Monday, April 30, 2012

Politically Incorrigible

     Politically Incorrigible

            What! You’re happy? Shameless man!

            How dare you defy our glorious plan?

            Happiness is Anarchy! Just Say Woe!

            When we’re all about to sink, then we’ll all know where to go!

            Now, it’s only to the serious that our methods are mysterious;

            but all those giddy lunatics are obviously daft;

            we told them all just what to think, and in reply they laughed!

            Such folly we dare not respect

            for joy is politically incorrect.


            What! You’re free? Repent that crime!

            We’ll catch you yet; you’ll do your time.

            We’ll tell you what you ought to do

            because we’ve got more sense than you.

            We’re planning for perfection; no minority we’ll shun

            with a single small exception; the minority of one.

            So let’s all crawl back to the caves!

            We’ll all be free! We’ll all be slaves!

            For even a fool can plainly see

            that liberty is not P.C.


            What! You’re living? Cease! Desist!

            What makes you think that you exist?

            And even if a creature such as you could live

            you display no feature we should forgive!

            Your diet makes your guilt official;

            your food was either alive or artificial.

            Life’s highly reprehensible; it’s full of exploitation;

            and even less defensible, it comes from copulation!

            So all in all we do suspect

            that life is politically incorrect.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tax Poem (belated)

That concludes "Titanic Vacation". Now for a "Tax Poem", a bit belated.


    Tax Poem

            Some bum accosted me on the street;

            “Spare change, nephew? I need a new hat.”

            He held his stovepipe hat out upside down;

            it was colored blue, white and red

            spangled with stripes and stars,

            battered, worn, and slightly askew.

            “Sam,” I said, for it was none other,

            “You don’t look too well. What’s wrong?”

            “You don’t want to hear my life story - ” he muttered,

            “-  that’s true - ” I agreed.

            “So let’s just say I need the dough.

            Money rules the world, you know;

            so how about it, nephew?”

            “Why do you keep calling me nephew?

            I know who my relatives are.”

            “All right then,” he grinned, “I’ll put it this way;

            there’s no use calling the cops,

            I am the cops.”

            “So what is this,” I asked, “a stickup?”

            He handed me a bill. “This is what you owe me.”

            I read the note and cried “Ouch!”

            “And remember,” he said, donning his hat,

            Filing date is April 15.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Titanic Vacation: entry 13

            Dear Diary:

            Today they raided a human garbage dump for plastics to eat. To them it’s like berry-picking. They gathered up shopping bags and wrapping foil and old computers and old TVs and old tires and tar and oil and gasoline; all delicious stuff to them. They put it all in a big pot to warm it up. Jayadu said, “This soup is so delicious it’ll eat itself!” Just then FWOOM, the soup burst into flames and burned all up. Zweedrix said, “You’re right, Ma, it did eat itself!”

            When they got back to camp at Kirby Cove, Fweebah went straight to their snack chest. “Momm!” she wailed, “where’s the coal?”

            “No snacks before dinner!”

            “But where is it? I thought we had some here!”

            “We do! ... don’t we?” Jayadu rushed over to look in their snack chest. Jayadu said, “Oh no! It’s empty!”

            Fwee-bah said,  “And look, the lock’s decoded! We’ve been raided!

            Gazzik strolled over. “Humans,” he said. “Those clever little pests cleaned us out.”

            Zweedrix said, “You mean... we’ve got no more oil?”

            Gazzik said, “Or gas, or coal.” He shrugged. “It was time for us to go anyway.” He pointed up and said, “Look! Up in the sky!”

            We looked up. There was something up there, getting closer.

            Zweedrix said, “It’s a bird!”

            Fwee-bah said, “It’s a plane!”

            Jayadu said, “It’s our ride. Come on, dears, it’s time to pack.”

            And there it was; the same Titanian Gamma-Ray Taxi saucer that brought them here, returned to pick them up. The Zeffycams packed their tent and the remains of their supplies - the human raid didn’t leave much - and bid me a fond farewell.

            We took photos of each other. I figure they could use their photo as a postage stamp, and I can use my photo for a wall poster.

