This may or may not come as a surprise to you, but there are aliens among us. And what's more, there are going to be a lot more pretty soon. Now that Planet Earth - "a beautiful rustic getaway" - (as it is called in the cheap travel brochures you get at every spaceport) can provide the basic necessities of most life forms, like a carbon monoxide based atmosphere and radioactive waste in every home, it has become a hot spot for high-strung officials and their mates to spend a few solar-revolutions relaxing and taking in the sights. hypocrisy in large numbers, is the cornerstone of the Human Experience, and provides some great stories to tell back home on your native world. Here are some basic guidelines to help you get through any event without being arrested or ending up married to the hostess.
While all the 'visitors' I've spoken to ('alien' isn't politically correct anymore, you know) have enjoyed their stay on our humble planet, most do complain that they really don't know how to fit in with the natives once they get here. They often try to make friendly overtures to the Earthlings, but those same people just go and complain about them to Talk Show Hosts, who are obviously judicial officials of the highest level.
So, as usual, the task of making the world a better place has fallen upon me. To save the tourism of our little pebble in the sky, I have written a 2000-page guidebook that provides solutions to our confused guests. I can't reproduce the document in full here, but I have received permission to share some choice snippets with you. Here it is then - a glimpse at:
How to be a Human Being
Choosing the right body:
Here on Earth, we have a wide selection of bodies for you to choose from. Tall, short, fat, thin, black, brown, white, yellow and with every combination of coloured eyes and hair possible. When selecting the body for you, do not go by the advice you get from those around you. Beauty is not skin deep, and neither does it lie in the eye of the beholder. While colour and size are unimportant, a ninety year old male body, while more affordable for those traveling economy, is much less enjoyable than that of a 22 year old supermodel. If you do opt for one of these deluxe models (no pun intended), you can then behave exactly as you do on your home planet, follow your own native customs and talk in your native tongue, and still be well-loved by all. It is important at this point to mention that if you do go in for a higher-priced body, you must pretend that you are unaware of its superiority. You must constantly talk about others around you being so much more beautiful than yourself, and pretend that every compliment you get is totally undeserved. Modesty is a good policy, second only to hypocrisy.
Everywhere else in the galaxy, clothes are simply meant to protect oneself from harsh environmental conditions. On earth, however, they are much more. Seeing as how human beings have particularly ugly natural colouring, with little variety and almost no aesthetic value, clothes are used as the substitute during the mating rituals around which Earth society is based. Surprisingly though, the aim of these rituals is often to reveal that same ugliness which was being covered in the first place. Some theorists say that it is probably a test of a would-be mate's inner strength and fortitude. When choosing what clothes you wish to wear, don't worry about approval from other Earthlings; you must keep in mind that everything you wear will be held against you in a court of jaw.
On Social Customs:
The occasion may arise when you need to participate in a social gathering of some kind. While these situations seem daunting, artificial and quite unnecessary, you need to keep in mind that social interaction, i
1. All food on this planet is stationary. Contrary to what you may be used to, neither the hostess' Persian cat nor the host's Dalmatian is part of the menu, no matter how appetizing they look.
2. If someone asks "How do you do?" don't ask "Do what?"
3. If an attractive member of the opposite sex comes up and starts shaking their arms and legs violently at you, don't fight back. Go dance with them instead.
4. It's important to remember people's names after you've been introduced to them. It's a good idea to make mental associations between their appearance and their name. For example, fat and round Ben becomes 'Bun' and shabby-looking Manjit becomes 'Mangy'. It's a bad idea, however, to let the newly named person in on your little joke, no matter how funny it is.
5. Don't rush to save a person whose mouth seems about to set on fire. It's only a cigarette. They aren't going to die from it, well not just yet anyway.
(turn to page 32 for guidelines 6-300)
N.B. - All of the above guidelines are unnecessary if you pretend to be under the influence of alcohol. Everything is forgiven then; in fact, you may end up making some very good friends.
Excerpt from last page of 'How to be a Human Being':
Having browsed through this book, you've probably realized that despite the noise, stink, stupidity and self-destructiveness of Planet Earth, it's not a bad place to vacation. If you get involved in the local activities, keep a low profile and try chocolate-chip cookies, you'll probably end up having quite a good time. However, a word in your auditory sensor: if someone does find out that you're an 'alien', knock the person out, rush to the local liquor store and get yourself a bottle of wine. Red wine, of course, goes with red meat