Each alien grabbed one of my arms, and the three of us began to march down long, narrow, hallway. At regular intervals, I would hear scratched recordings of terrified screams or hysterical laughter, which bounced off the metal walls of the building and led us toward the end of the passage. I knew the recordings were supposed to have me shaking, all the way down to my toes, but I was completely unfazed, secure in the knowledge that I was smarter than these ‘little green men’. Turning to the interrogator with the echoing Vader voice, I asked in a reasonably trembling voice “What do those mean?”
Turning his face toward me, he replied, in a voice as mysterious as he was able to make it: “Those are the cries of the Earthlings who did not know the answers…!
As this was the answer I had been expecting, I decided it would be pointless to try to get anything more out of my interrogators. The recorded shrieks and laughter did not succeed in making me nervous, but they were annoying, all the same, and so I was relieved when the aliens hauling me finally stopped in front of what looked like nothing more a hole in the wall of the passage. The Vader-voiced interrogator pushed me inside while ‘Minion ten’ reached in to flip on the lights. The overhead light flickered, and then went dark once more an instant later.
“Darn it, we’re going have to get Maintenance down here quick.” Vader-voice exclaimed as he produced a flashlight out of his jumpsuit and tried to pull the handle on the sliding door, which refused to budge. “Minion ten, you go get maintenance. I’ll handle the subject.”
As the minion left, Vader-voice stepped inside, placed his lit flashlight behind the antennae that served him as an ear, and grabbed me by the collar of my shirt. He dragged me over to a chair which had just become visible in the center of the room and dropped me in without saying a word. Next, he reached up to the ceiling and pulled down a regular carseat strap, which he probably considered a revolution in restraint technology, and buckled me in. When he had done this, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a package of encouragement stickers. You know what I mean. Those little stickers that have messages like ‘good job’, ‘awesome’, ‘you’re number 1!’, and ‘super’ on them. Believe it or not, the alien took these stickers and began to peel them off one by one, and stick them to various parts of my body. He put three on my forehead, then one each on each shoulder, elbow, and wrist. I was so surprised that I couldn’t stop myself from asking “What are these supposed to do to me?”
His answer stunned me. “They’re brainwave receptors. Even if you don’t answer our questions, we’ll know what you’re really thinking. If you ask why I’ve put them where I have, I’ve interrogated enough earthlings to know that their thoughts come in through their hands.”
I decided to test the alien’s theory. Therefore, I declined to say another word, instead concentrating hard on the phrase “Martians are little green men”. After a minute, I decided to think “Martians like peanut butter sandwiches” and finally “All Martians are crazy”. Then I emptied my mind and waited. One minute. No response from the alien. Two minutes. Still no response. And then finally, when the third minute was up, he spoke.
“Wrong, wrong, and wrong. If that’s what you think now, you haven’t got much hope of surviving the test ahead. For your information, Martians are large green men, and not all of them are even green. Martians probably would like peanut butter sandwiches, whatever they are, but we haven’t invented them yet, and not all Martians are crazy. All Martians are confused. So there.” A moment later, he left the room, presumably to discover the whereabouts of Minion ten and the maintenance crew.
But I was wrong again. A few minutes later, he came back carrying a floor lamp, a deck chair, and a book. He plugged in the lamp, lay down in the chair, and opened his book, saying “I know, waiting to be interrogated by a confused alien must be really boring. So I’ve decided to hang around and keep you company. I think the maintenance crew is on the way, but we can’t be sure. Our transportation system hasn’t been up to speed since the sinkhole opened three months ago.” Instead of saying more, he opened his book. As he held it up to the light, I saw that the title was 365 days of complete confusion: How I survived a crash-landing on Earth by Polisar Raptoris
So there I was. Strapped into an interrogation room on Mars, waiting with my would-be interrogator for the maintenance crew to arrive so I could be interrogated in style, when I should have been standing in line at the deli on the ground floor of our building ordering our favorite barbeque meatball sandwiches! To make the situation worse, these aliens who had captured me seemed clueless when it came to actual questioning. I began to go through everything I had learned, knowing I had to be prepared for any sort of question.