            Then we exchanged souvenirs. I gave them a pile of dry seaweed, ten yards of rusty barbed wire, a dead tree and a burnt-up auto wreck; in exchange they gave me a bar of gold, a brick of silver, a fist-sized diamond with a pink panther-shaped crack in it, and a purple polka-dotted foot-wide pearl. They liked what they got, even though it was all junk; and I liked what I got, even though it was all junk to them.

            Just before they boarded the saucer, Jayadu said, “See you next year!”

            Meaning one Saturn year, 29.5 Earth years from now.

                        Yours, Sogwa

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Titanic Vacation: entry 12

            Dear Diary:

            Last night I looked thru the Zeffycam family’s telescope. That was Earth night; midday for the Titanians. Also, Gazzik calls it a small telescope, really just a toy. It’s not so small to me.

            Through their Titanic telescope I saw a galaxy; in the galaxy I saw a star; orbiting that star I saw a planet; on that planet I saw a continent; in that continent I saw a valley; in that valley I saw a meadow; in that meadow I saw a four-leaf clover -

            - and just then Zweedrix ran past. He stomped so hard it jostled the telescope. The image zipped and blurred. I tried and tried, but couldn’t even find that galaxy again, let alone that clover. But I swear I heard that clover giggle. It squeaked a tiny little:

            HEE, hee, hee-HEE, hee!

                        Yours, Sogwa

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Titanic Vacation: entry 11

            Dear Diary:

            Today we went gefilte fishing in Loch Ness. Of course gefilte aren’t exactly fish. They’re skinless, boneless, free-floating blobs, living by filter-feeding. The gefilte has limited mobility, an electric sense,  an electric defense, and coordinated electric attacks. They reproduce by fission; a tiny crumb of gefilte can grow into a big one. When Nessie, the gefilte’s natural predator, attacks, she tends to be a messy eater. Nessie leaves gefilte crumbs all over, that means a gefilte population explosion.

            Fwee-bah explained this all, in a bored voice, to doting Gazzik. It was just another dumb school project.

            As I said, gefiltes are electric, so you need rubber nets to fish for them. Jayadu caught lots of them, but Gazzik only caught a ludefisk. They made him throw it back; ludefisk taste awful; that’s their defense. Fweebah caught some twix, also useless; they’re too chewy, they get caught between your teeth and stuck to the side of your mouth, and they have no taste whatsoever.

            Mid-afternoon, Zweedrix yelled, “Mom! Dad! I got a big one! Or maybe it’s got me!

            It had him, all right; it was all over him, and starting to squeeze. It was Nessie; a giant water-worm with 8 eyes and sharp teeth. Nessie coiled around Zweedrix and said, in Nessie, “Riddle me this; why do 10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish?”

            I flew my saucer up to Nessie and landed on her forehead. “I know, I know!” I said in Nessie. (I knew that language would come in handy someday!)  “Because 10% of the fish are smarter than 90% of the fishermen!”

            Nessie squinted, winked and shook her head, but couldn’t shake me off. “You’re itchy. Would you mind flying off my head?”

            “Would you mind letting go of my friend?”


            “Besides,” I said, “my friend’s from the methane moon. He’d taste awful.”

            “Oh!” Nessie said, and unwound from Zweedrix. “Why didn’t you say so?”

            As Nessie swam off, I said to Jayadu, “Take a photo!”

            But Nessie said, “Photographs don’t work on me. They always come out looking blurry and fake. You can’t prove I exist.”

            “Why not?”

            “Because 10% of the fish are smarter than 90% of the fishermen,” Nessie said, and dove.

                        Yours, Sogwa

Monday, April 23, 2012

Titanic Vacation: entry 10

            Dear Diary:

            Today we met a Scottish ghost. He was both canny and uncanny.

            We were touring an ancient palace (well, actually, an old ruin) and I noticed a door; and the door had a sign, and the sign read “This Door Must Remain Closed At All Times”. I said, “But how can anybody get through?”

            Then the Ghost walked through. The ghost said, “Eye, me lassy”, or something like that, and then he said something I couldn’t make out at all. Jayadu explained that the ghost was speaking in something called Brogue, and she volunteered to translate for me.

