Saturday, March 13, 2010

Things You Were Going To Ask Me If You Ever Got Around To It

Have you ever sat on a frigid mountain top to look for aliens?

Funny you should ask.

In a previous post I talked about Larry, the linguist that I was stationed in Newfoundland with when I was in the Navy. The fact is we were both a fish out of water trying to do our Navy thing. We had many methods of coping, many of which were definitely non Navy-like – such as when I tried to hit on a nun at an orphanage or working it so we would get snow stranded at a cabin in the wild so we had an excuse not to be at work. But these are other stories.

Every Saturday night Larry and I would present ourselves at what was inelegantly called the Newf Club – a restaurant club run by the locals on base. We would sit across from each other and carefully eat our steaks while arguing. We were good at arguing. No matter what the subject we could easily find ourselves defending apposing viewpoints. Now we didn’t discuss such mundane subjects as girls and sex – maybe we did a little – but we devoted our meals to intellectual arguments. We would argue passionately about evolution, is evil a force or simply a concept, Ayn Rand, or the place of religion in society. We even figured out the place we would secretly meet when nuclear missiles rained down on our country. Right now I can’t remember where it was.

Did I mention that we always had wine with our steaks? We would find that our discussions became deliciously more passionate as we would get about halfway through the second bottle.

One evening the topic of discussion was about UFO’s and Aliens Visiting Earth. At first we both considered the subject a bit silly, but as we explored and sipped we convinced ourselves that it was indeed conceivable. In fact after about an hour of sipping and talking we began to conclude that the concept was not only conceivable but probable. So naturally the discussion turned to the heart of the matter.

If aliens were visiting Earth, where would they land? If one were to meet an alien what would one say?

The second question required investigation. As we finished up the second bottle we began to realize how critical it was to say just the right thing to a new found alien. After all, it would be important that the aliens understood that humans were honorable and a vital force in the cosmos. So we began to hone the perfect acceptance speech that a representative of the human species would present to a being from another planet – a speech that would leave that alien in awe and humbled at the magnificence of humans.

Once we had this down pat, the question became: “ If there were anywhere on Earth that an alien would land, where would it be?”

Larry and I held our wine glasses to our lips and looked each other in the eye.

Of course! We were in Newfoundland – a country with only one highway – a country of hamlets that one could reach only by boat – a barren rocky, mountainous wilderness that had a population less than significant cities in the U.S. A stark, lonely place – a place perfect for aliens!

We were awestruck in our realization.

We immediately arose and hurried in a not too straight a line to the car. The aliens would come here. We would represent mankind. We had our welcoming speech prepared. Now all we had to do was find them.

We quickly plotted. The mountain. That’s where they had to be.

We drove off the base and found that winding dirt road up the mountain. We traveled for three hours trying to contain our excitement and rehearsing our speech and stopping more than once to pee. We finally made it to the top and pulled our parkas tight as we walked – in not too straight a line – to the highest boulder on the mountain top and we climbed…and slipped a few times..but always climbed until finally we were on top of the world. And we searched and waited.

So to answer your question: yes, I have sat on a frigid mountaintop searching for aliens.

What? Oh…

I’m sorry. I really can’t talk about it. Just take heart in the realization that aliens from the furthest reaches of the universe have not taken any hostile action against humankind.

It was really a damn good speech.


  1. Oh my! That was my first really good belly laugh of the morning!! The thought of you two drunken men sitting on top of a mountain waiting for aliens. What a great story! I haven't sat on a mountain waiting for them before, or had a practiced speech, but I was convinced one night that they were on their way. LMAO.


  2. Great story, Jerry. I may have had the same argument but rather than drive to the top of a mountain, I think we just ordered another bottle of wine.

  3. Great story! You always make me laugh!

  4. Best of times, isn't it? You're out in foreign place, with some good friends about you, and plenty of booze handy. Some of the most incredible and fun (and silly) things can and do happen. Thanks for sharing this one. You have a talent for narrative.

  5. I'm so glad you addressed this, because that question was nagging on my brain. Great story! :)

  6. On behalf of humanity and the Inter-garden Association of Garden Gnomes I would like to extend our thanks for staving off invasion and domination by those aliens. The gnomes have asked that you extend their most sincere apologies for that incident in Tuscany. Lord Quatznar really did appear to be a toad, and he did not have proper authorization to be in that particular garden. Hey, even gnomes make mistakes.


  7. :) great story. You are a wonderful story teller.

  8. Great story!
    That must have been some really good wine!
    Thanks for saving the planet!

  9. Haha...Loved this! Now I'm curious about that speech, you still remember it? I bet it was funny!

    Outside my hometown (in Romania) there's a mountain that looks exactly and I mean EXACTLY like the one in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" movie with Richard Dreyfuss. I often wanted to climb on the top and umm,...wait.
    But I guess I wasn't drunk enough to do

  10. I've been drunk on a mountain...but I don't remember any Funny stuff. I'll visit again.


  11. Ailyuns, I think we have'em right here in Texas..Thanks for the visit.. dang i "rejected" one of your comments by accident. I am "buttonly challenged", I suppose.. Come visit agin.. thankx, glenn

  12. I'm here from Glenn's place - just happened to notice that you said your wife was from Stephenville. My ex-step-mother was from there, and I spent many of my childhood weekends and summers there. I was going to say ask her if she knew any of the Gilders - Billy Mack, Guy, Raymond, Edna, Cotton, Ralph - but then I realized that she's of my generation, not theirs! I'll be back to read you tomorrow when my eyes aren't so tired!

  13. Damn! What would you guys have thought of if you had downed a bottle of Scotch?

  14. Oh. You didn't pee on them, did you?
    I love the way your ideas became more and more idealistic with each bottle of wine...
    I love the fact that you never walked (or drove) in a straight line as you sought out our visiting friends from the cosmos...
    You didn't run them over, did you?
    Do you remember hearing any snickering on the other side of that mountain?

  15. Great story indeed! I have had similar revelations after sharing a bottle of wine or two with friends!
    Never been on an icy mountain top though.

  16. Hey, J, I can just see you guys. What ever happened to your Buddy? Do you still keep in touch? Loved hearing your story of old times and old friends. Including the alien kind. :)

    P.S. I bet if you ever actually run upon one (and I agree with glnroz, they's lots of 'em in Texas) that speech will come rolling right out!