Copyright © 1996
Amaury Olivier Laporte
All Rights Reserved
Ankoright was proud of his disguise. It was really quite good. These lower life forms would never realize he wasn't actually a "human" (as they called themselves). Yes, he had managed to reproduce it all: the slick, greasy hair; the torn, dirty "jeans" (how could they possibly wear such an abrasive outfit!!); the "sneakers" (obviously a vital status symbol). And of course: the absolutely essential vacuous expression.
He entered. Apparently, there was no entrance fee. All that was required was a date. And he had one of those: it was in his hand. It was a rather small "berry" from an earthling "palm tree." Ankoright wondered why it was necessary. Perhaps he would have to eat his date later (during the ceremony)?
As soon as he was inside, his senses were attacked, assailed, abused! He almost decided to terminate his mission, it was so bad. First, there was the stench created by "perfume" (a rotten smell amplifier). Then, there were the flashing, multicolored light emitters which blinded his sensitive light receptors. He was also being squeezed and pushed in every direction. But worse of all, there was the "music." He had been warned, but truly he had not expected such discordance! Archaic speakers blared out the agony of dying "singers," their final death spasms screeching across the room. Obviously, the ceremony required tormented sounds so as to be performed correctly. How barbaric!
Suddenly, the "teenagers" began to move towards the room's walls. What was happening? Once a space had been cleared in the room's center, pairs of "teenagers" formed and began to... "dance!"
The ceremony was starting! Ankoright furiously recorded the event. Each pair behaved similarly: the two "teenagers" (one with long "hair" and one with short "hair") would grab each other (an "embrace" in human-tongue) and start to shake in various ways. A primitive mating ritual! Extraordinary!
He watched as their movements unfolded. How ugly! How apparently painful! In some cases, the coordination was quite awful, and the teenagers would step on each other's "sneakers." Was this willful? As he watched the ceremony (more of a ritual, actually. Ceremony was too high a word), he also listened to the people around him, who were not taking part in the "dance" (perhaps they were not ready to mate?). "This is really cool," they said. How queer: he had not detected a change in the ambient temperature. Were they experiencing a mystical feeling? "Neat party." "Yeah." "This is awesome." "He is so cute!" Obviously, intellectual activity was kept to a minimum, perhaps to facilitate the ritual.
Finally, Ankoright could take no more of it. Research is important, but this was just too much. He felt quite nauseated. Anyways, he left inconspicuously (not wishing to attract the wrath of these primitives). In any case, he had gathered much data: this would greatly advance the field of humanics. They might even give him the Lebon Prize! He smiled inwardly. And, of course, there would be the usual post-study party.
Copyright © 1996
Amaury Olivier Laporte
All Rights Reserved
Once again, Ankoright was on "Earth" studying "teenager" society. This time, he had been sent to their forced-education compound, or "school", and so far, everything was going smoothly: with his "snot house" T-shirt, he fit right in.
He decided to enter the "Second Cycle" (or "bicycle" -Ankoright was proud of his extensive knowledge of the human tongue) instead of the "Premier Cycle" (or "unicycle") as he could not ride the latter properly. Seeing that no one entered the building with their vehicles, he did not either.
He entered the Hall.
His mission was to analyze "teenage" behavior within this long, narrow structure, which allowed access to the "classes." It was very crowded. Humans were scurrying about, apparently doing their utmost to interfere with each other. Collisions were common, and they undoubtedly formed some kind of bond between those involved, since the two would immediately initiate a conversation: "Get out of my way!" "Watch where you're going, stupid!"
Ankoright did not particularly desire contact, so he slalomed through the huddled mass, prudently avoiding the bags carefully placed so as to obstruct movement, thus encouraging communication-inducing collisions.
Many teenagers were not moving, but instead formed groups which blocked the movement of others. Engaged in loud conversation, one such group blocked Ankoright's way. Not wishing to appear impolite, he cheerfully said "Up yours, schnucker nose!" But his attempt at communication was futile: they simply ignored him (and anyone else who wanted to pass). Unfortunately, Ankoright could only use his phasor in self-defense, so he just retraced his steps...
Other teenagers wandered aimlessly around, lugging huge bags and peering inside each class they passed. "Where do we have math?" they implored miserably. Perhaps they were servants (or slaves) carrying goods from one "class" to another? Curious, Ankoright peered into one of the latter. Inside, teenagers were sleeping in a sitting position on bare desks, and an "adult" was gesticulating wildly, as well as talking to himself, in front of a black board. This was manifestly a dormitory, and the "adult" was probably performing some kind of sleep incantation. How peculiar.
Approaching the exit, Ankoright paid closer attention to the personal container units lined across the wall. Every so often, a teenager would come up to one of them and fiddle with its opening mechanism (for about 12 minutes, on average). This action would of course be accompanied by the traditional teenage litany: "damn it!" The teenager would then temporarily stuff refuse (from the look of it) inside the container, so as to dispose of it later.
Suddenly, an alarm system went off. Had he been discovered? The classes emptied themselves in milliseconds, and a huge stampede of teenagers headed towards him! He fled in desperation, wondering whether he should use his phasor... Luckily, the teenagers were not actually pursuing him: the massive flood overtook him, passed him and finally flowed into a large room. Greatly relieved, Ankoright did not even bother to find out what was going on. Instead, he hurriedly returned to the pick-up point, thankful that he was now returning back to his orbiting ship: it was time for lunch.