            According to her, the ghost said, “Yes, young girl, by this door’s logic, none may pass through. It was canny of you to notice.”

            I replied, “It was uncanny of you to pass through anyhow!”

            According to Jayadu, the ghost said, “Why do you call me uncanny? I am a true Scotsman, and all true Scotsmen are canny.”

            I said, “All Scotsmen are canny, but all ghosts are uncanny; so which are you?”

            “Now how am I, a Scottish ghost, to be both canny and uncanny?”

            “I know how,” I said. “You’re a ghost, so you’re dead. You don’t exist.”

            The Scottish ghost was quiet awhile, then said, through Jayadu, “Yes, and I thank you for the reminder, for men need not teaching so much as reminding.”

            “You knew that you aren’t real, but you forgot?

            “It slipped my mind.”

            “But now you remember, so what’ll you do?”

            “I will do what the dead love best to do.”

            “And what is that?”

            The Scottish ghost said, “Nowt atall - 

            - and vanished.

                        Yours, Sogwa

Friday, April 20, 2012

Titanic Vacation: entries 8 and 9

            Dear Diary:
            Today the Zeffycams visited a Yeti. He was living in a cave on K2, the mountain almost as tall as Everest. When we got there we saw a sign on the cave, saying THE YETI IS IN.
            We hovered outside the Yeti’s cave, and the Yeti said;
            “Come up! I teach! One question each!”
            Zweedrix asked the Yeti, “Why is the sky black?”
            The Yeti answered, “Because the Universe is expanding.”
            Fwee-bah asked the Yeti, “When did the wind shift?”
            The Yeti answered, “When a butterfly flapped its wings.”
            Jayadu asked the Yeti, “Which came first, dawn or dusk?”
            The Yeti answered, “A circle has no beginning.”
            Gazzik asked the Yeti, “Is light a wave or a particle?”
            The Yeti answered, “That depends on how you look at it.”
            I asked the Yeti, “Is there intelligent life in the universe?”
            The Yeti answered, “How would you know?”

                        Yours, Sogwa

            Dear Diary:

            Back at camp. I’m so tired  I could sleep a week too.

                        Yours, Sogwa

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Titanic Vacation; entry 7

            Dear Diary:
            Today they were infected by an ear-worm. You know those annoying little ditties that get stuck in your head? That’s a ear-worm, and the Zeffycams got one bad.

            They picked it up from a human in a pickup truck. He was driving down the highway with his windows open and his stereo cranked to 11. He was sharing his music with the world. The Zeffycams and I were flying right overhead, cloaked, so we heard every note. His music had a heavy bass beat, going over and over like this:


            We veered away, but as soon as we flew out of sight, Zweedrix started  making that same noise, over and over again. Fwee-bah told him to stop, then Jayadu, and finally even Gazzik said quit it, and he did, but by then it was too late. Fwee-bah and Jayadu and even Gazzik had the ear-worm stuck in their heads, and they were all going RUMP-titty-titty-tum-TAH-tee, over and over, again and again and again.

            Lucky for them I was there, ‘cause I know the antidote. I had them all land at the edge of a forest. I got out of my kitty-saucer. I picked up two sticks. I walked over to a hollow log. With those sticks, and on that log, I drummed, with great authority:


            And that cured them! They repeated the antidote, once, then completely forgot both it and the ear-worm. I knew this little trick because I’ve dealt with that particular ear-worm before.

                        Yours, Sogwa

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Titanic Vacation: entries 4, 5 and 6

            Dear Diary:

            The last few days they’ve been human-watching. Cloaked, of course, so the humans couldn’t see them watching them. Invisible, they’ve watched humans at work and play. But I don’t think they understood.

            Like when I took them to a baseball game. I thought they got it, but then Fwee-bah asked me, “Why are the spectators running around in circles?” They had the players mixed up with the fans! They thought that sitting in those hard seats, eating stadium food, was the athletic event, and that running around hitting balls with sticks was goofing off.

            Later I brought them to a Jonas brothers concert. Then I took them to a mega-church service. They liked them both, but listening to them talk about it afterwards, I realized that they had those two confused also.

