“Hey Sam.” I told my skype buddy from ‘Australia’. “I think something is wrong with your screen.”
“What do you mean Bill?” He said innocently, pretending like nothing was going on.
“It just, um, it just flickered you know? The window. It was like a desert mirage for a second and I thought I saw something on the other side.”
“On no.” Bill said. “I’m sure it’s nothing, firewall messing with the output or something. You can never be to careful with bacteria these days.”
“You mean viruses?” I ask.
“Yes, right, viruses, of course, always ramming the hard drive.” Ramming the hard drive? Was that Australian slang for something?
“Sure, yeah, all the time, ramming the hard drive. Really causes problems with the…..output. Anyway, did you see the football game?” I asked my skype buddy Sam.
“Oh yes, American football, the Pittsburgh metallurgists against the Green Bay cheese fanatics.” He said matter of factly. “Surely the steel shall prevail over dairy.”
“What? That was four years ago. I was talking about the upcoming one, the patriots versus the seahawks.” Sam looked frantically at his screen, scrolling frantically.
“Time distortion offset needs recalibrating.” He muttered under his breath.
“What was that?” I asked. Sam was starting to go off the deep end.
“Nothing, nothing, I was just going to comment that waterfowl will have great difficulty prevailing against men who are armed with the modern musket.” *Modern musket? I don’t think anyone has fired a musket in anger in almost two centuries. Also, I knew people could get caught up in the mascots, but it really seemed like Sam thought there were going to be a bunch of Seahawks facing off against a group of patriots.
“Hey Sam, do you think the muskets are going to be custom made with smaller caliber rounds? I mean the ball size seems a bit excessive for taking down a bird of that size.” Sam did not miss a beat when he agreed with me.
“For sure, for sure, one could hunt bears in the frontier with those weapons. I would wager they would decrease the caliber by half at least, if not a quarter. That way they could carry more ammunition.” Something is most definitely wrong with Sam.
“Sam, what year is it?” I asked.
“You mean right now?” He returned.
“Yes Sam, right now, what is the year.” I said calmly and measuredly.
“Uh, well you know I’m not sure how to convert the number from metric to English, and have you opted for the Gregorian calendar?” Sam replied.
“Okay Sam, what’s going on. It’s pretty clear you have no idea what American football is, or even what the year is. Now I like talking with you buddy, but you need to level with me.” I folded my arms and waited.
“Well, if you must know.” Sam flipped a switch I couldn’t see and suddenly his screen was occupied not by another man like me, but by what appeared to be a stereotypical green, bug eyed, antenna eared alien.
“I’m sorry you had to figure out Bill.” Sam said. I was so busy trying not to swallow my tongue I almost didn’t hear him. “I should’ve checked the local events in your year and place before answering the call.”
“Forget that, what are you and why are you doing this?” I demanded.
“I’m from your neighboring star system, Ceti Alpha V, you would call me an alien, and as for the reason.” Sam sighed.
“Is it research?” I asked.
“No.” the creature that was Sam sighed.
“Is it for entertainment?” I asked.
“No.” Sam said
“Is it for interstellar politics?” I asked.
“No.” Sam said for the third time.
“What then?” I asked.
“I just wanted a friend Bill.” Sam is staring down at his keyboard and picking at one of the keys so he doesn’t have to make eye contact. “It gets lonely over here and I just wanted someone to talk to.”
“Well you can always talk with me Sam.” I told him. “Just don’t say anything too weird while my friends are over okay?”