Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.







**You may contact me by e-mail at livinginbarbados[at]gmail[dot]com**

Monday, August 10, 2009

I See Aliens Overhead

Space probes from Mars have identified a small place worthy of investigation. Its name is Bahbaydas, similar sounding to the Martian term for "this is our home". A space ship full of Martians is headed there as I write, and due to a crossed line on my BlackBerry, I was able to tap into information that they are using to guide their visit.

Once landed in Bahbaydas, what would they do and find? Well, they had linked to Google Earth and seen the airport, and they read the Wikipedia profiles, which show that the people are orderly but very fearful of strangers. So, they will not just crash land anywhere and cause a stir, but would hover in quietly at the designated landing area, called GAIA (which in Martian conveniently means "galactic and intergalactic arrival"). They would stand in the long lines with their passports--the biometric sensor showing; then wait with a nice rounded Redcap human; then deal with the so-called Customs operatives. They have rehearsed responses to the standard greetings, "Open yer bag. W'as dis?" with "Nada dam ting" or "Nunna u dambeysnys". Even though their translation programs have shown "phrase not known" for the responses, their frequent use suggest they are effective terms to allow passage.

Once past these first humanoid contact points, because Googling is so comprehensive, the aliens would know that the best disguise would be to morph into a British tourist. Several models could be chosen, but the most popular is that with palid face and a ruddy, freckled look; wispy hair, and a well rounded little food processor pod in front; popular add-ons include a pair of bleached ground treaders with fine hairs on them--these treaders must never be covered. A little peaked cap with "C'mon Blues" would top off the disguise perfectly. Now, entry into the rest of the island planet would be simple. The Martian direction sensors would be set to 'souf coast'. While they would have no need for shelter, suspicions would be reduced by living in rooms at one of the beachside habitat pods. Martians like huddling together, but this would show that they are neither British or from Barbados--both peoples like to stay far from each other, as can be seen from their standard meeting sign with their upper limbs pointed forward.

As this would be an initial unofficial visit, to explore only, contacts would be left at the very casual level, trying to get a sense of how these people really live, what they ate, their need for liquid intake, and how they chose their bossing persons. The intra-cranial electronic briefing tablets used on Mars indicated that astonishing progress has been made by "de true Bayjans" (the darker ones amongst of the 280,000 humans), who had used a special food to drive themselves relentlessly and work tirelessly. They call it "sweat of our brows", and it is made internally with little need for other food supplements. This food has propelled the people to invent or perfect every things Earth now holds dear. Their ceaseless toil has taken its toll, however. Most of de Bayjans are now totally mute, so making dialogue will be hard going. But, given their highly developed fear of strangers, the universal acceptance of the British tourist model may help much.

The openheartedness towards the British model is extremely hard to understand. Intergalactic intertemporal stuides show that for several hundred of their years these same British were brutal and mean to the dark ones. After bringing them across the great salt lake, promising them milk, ambrosia and honey, the British were brutish, taking the "sweat of our brows", turning it into another fuel they call "sugar" and using that for their own power. Once sugar was mixed with their "tea", taken from another people to whom they had been brutish, the British were able to conquer all of Earth. Remember, it was "de true Bayjans" "sweat" that allowed that. The British also discovered another thing. If the dark ones were left in the stick fields for many hours each day, doing mindless stick cutting, this helped maintain their colour, but it made them weaker and easier to control. The British, fearful of the sun's known radioactivity, would keep themselves in shaded places, and not damage their white radiation skin shields.

The Martians' pre-arrival intra-cranial research showed that much has changed since those days of stick tending. Many of the stick fields are still evident, but few of the dark ones will stand in them, fearing further weakening. They have found another people, whom they call "Gayaneez" (meaning "unclean ones"), who are fleeing their own nearby land, as it sinks back into the jungle. The Gayaneez now stand in the stick fields to work for "de true Bayjans". They are also now being used to build many new habitation pods. They need little space themselves, and are happy to be stacked on top of each other, with a sheet between each.

But the original natives, natually improving on the Britihs, now use the "sugar" to make a juice that is similar to basic rocket fuel. They call this "raham". Here the Martians have discovered they will have a problem. Once injested, this fuel turns de Bayjans into believing they are fearsome warriors, whose muteness is overcome and their tongues work feverishly, uttering words without meaning and keeping moist their food pod entrance craters. The original British found de Bayjans unable to do anything useful once they drank "raham".

The originail British also found they could not live comfortably in hot places: their ability to breed was impaired and they feared for their existence if they bred with natives like de Bayjans, so most returned to their original place, named 'Blighty' in their native tongue. They left behind some of their own to report on developments, and these were forbidden to ever mix openly with the dark ones. Some, of course, quickly and often broke this sacred rule. The dark ones, after years of stick tending, and "raham" drinking, and are now impervious to almost all things.