            Nor could they tell a prize-fight from the stock market. But they could tell a wrestling match from a pundit debate because the wrestlers were smarter and more believable.

                        Yours, Sogwa

            Dear Diary:

            The Zeffycams went back to camp to sleep six or so days. I hung around here. It’s been very quiet and relaxing, except when the humans sent the jets. But the Blue Angels got dizzy again, so they went home.

            When the Zeffycams woke up, they found out that they’d been attacked by woodpeckers. The birds pecked at all of them except Gazzik - he tastes bad to them somehow! Also Zweedrix wasn’t attacked much, but he still cried.

            I told them they need wildlife repellent; namely, the odor of humans! Zweedrix said, “Why does human smell repel wildlife?”

            I said, “Partly it’s that they smell so much - the poor dears can hardly smell at all, they can’t tell - but also it’s their smell.”

            “But what is it about humans themselves that repels wildlife?”

            “They’re humans,” I explained.

                        Yours, Sogwa

            Dear Diary:

            Today Fwee-bah and I heard a weird noise. It was like a car alarm, or a whining child, with a kind of sneeze in the middle. Gazzik called the noise an “outgribing”, but Jayadu said, “Oh, it’s just your imagination.”

            I looked, and yes there it was, a full-grown Imagination. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, and I think it was purple-spotted, bat-winged, day-glo orange feathered, trumpet-nosed, antlered, green-tongued, three-eyed, pointy-eared, moth-antenna’d, cow-hoofed, snaggle-toothed and spring-tailed, and it had a satellite dish. I was pretty sure about the satellite dish but not so sure about the antlers, so I decided to look again, closer.

            The Imagination led us on a merry chase. We followed it to a clover field, where it disappeared. Fwee-bah said we were in a 4-leaf clover field, because that’s where chasing your Imagination will take you, so of course we went 4-leaf clover hunting.

            We didn’t have any luck. I thought I saw one, but where did it go? We looked and looked, but eventually Gazzik stopped us. “It’s no use,” he said. “Only the unlucky ones ever get picked, and who wants an unlucky 4-leaf clover?”

            So we gave up, and I swear that I heard that clover giggle. It squeaked a tiny little:

            HEE, hee, hee-HEE, hee!

                        Yours, Sogwa

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Titanic Vacation; entry 3

           Dear Diary:

            First thing I did when I got up was call the police. I told them the Zeffycam’s names, that they’re here as wilderness tourists, that to them we’re the wildlife, that I’m their guide or maybe their mascot, that they’ll be here three Titan days, which is 48 Earth days, that they sleep 6 days at a time, and are up 10 days at a time, and that I’ll go back to find out more.

            Midway through the conversation someone else butted in on the line. He said he works for the federal government, but he didn’t say what his job is. He said he had a message from the city of San Francisco. The message was; shut up, they need to sleep! I promised to relay the message. He also said the President wants to talk to our “guests”. The way he said “guests” put quote-marks around the word. I promised to relay that message too.

            I rode my kitty-saucer back to Kirby Cove. The Zeffycams let up the force-field just enough to let me in; the Blue Angels still couldn’t get through. But they sure were noisy.

            First thing, Zweedrix said to me, “Mid-morning already? This globe is dizzy!

            I told the Zeffycam to please turn down the music every Earth night; it disturbs the wildlife. I also told them that they’re invited to Washington.

            Fwee-bah said, “You mean the Prez might call off those pesky Blue Angels?” I nodded, so Fwee-bah said, “Let’s go!”

            Zweedrix moaned, “Awww, not another flight?”

            Jayadu said, “It’ll be fun.

            Gazzik said, “And besides, we do have to talk to them. They have nukes.”

            So they drew up their legs and boosted into the sky. I couldn’t keep up, so Gazzik carried me in a force field. They flew far and fast.

            Soon we were out of the atmosphere on a suborbital flight. But oops, we went North, not East! It turns out that Gazzik thought I meant Washington the State, not Washington the DC. Our orbit landed us in Washington State, and we right away bounced out again, on our way to Washington the DC.

            Gazzik cloaked us, so we landed radar and light invisible. We landed right outside the White House; there I decloaked.