“Why and when did World War I begin?” No, too earth-related. “How many times did Elvis top Billboard’s top 100?” Possibly. I have to be ready for anything. “What is the name of the lead in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise?” “What’s your favorite candy?” “When did the War of the Worlds occur?” “How many Oscars did The Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King win?” “True or false; there is intelligent life on Mars.” “What is the sum of 86 times 2 cubed and then tripled?” “Are pigs intelligent?” I went on thinking of more ridiculous questions that might be put to me in the course of the impending interrogation until I fell asleep.
When I woke up, it seemed that nothing had changed. But then, all time is the same in a dark room. The first thing I noticed was that the room was dark. My interrogator had taken his thriller and left me to myself once more.
Suddenly, just as I was beginning to settle down to waiting once more, the voice of the interrogator issued from somewhere in the room. “Repeat after me, three times fast” it said “Pigs fed on pickled prunes prance proudly”. There wasn’t anything else to do, so I did. It was almost incomprehensible the last time, which made me begin to worry for my safety. Then the voice spoke again. “Good. You passed that part of the test. Now tell me how many fingers I’m holding up.”
“How can I know?” I asked indignantly “It’s dark in here.”
“Oh darn it, I forgot, you earthlings can’t see in the dark.” replied the interrogator. An instant later, a disco ball hanging from the ceiling had lit up. This caused me to squeeze my eyes shut, while my only thought was the phrase “AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! The stupidity! Of all things, a disco ball?!” I knew the alien could tell what I was thinking, but I didn’t care.
The alien waited silently until I opened my eyes, and then repeated “Now tell me how many fingers I’m holding up.” I decided to be more careful with my thoughts after this, because I could see that the alien, who had been green to this point, was slowly turning purple.
“All right, I take it back!” I yelled abruptly. “It’s not stupid! It’s a great idea!” While I was saying this, I noticed that both of the alien’s hands were hidden behind his back. I thought for a moment and then said “Zero. All your fingers are pointed down.”
“Exactly. How did you guess?”
I brushed off the alien’s surprise as if I did this sort of thing every day. “Gueniusocity.” I replied “Next question, please.” I was expecting the sort of problem a third-grader could solve. But I should have remembered; anything can happen after a crazy martian has abducted you by remote elevator pod…
The moment I asked for the next question, the martian went to the door and called “He’s ready! Bring in the big one!”
This made me think “Just what have I gotten myself into? Are they going to make me build a computer, or what?” But yet again, I was wrong. ‘The big one’ turned out to be the most enormous Reese’s candy I would ever see in my life. Seriously! The thing must have been three feet wide and at least fifty-four inches tall! And then it dawned on me; they expected me to eat this thing, which no three people could properly handle! “Oh great!” I thought “I am martian toast faster than you can say toast.” Just then I remembered “These martians are confused. They probably expect to do anything but eat it, like for instance, bench-press it. Wait and see, man…”
I did not have to wait long before the alien said “Well? You said you were ready for this! What are you going to do with it?”
“Aren’t you going to tell me what to do with it?” I replied, shocked by the alien’s attitude. Immediately, I began to think even harder regarding what I would do with the enormous piece of candy. Suddenly, I knew! But first, I had to get out of the chair… “Hey! Mister alien!” I called “I’ve thought of something, but I need to get out of the chair first.”
“Oh fine!” replied the alien, sounding exasperated “And the name is Darthus Depp, not ‘mister alien’” still frowning, he crossed the room and unlocked me from the chair.
All the while, I was careful to think thoughts totally unrelated to my plan, such as “waterslides are awesome.” Next, I asked Darthus Depp if he had an electric spork. Wonder of wonders! He did, and handed it over, showing more apprehension every moment. Immediately, I set to work. I dug into that piece of candy as if I were rescuing someone from a disaster area. I was saving someone. Myself. The spork was small, but the candy was soft, so only twenty minutes later, I had it completely hollowed out. There was peanut butter strewn all over the floor, but there was nothing I could do about that. Then, suddenly, before the alien could stop me, I pulled off the brainwave sensors, flipped the chocolate shell upside-down, and ducked under it, determined to make my getaway! As soon as I was under the shell, all I could think was “Uh-oh! I hope this alien thinks this is harder than it looks!” But I still had the electric spork, and I would fight for my life if I had to.