The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Spaceships were landing in droves on Earth and I was feeling pretty unsettled about this. I found my grandpa who was asleep on the big comfy chair, the TV set to something boring, the remote locked in his hand.

I hesitated – I could wake grandpa up but what if I’ve just gone crazy and there aren’t really any spaceships? I decided double checking was in order.

I ran to a different door and sure enough there were spaceships coming down even in that area. But this time I noticed something different. Aliens of all kinds of shape and size were rushing out of their ships, I suppose it was rushing, all of them heading in one area. At first I thought they were rushing towards me, but it was only those who had landed behind the house who appeared to be coming towards me … They were going past us.

There was something in the distance these aliens were heading to, and I figured grandpa would want to know what it was too.

“GRANDPA?,” I shouted, having just closed the door behind me loudly. Slammed, you might say. Then I ran forward to the family room where he was stirring, “oh sorry,” I said much louder than necessary, “I didn’t know you were asleep,” each word coming out staccato like a machine gun. He was bound to be awake now.

“Hm,” grandpa mustered, looking at me with … eyes. I’d tell you what was behind those eyes but the emotions were hidden behind those sleep crusties.

“Um,” I didn’t know how much truth to give grandpa seeing as how he didn’t believe in aliens as far as I knew, “do you believe in aliens?”

Grandpa gave me a confused look. It didn’t look like he was about to answer, so I guess maybe his opinion wasn’t as simple as a yes or no but a more complicated answer involving probabilities and the great unknown that is Earth and so how could we possibly know what is outside our little world?

“Well, anyway,” I continued, not wanting to miss whatever alien spectacle was occurring, “I think a neighbor had a bad accident. Cutting down a tree or something. Lost a limb.” At this point I was continuing not to get grandpa moving but to see if his eyes could get any wider, “Lots of blood. Neighbors dog might have that limb and be playing tug-of-war with it.” Whoops. Too far. Grandpa’s forward progress faltered as he tried to determine if I was lying, he was hovering above the comfort of the magical nap-chair, “so … we should probably go help. Right?”

I opened the door first and said casually over my shoulder, “oh look, spaceships,” I looked back and grandpa gave a sort of disappointed look at the skyline full of spaceships which were, presumably, looking for parking.

“Where’s the neighbor?” grandpa said after giving the skyline what he considered was its due consideration, “huh?” I asked, having no idea what he was talking about and, “ohhh yeah … the neighbor,” I remembered my lie, “um, I lied. I just wanted you to see the space ships.”

“Hm,” grandpa grunted. Apparently me lying and me waking him up to see countless alien visitors warranted roughly the same reaction. Not everyone is capable of projecting such consistency but grandpa’s a unique guy.

“Should we walk down to see what’s going on?” I was really hopeful he would be ok with this, because that’s what I wanted to do.

This time grandpa deviated from the script, giving a “hmmm” with several extra m’s than usual. He said this and then turned around and walked right back into the house. I waited, figuring he would return with a reason not to go or a gun. I was pretty sure grandpa wouldn’t have a gun in the house until this moment, when for the first time it made perfect sense that we would have a gun.

Instead of a gun, grandpa returned with a pan and a five pound bag of granulated sugar and a ziplock bag of an indeterminate amount of brown sugar. He handed me a spoon and kept one for himself, and then we began walking forward.

I stole a glance at my grandpa who may or may not have been feeling the same, but he had stuck his hand into the bag of brown sugar and was pulling some out to eat. He proffered the bag to me and I gladly accepted. I’m not sure what in life is best at steeling the nerves, based on movies it’s alcohol but this sugar had me feeling pretty good.

Some aliens were soon flanking us, moving along in their various ways of transporting themselves forward. This was somehow as natural as a mass of humanity heading to a sporting event. No, more than that, a home sporting event. Somehow every creature moving along had a sense of hope, everything in me told me I was going to an exciting event surrounded by friendly strangers with the same hopes and expectations.

I wondered if one of the aliens had some mental manipulating ability to make me at ease when I really should have been fleeing, every pore of my body shouting words that communicate fear. I thought my having gone crazy was equally likely, but with the solid presence of my grandpa chugging along right beside me I figured everything was ok.

Who better to go nuts with then a man who had naps and corn on the cob as his favorite things. Grandma might disagree with my list.

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