            I tapped on the window of the Oval Office. A big Marine looked out at me and I told him that I was there to introduce our “guests”. I put quote marks around the word.

            That got the Prez’s attention. He looked out the window, and the Titanians decloaked. Gazzik said, “You have nukes. Please don’t use them on us.”

            The Prez said, “Why would we? After all, you’re camped next to one of our cities.”

            Gazzik said, “And what’s more, we have force fields.”

            The Prez said, “Can a force field hold off a nuke?”

            Gazzik said, “Well, maybe. Let’s not argue about it, OK?”

            The Prez said, “That depends. Why are you here?”

            “We’re just visiting.”

            Some nerdy-looking science guy whispered in the Prez’s ear, and the Prez said, “You mean you’re wilderness camping. How long?”

            “Just three days.”

            More whispering, and the Prez said, “You mean forty-eight days.”

            Zweedrix interrupted, “Mostly we’ll explore the parts of Earth that you humans don’t know about. We’ll stay cloaked, we promise. You’ll hardly notice that we’re here.”

            Fwee-bah said, “Quiet, kid.”

            “Hey, why are we talking to this particular human? What’s so special about it?”

            “He’s the local alpha, dear,” Jayadu said.

            “But how do the humans choose their alphas? Compared to how we do it?”

            The Prez said, “How do you choose your alphas?”

            Fwee-bah answered that question, and she took a long time too, for she had done a school project on the subject. It turns out that Titanians choose their alphas by; 1, look-at-me yodeling, 2, a cage match, 3, a listening to young girls on the telephone ordeal, 4, a listening to Grandpa reminisce ordeal, and 5, a lying contest.

            The Prez said, “Your system is very much like our own.”

            Jayadu said, “And after your alphas are done alphaing, how do you decide just how much to punish them?”

            “Usually we don’t punish them at all.”

            Jayadu said, “Then you humans are much too lenient with your alphas. How can they ever learn right from wrong if no-one takes a firm hand?”

            Fwee-bah said, “I saw a report on the human Web. It was about throwing shoes and singing ‘na-na naa naa’ at a previous alpha.”

            “Hmph!” Jayadu said. “Well, it’s a start.”

            Zweedrix carrolled:

                        “There once was a humanoid race
                        that wanted to travel through space.
                        But the aliens said
                        ‘Do not help them! Why spread        
                        such critters all over the place?’”

            Fwee-bah nudged Zweedrix and said, “Shut up, kid!”

            Jayadu scolded, “Honey, don’t tease the wildlife!”

            But Zweedrix replied:

                        “The voice from the UFO cried,
                        ‘To the smartest we’ll give a free ride!’
                        Several men volunteered
                        but the ship disappeared
                        with a whale and two dolphins inside!”

            Jayadu said, “All right, youngster, that does it!” She dragged him off by pinching him on the saucer, all the time Zweedrix saying “ow, ow, ow, quit it Mom.”

            While Jayadu scolded Zweedrix, Gazzik said, “I apologize, the lad’s only seven years old.”

            The Prez said, “You mean, seven Saturn years?” The science nerd whispered to him, and he said, “That’s 207 Earth years.” But the Prez didn’t seem to mind Zweedrix much. It’s as if he’s used to being heckled by brats from another world.

            When Zweedrix got back from his scolding, Fwee-bah was talking about the human voice. She was amazed. She said, “You have wind-instrument voices. You have to interfere with your breathing just to talk!”

            Zweedrix marveled, “Wow! You must really like to talk!” Fwee-bah and Zweedrix made noises like humpback whales. They squeaked, squonked and arooed.

            The Prez said, “I see you have lots of questions. You might find some answers on the human Web. I notice that the young lady has already logged on.”

            Gazzik said, “I noticed that too! Didn’t I tell you, no hyperspace phone?”

            Fwee-bah said, “They have nothing hyperspatial, Dad! It’s all native! Subluminal! Electronic!

            Gazzik said, “And what were you looking for on the human Web?”

            Fwee-bah said, “I’m researching human mating displays.”


            “It’s for a school project, Dad! I’m documenting inaccuracy in human courtship rituals!”

            “What does that mean, young lady?”