On Mars, all communication is intercranial, with no need for spoken words. Initial research had left the Martians excited, when of all the places on Earth, Bahbaydas seemed more like their planet, with its sparse vegetation and little water. When they noticed that de Bayjans were not talking to each other, they assumed that they too used intercranial communication. Furhter research showed how the old mouthpieces had become severaly damaged by too much "raham" intake. Now, the Martians needed to find out how de Bayjans did communicate. On Mars, infomation flows freely from head to head and is absorbed by merely breathing. The Martians had seen de Bayjans following an interesting olden practice of reading--using the eyes to transmit information to the brain, sometimes with the mouth moving to speed the transfer--but this reading was from a material not known on Mars and looked like thick gossamer. Once the information had been asbsorbed this way, de Bayjans tended to crumple the material and throw it into the land for biodegradation, and it was also used to make beds for some wild animals.

But, important and revolutionary changes have happened recently. A mutant speciies has developed among de Bayjans. They dwell in dark underground places, and call themselves 'Blorgas'. They fear the light, and years staying out of sight and underground have disfigured their faces so that they cannot be recognised. We deduce the name Blorgas comes from Earth words 'blow' (to push wind') and 'gas' (one of the invisible chemicals known on Earth, and often produced in great quantities by de Bayjans after drinking "raham").

The mutant Blorgas have split into two tribes. One tribe, all dark ones, travel with the chant "Beyoo". The other tribe, of some mixed offspring and others with close blood ties to the British who were abandoned in Bahbaydas, travel with the chant "Beyoo Fee Pee". No translation programs can give meaning to these chants. Some research suggest that the tribes have bllod ties, but this they deny. Each tribe is small, but is growing in influence. The spread of their influence holds many clues for the success of the voyage. Those calling out Beyoo have a stock of venom which they can spew out into the face of enemies; though not lethal, this silences most whom it strikes, within seconds, and leaves them numb and dumb for days. Those who chant "Beyoo Fee Pee" use cunning rather than venom. They have found ways to shame the bossing persons. To them, they yell a phrase that clearly has deep meaning: it sounds like "karapschan"--the Martian word for "I know you sleep in a mating machine". They utter this phrase often and its effect has been to make the ruling ones dance wildly, beating themselves, and singing "Nevayagin. Nevayagin". In Martian, a similar sounding word means "I run now, but I will come back". But they also try to shame the dark ones, by criticizing all they do, and hoping for the return of the British. The dark ones, however, cower less and less when this occurs.

The Martians have found some who claim to be Blorgas but they are not from de Bayjans. One, whose valuable data flows freely in the Martian air, including information about the minds of de Bajans, goes by the name Leeb. He is a dark one but from over the seas, who was forced to come to the island when his flying craft had mechanical trouble. He has had problems, because he has for long breathed a form of Earth's air that is rich and pure, but now finds the air of Bahbaydas needs much filtration to avoid choking or a sense of numbness in the throat. Unlike the other Blorgas, he lives above ground, and walks among the non-mutants as a free man. He can only be distinguished from de Bayjans when his mouthpiece is used. From years of operating in clearer air, it too sputters if it cannot work in filtered air, and many de Bayjans cannot understand him easily. Some fear his words because he once was in the court of the supreme leaders, the Intergalactic Mind Force.

The Blorgas are not the rulers of the island, but they act as if they wish to be. The true rulers are known by their dark costumes and they live inside a habitat pod. They too have two tribes who look across a large room at each other wating for the other to move. They are different from most of de Bayjans, which may explain why they are in charge. Though some of them drink much of the "raham", they seem to be less affected by it, except that their tongues are never still, especially inside their pod. They too are dark ones, though some have been scarred by a bleaching compound. They have many discussions with representatives of the abandoned British, for they have never given the key to the 'pot of gold', which de Bayjans crave. The Blorgas want to change all of this, and as they can they let their venom flow or use their cunning.

Each Blorga and ruling persons' tribe's followers are fanatics. Those who work openly with the bossing persons, carry the familiar names of the island, which are few but include Holda, Eneez, Pareez, Hanes, and Hines. The fanatics of the Blorgas travel with names like Bone and Pepper, CouCou, ZR, and Bag. Such names offer few clues. The fanatics are the experts with the use of venom. But they have also developed what they think is a good weapon--the unified chant--and they are ready to surround their adversaries whom they try to quell with chants. The chants each have different power, as shown in optical images relayed to Mars. One that is very effective is "Tschoupse", which seems to mean "Die you dog!" or "Your body is withering". Another is "Cheezonbred", whihc seems to mean "Our Gods are unhappy". One more is "Laaawwddd", which seems to have no real meaning but works well to stem most comments. Lastly they will bay together "Yaadfaal", which seems to mean "bury your face on the ground and beg for mercy".

The Martians could easily be in contact with Blorgas and not know it. I hear that the first wave has already landed and begun to slip into the island. The first message that have sent back to Mars reads "British disguise is itchy. Please prepare the Chinaman models." I will try to tap into more of their transmissions.


Sargeant said...

Satire: 1) a literary work holding up human follies and vices to ridicule or scorn
2) Trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

Still searching……….

Dennis Jones said...

Sargeant, note, the operative object is "folly" and/or "vice". Take a look at a good body of satire, such as Monty Python; it's part of a long English tradition and very effective. It is less present in the Caribbean, save in Calypso.