“First, let me assure you that there will be no invasion. There aren’t any resources on this planet that we couldn’t find on a thousand others. Except for music, sports and comedy. We don’t sing or tell jokes where I come from. I’ve grown especially fond of knock knock jokes over the years.”
‘Knock knock jokes, really?’ Xander shook his head.
“And the Beach Boys,” I-pod told him, and Johnny Cash, he’s my favorite. Oh, and Zamfir…”
‘The flute guy?’ Xander shrugged.
“Those haunting melodies get me every time,” I-pod said. “Back to your questions, my people study every planet in our galaxy with life on it. We don’t abduct or probe anything. We only observe.”
‘That’s kind of a relief,’ Xander told him.
“There were seven of us on the ship that crashed in Roswell,” I-pod told him. “Four of my friends died on impact, two others had terrible injuries and survived for a few days…”
‘I’m sorry,’ Xander responded.
“I was the ship’s long range navigator and in stasis until needed for the journey home.”
‘And you’ve been stuck in stasis ever since.’
“It has been lonely, but I’m alive,” I-pod told him.
‘I can’t imagine what it has been like for you.’
“I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be human,” I-pod said. “All your emotions, especially love and hate -- these concepts are very confusing to my kind. For several years, as I scanned those minds that I could get into, I believed that emotions distracted humans from reaching their potential. So much time and effort is spent on pair bonding, finding someone to love, seemed so inefficient to me. But then something strange happened. Every morning one of the guards would come to work and tell everyone that he came into contact with, what he called the joke of the day. I was amazed at how much joy they got from this. They’d laugh and so would he each and every time he told it. But to me they were just words strung together. He told a hundred dumb blonde jokes and stories about people or animals that walked into a bar, but I just didn’t understand the humor, until one morning.”
“He repeated a knock knock joke, that his son had learned in school the day before.”
‘I like knock knock jokes…’
“Here is the joke that taught me the meaning of funny,” I-pod said. “Knock knock..”
‘Who’s there?’ Xander responded.
“Bless you. I’ll come back when you’re feeling better,” I-pod said.
‘Good one,’ Xander chuckled. ‘A bit of a groaner, but funny.’
“I know,” I-pod told him, “but it awoke a part of my brain that I didn’t know was there. At first, like all the other jokes, I didn’t get it. Then a few days later, one of the other guards sneezed, and it clicked. Atch who, achew, Atch who, achew repeated over and over in my head. I laughed for the first time. The rest of that day I replayed every joke he’d told in my mind. That was one of the most enjoyable days of my life. Once I understood humor, the other emotions began to make sense to me.”
‘I sometimes mess up the punch line when I tell a joke,’ Xander admitted.
“I know 4,091 jokes,” I-pod said, “including over a hundred ‘why did the chicken cross the road’ jokes.”
‘To get to the other side…’ Xander couldn’t help but think of old the punch line.
“’Egg’xactly,” I-pod responded. “But, do you know why the duck crossed the road?”
‘I don’t know. Why did the duck cross the road?’
“Because it was the chicken’s day off,” I-pod laughed.
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