            “Well, for instance, take this mating call.” Then Fwee-bah sang a song from FM radio:

            “ ‘My love is warmer than the warmest sunshine, softer than a sigh, my love is deeper than the deepest ocean, wider than the sky, my love is brighter than the brightest star that shines every night above, and there is nothing in this world that can ever change my love.’ ”

            Then Fwee-bah said, “Counting the word ‘and’, that’s seven lies in a row!”

            There was a moment of silence.

            Then the Prez said, “You are raising a realist.”

            Gazzik said, “So it seems.”

            “Congratulations. And she does her homework, too. Is this a field trip?”

            “It’s a wilderness vacation, but Fwee-bah has homework over the recess.”

            The Prez said, “You know the wilderness camping rules.”

            Gazzik said, “Yes. No littering, no nukes, no FTL, no time-travel, and don’t interfere with the wildlife.”

            The Prez said, “And don’t take away any... pets.”

            Zweedrix whined, “Da-ad!”

            Fwee-bah said, “Quiet, kid!”

            “But Daddy promised!

            Quiet, kid!”

            “No pets,” Jayadu said. “It’s not humane.”


            Jayadu said, “They aren’t tame creatures, dear - ”

            Fwee-bah interrupted, “And they haven’t had their shots!”

            Jayadu said, “ - they’re wild animals, dear -”

            Fwee-bah interrupted, “Wildlife with nukes!

            “- and they deserve to remain in their natural habitat.”

            “Awww, Mom...”

            “No pet-taking,” said Gazzik. “Agreed.”

            Then the Prez said (in Titanian! But with an American accent);

            “Then be welcome. But remember, it’s our world.”

            Our’ world. Intrinsic. We’re kind of attached to it.

                        Yours, Sogwa

Monday, April 16, 2012

Titanic Vacation: entries 1 and 2

          Today I start blogging "Titanic Vacation", a travel-guide memoir starring Sogwa the supercat.


            Titanic Vacation 

            Dear Diary:
            Today the aliens came, but they didn’t come to conquer, not really. Nor to destroy, not on purpose. Really all they wanted was some time off. Lucky for them, and luckier still for us, I was here to say hello.
            When I heard the giant flying saucer swoop overhead, I turned on the TV, but it was useless as usual. It was yelling that the situation was under control, so I figured there was big trouble. I needed real news, so I went on the Web.
            The Web’s tricky; if you don’t watch out, then you might be fooled. (With TV you don’t have to watch out, because you’re bound to be fooled.) was a gaming site. was a reality show, and was a blog about politics. Finally I found for realtime video.
            The webcam showed the saucer parked over Kirby Cove. It had a sign on it, written in Titanian; “Gamma-Ray Taxi Saucers”. (I can read and speak Titanian because I took a summer course in it last year. It and Nessie and Vorlon. I thought they might came in handy someday.)
            Blue Angel jets had already tried buzzing the saucer, but they couldn’t get through the saucer’s forcefield. Their missiles didn’t fire, their navigation was messed up, and their radar couldn’t even see the saucer, so the jets had returned to base.
            Bloggers were ranting, officials were issuing statements, pundits and comics were chiming in, and worst of all the TV was saying not to panic.
            The whole situation was scary, so I decided to do something about it.
            So I got into my kitty-saucer and I....
            ... wait a minute, Zweedrix is whining about the ‘tiny, tiny tent’. Back to you later,
                        Yours, Sogwa

