So here I was, scrambling up the street to an Interplanetary meeting of the Peace and Friendship Committee, a committee originally founded by representatives of the Interplanetary Chamber of Political Disputes, when my Interplanetary Cellular rang. I was annoyed. I didn’t really have time for a conversation, but I answered it anyway. It was the Commander of the Neptunian UFO Unit.

          “What is it?” I asked somewhat impatiently.

          “We have an emergency here”, he said.

          “And what might that be?”

          “We’ve gotten a complaint from the Zooropa Club about some Earthlings who are there telling U2 fans they’re fools to still be U2 fans. They’re claiming that they used to be fans. Someone there is all over some U2 fan who gives U2 stuff away. I’m told that another one of them even claims that she was even friends with the band. Now she’s badmouthing them in the newspapers. Of course this is a hell of a way to treat friends when they’re going through the kind of hell they’re going through these days. With friends like that who needs enemies? Anyway, these people are screaming like a bunch of berserkers. They’re driving the U2 fans there crazy. They’ve tried to start a listening party three times and they won’t stop screaming for a split second. Would you ask the Jupiterians on the Committee if they can ask one of their UFO’s to transport these Earthlings to Saturn, where they’ll no doubt be happier anyway since U2 is banned there?”

          “Oh, and Jupiter is neutral in the Interplanetary Chamber of Political Disputes”, I said. “You guys used to be but you signed a deal with Uranus, which really pissed off the Saturnians. Your UFO’s aren’t as safe around Saturn as they used to be.”

          “That’s right” he said. “And we want these crazy Earthlings out of here, as soon as possible.”

          “There’s just one question. Won’t these Earthlings have to agree to leave the Planet before it’ll be legal to put them on someone else’s UFO? Otherwise that’s kidnapping”

          “Yes”, he said. “That’s a pain in the ass. That’s something else we’re having trouble with, because they don’t even want to leave the club, let alone the Planet”.

          “Damn”, I said. “I’ll bring the matter up with them”.

          I got to the meeting, which had already started. “I’m sorry I’m late but I got a phone call from the Commander of the Neptunian UFO Force about some Earthlings who are ruining everyone’s evening at the Zooropa Club on Neptune. They’re screaming that they’re fools to still be U2 fans these days”.

          “Damn, I’m tired of hearing that”, said one of the Jupiterians. “So U2 are not perfect. From some of the things I’ve heard you’d think they’d committed infanticide. It’s insanity.”

“There’s a small problem”, I said. “They don’t want to leave the club, let alone the Planet. So it won’t be legal to put them on the UFO without getting busted for kidnapping”.

“Oh, I know what we can do about that”, said the Jupiterian.  “Let’s sneak some truth serum into their drinks. Then they’ll have to admit that they all used to work on Saturn for a government project of theirs that later got shut down because even Saturnians complained about it, in a police state, no less! They’ll have to take some of their own medicine, this shocking admission will rouse the place, they’ll start screaming bloody murder and they’ll have to leave or be screamed at all night”.

“Great!” I said. “The next time they order drinks they’ll just give them drinks with truth serum in it. Oh, won’t this be something else!”

I called up the Commander of the Neptunian UFO Force. “We’ve come up with a solution”, I said. “The next time these Earthlings order drinks, make sure someone gives them drinks with truth serum in it. They’ll blurt about the fact that they did this fiendishly unpopular thing on Saturn. They’ll scream about anyone who ever used to work for the Saturnian government in no time after it takes effect. Then they’ll scream at them like hell so much, because Saturnians have been unpopular on Neptune for so long. It goes back to the dictatorship days when music, period, was banned on Neptune while they were still under Saturnian rule”.

“Excellent”, said the Commander. “I’ll call you with the happy successful story soon”.

“Whew!” I said. “Why don’t we have some fun and crank up ‘Atomic Bomb’ while we wait for me to get the phone call back?”

“Suits the hell out of me”, said one of the Jupiterian Committee members.

Fifteen minutes later my Interplanetary Cellular rang. I picked it up. “I’m telling you, after the truth serum hit they not only spilled the beans about the government project, they admitted that they actually wanted to go back to the place! Do you know how angry that kind of thing makes Neptunians? The Jupiter UFO Force actually offered them free rides back there and they accepted. Of course there’s no wonder what will happen when they wake up on Saturn and realize they’re stuck in a police state, but then it will be too late. They’re stuck there, and they’re the hell out of our lives. So everyone’s happy, I guess.”

“A toast to our favorite band, everyone”, I said. “Is this a great night for us, or what? That pest is gone!”


Story by Patricia M. Hefner 20 February 2005