatic!"

Number One touched his left nipple and said, "Mr Musa ... is it true you attract fruit flies?"

"What kind of a stupid question is that?" said Musa angrily, "are you insinuating we don't wash?"

"Do you?" asked Number One, "wash that is? As well as attract fruit flies?"

The Captain touched his left nipple several times to cut out the conversation and then said, "I told you to be diplomatic, Number One. Ask him something sensible!"

Number One opened the communication channel and asked, "Mr Musa ... why is it you always go together as a bunch? Is it because there's safety in numbers, or are you attracted to one another? Or is it you're too afraid to walk alone?"

There must have been a delay in communication transmission because Musa did not hear the last question.

Instead he said, "Do you realise that fruit flies only live for 24 hours and then they die. They wake up in the morning, brush their teeth, and by night time they are dead. Hardly worth buying a tube of toothpaste is it? Think about that for a moment arrogant humans. And be grateful every morning for having survived another day! You go around making grandiose plans about this and that as if you ruled the Universe. Well, you don't! In fact you don't rule anything. And anyone of your 24 hours day could be your last day. Just like the fruit fly. So rejoice and be glad in it!"

There followed another period of short silence. The sort of silence when a revealed truth suddenly hits human consciousness, perhaps not for the first time, yet it has an everlasting impact as if it were finally understood for the first time ever.

Can you imagine that? Humanity learning a valuable lesson from a banana? If you can then your brain is as badly wired up as mine is.

Wake up people! Bananas don't talk. So they can hardly teach you or anyone else a lesson. This is just an amusing fictional story! Don't take it too seriously.

"Would you like to ask us some questions?" said Number One, "so we can learn from each other. We are a scientific ship of discovery and we're out here in space to learn from other life forms!"

"Well ... I know you are humans," said Musa, "your stupidity can vouch for that. I have met some of you in the past and they tried to eat me. But this creature here ... he looks different. What is he?"

"He is Calculus," said Number One, "he is made to look like a human but he is essentially a robot. A machine which has been programmed to help us with his great knowledge."

At this point Doctor Penny C Lynn entered the bridge.

"And this other creature," asked Musa, "it looks different too. Looks human. Is it a machine also?"

"No ... she is human all right," explained Number One, "she is the female of the species."

Musa looked at Dr Lynn for a while and said, "I don't understand what you mean by female. Bananas do not have male and female. Explain yourself."

"She is different from me and the rest of men," said Number One, "females of the human species are different from males. Both physically and in other ways too."

"Explain more ..." said Musa, "how different?"

Number One stopped for a while to think and then hesitated, "Let me explain ... when a female like her enters the bridge of the spaceship she always says, 'you're going too fast ... too close to the spaceship in front ... watch out for asteroids ... are you flying on the right side of the road?' And a lot of other chatter that distracts the man at the controls.

"Males of the human species never do that. They let whoever is at the controls be in control. Also, females of the species are bad at reading maps and giving directions. That's why we have invented GPS navigation systems".

At this, Doctor Penny understandably got very upset. She slapped Number One in the face and said, "Look at you. You're talking to a banana you arrogant fool! And giving him the impression that we women are quick tempered and easily angered!" and she stormed out of the bridge.

"Cut ... cut ... cut ..." shouted the Captain pressing his left nipple several times to stop all communication transmissions, "helmsman ... speed ahead quickly ... turn left ... or right ... or any direction ... warp speed whatever ... get us out of here ... fast!"

And so ended another episode in the voyages of the Starship Underpants with us having learnt at least one thing from our encounter with Mr Musa.

Unlike the fruit fly, we have been gifted with more than one day of life. We should be thankful for it ... daily!

TO BE CONTINUED ... EVENTUALLY
(No slips intended or foreseen)  

20 comments:

  1. Thankful for it daily... and thankful for you and your creativity! I always know I can expect giggles when I read your installments here!!

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    1. It's good to giggle, Terri. Also to learn a good lesson from a banana.

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. I thought, seeing the illustration, that this story would have appeal. And it certainly does: a bunch of it. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you, Brian. It was indeed a slippery subject. I tried to introduce the sobering thought that we need to be grateful, daily, for every day we have lived with the grace of God.

      What a lesson from a banana.

      God bless you. Thank you for your support.

      Delete
  3. Did the bananas have to "split"🍌
    You are amazing Victor.
    You have proven that over and over again~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind and generous comment, Jan. I am grateful.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  4. Thankful for this day, and every day I get to read one of your humorous stories, Victor. The talking banana was just too funny!
    Blessings!

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    1. It's good to learn to be thankful from a banana, Martha. Whatever next?

      God bless you and yours.

      Delete
  5. Glad I'm not a fruit fly and live for only 24hrs. I will remember tomorrow about this post when I have my daily banana with breakfast. Wonder what kind of advice it will give me. :)
    Thank you Victor.

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    1. Every now and then I try to make a serious point in my stories, Bill. So glad you enjoyed this one, and indeed a daily banana. I love bananas.

      God bless, my friend.

      Delete
  6. Well done Victor and thank you.

    All the best Jan

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  7. You're so right .. any of our 24 hours could well be our last. Rejoice and be glad in it, indeed!

    PS - Sorry to admit, I don't 'get' the musa reference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Musa is the genus to which the banana plant belongs - i.e. family of plant.

      Indeed, Mevely, we should rejoice daily for yet another day to be thankful for.

      God bless you daily.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for explaining, Victor … every day's a school day!

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    3. It's a pleasure to have you visiting here, Mevely. Thanx.

      God bless you.

      Delete

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