            Dear Diary:
            Whew! That was tons of work.
            As I was saying, dear Dairy, I rode up to Kirby Cove in my kitty-saucer. I wanted to hang out with aliens, but I had to introduce myself first. So I hovered over the water, in the Golden Gate, right outside Kirby Cove, and looked our guests over.
            Their ship was a big saucer, hovering overhead, casting all of Kirby Cove into shadow. It had a force-field halo; that was what kept the Blue Angels off. Four of them walked off a ramp from the saucer.
            They had three long legs, 100 feet or so tall, holding up a saucer body. Each of the three legs had two knees; and their feet had three toes in front, one in back, like crow’s feet. The saucer head had six eyes, and six arms with six fingers per arm. (Later I learned that they have a mouth-beak on top of saucer body, and the butt is underneath.)
            And they talk by radio. I heard them on my kitty-saucer’s radio. The big one said to the Gamma-Ray Taxi Saucer, “Come back in three days.” Then the saucer flew off.
            That’s when I spoke up. I broadcast in radio, and I said in Titanian, “Welcome to Earth! I am Sogwa the supercat, and I’ll be your guide on your visit to our alien planet.”
            Notice that I said, our alien planet. It’s home to us, but it’s alien to an alien. I also used the intrinsic ‘our’, just to show that we’re kind of attached to it.
            The big one lifted an arm to its suit. It fiddled with some controls there, and the force field extended itself around me. Inside the force field the Blue Angels were less noisy but not much. The big Titanian clicked a dial on its suit past “Vorlon” and “Nessie” to “English”; then it spoke to me. It said, “You speak very good Titanian.”
            “And you speak very good English.” Not really, his suit’s voice was kind of robotic, but that’s what you say to a guest.
            “We’ve been listening to your TV broadcasts,” said the second smallest Titanian.
            The smallest one said, “ ‘ That’s one small step for man...”
            The second smallest one said, “... one giant leap for mankind!’ ”
            And they both started making humpback-whale noises. They squeaked, they squonked, they arooed. That’s how Titanians laugh.
            The second-tallest Titanian said, “Children, children, be polite! Don’t make fun of other species’ gaffes! It was a first step, so of course it was a misstep! Hi there, Sogwa-the-supercat -”
            “- Sogwa will do - ”
            “- we’re the Zeffycams. I’m Zeffycam Jayadu, this is my husband Zeffycam Gazzik.”
            The smallest Titanian said, “I’m Zweedrix, and that is my annoying big sister Fwee-bah.”
            The second-smallest said, “Who are you calling annoying, you brat? Sorry, Sogwa. That’s my kid brother for you.”
            Jayadu said, “Children, children! Why are you misbehaving so?”
            “My suit. It’s itchy,” Zweedrix whined.                                
            “My suit?” I asked, using the intrinsic possessive. That is, my suit, intrinsic, as in my hair, rather than my suit, extrinsic, as in my hat.
            “My suit!” said Zweedrix. Intrinsic.
            Fwee-bah said, “And I’m worried about Deebzo.”
            Gazzik said, “Don’t be worried, little princess.” Little? She was 50 feet tall! “They’ll take good care of your pet at the jurachi hotel.”
            Fwee-bah said, “Can I call to check in on it?”
            Gazzik said, “No. No hyperspace phone, no entanglement, nothing superluminal.”
            “We’re camping, dear,” Gazzik said. “We’ll do without.”
            Gazzik said, “Self-denial builds character!
            The children said, “Awww...”
            Jaydu said, “It’s only for three days.”
            I asked, “Is that Earth days or Titan days?”
            “Oh!” said Jayadu. “I see. Well, Titan days.”
            And each Titan day is sixteen Earth days! So they were planning to stay for forty-eight Earth days. I noted this, to tell others later.
            I helped the Zeffycams set up camp in Kirkby Cove. Like I said, it was tons of work. First thing, they raised a tent. It covers the entire battery on Kirby Cove. Jayadu called the tent “cozy”, Zweedrix called it “tiny, tiny.”
            Next they fired up a force field to keep off the Blue Angels, who had returned and were buzzing the place. Gazzik called them “pesky annoyances”, but said ‘their’ suits could handle them, even without the force field. ‘Their’ suits, intrinsic possessive. I guess they’re kind of attached to those suits.
            They sat at the cliff’s edge, dangling their feet in the ocean below. Fwee-bah said, “Oh, a pinch!” She lifted a foot, and dangling at the end was Great White Shark. She said “Cute little fishie! Can we keep it, Mom?”
            “No, throw it back. Gently, dear, this is a high-gee world! Remember, we’re here to see the wildlife, not interfere with it!” Jayadu waved a tentacle at the forest, the ocean - and the city.
            By then it was dusk, so I excused myself for a ‘brief nap’ - that is, a night’s sleep. They’ll stay up for another few Earth days, then sleep for six.    
                        Yours, Sogwa