I came across a news story the other day that talked about how these 47-year old television signals we had beamed into space are suddenly and mysteriously bouncing back to earth now. A group of astronomers in Puerto Rico made the discovery while searching for signs of intelligent life. Pretty cool, huh?
The whole thing got me to thinking. If there are aliens on some distant planet – let’s call it Vega, which happens to be the fifth-brightest star in the sky and is a mere twenty-five light years from earth – then, think of all the fun shows they’re catching on TV right now! The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Bewitched and The Addams Family are brand new, and they’re showing Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer for the first time (I’m sure it’ll become a holiday classic on Vega, as well). There’s The Andy Griffith Show and Gilligan’s Island and My Three Sons. American Bandstand and Gunsmoke and the last original episodes of The Twilight Zone. Those lucky extraterrestrials are in for a real treat!
Of course, not everything will be rosy as the years roll by. I feel like we should apologize in advance for The Clapper and Chia pets and Joanie Loves Chachi. On the plus side, they’ll get to see Mean Joe Green and Where’s The Beef? and that really bitchin’ Apple Macintosh commercial from 1984 that only aired once. Sure, they may scoff at the technology (and laugh outright over our cute little moon landing), but they’re sure to admire All In The Family and The Cosby Show and Seinfeld. Someday, there will be a bunch of ETs wandering around debating over Who Shot JR. Plus, all those awesome Super Bowls will be brand new! They have no idea that the Green Bay Packers will come out strong, the Pittsburgh Steelers will dominate for awhile, the 49ers and Cowboys will kick a little ass, and the Buffalo Bills will choke four years in a row. Man, I could make a killing gambling on these games if I could just hitch a ride to Vega.
Come to think of it, Tara did promise me a trip down the Extraterrestrial Highway in January. Hmm. Then again, the guys on their currency might have tentacles and three heads. Might be tough passing off those bills at Target.
On A More Serious But No Less Far-Out Note…
My doctor’s bills have started to roll in.
Keep in mind, I am still unemployed. Which means I’ve got no health insurance. My parents warned me when I lost my job that the one thing I wouldn’t want to do is end up in the hospital. Naturally, being the rebellious sort, I didn’t listen to them.
You know what’s guaranteed to produce a good laugh? Opening up a hospital bill for $47,000. Seriously, I was practically Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off when I tore into that particular envelope.
The good news is, if I pay it before the due date – twelve days away – they’ll knock off five grand!
Actually, the gooder news is, they had me fill out a charity application while there. Given my (lack of) income and the fact that I claim one dependent on my taxes, there’s a fairly good chance most of my medical bills will be paid by the state. I sure hope so. You can’t get blood from a stone, after all. (Maybe on Vega you can. Could be part of their advanced technology. One more reason to visit).
Speaking of blood, I had a doctor’s appointment last week, and the nursing assistant who drew my blood said it was particularly dark. She joked that I must be descended from royalty. I’m not really sure what the one thing has to do with the other, but I told her my ancestors were all pretty much poor peasants. Sheep and goat herders in Communist block countries. I’m pretty sure there are no kings or queens in the family line, though I am dating a Leo so there’s a chance that has rubbed off on me.
I also had a follow-up surgical visit the other day, and the doctor said everything looked great and I am healing well. I actually feel like I’m pretty much back to normal now, and I celebrated that with a long-overdue Bloody Mary a few nights ago. Believe me when I say that was one tasty beverage.
It’s good that I’m feeling normal again, because in just ten more days I’ll be stepping onto an airplane for the first time in more than a decade! My girlfriend and I have to make up for our last visit, which didn’t go quite as we had anticipated.
It’s going to be a blast!