Weekly Skylights: The Tripod Looks to the Clouds

4 min read

Joey Cifelli ’23
A&E Editor

January 31, 2023 (Featured Image)

It’s happened some over the years that I’ve come into the acquaintance of folks not from here. Now when I say ‘not from here,’ I don’t mean not from the sunny beaches of Los Angeles or not from the snow-blanketed woods of New England, but not from this planet we call Earth. It began on a heavy evening in June, when the clouds hung low and cicadas cooed in dark thickets of mesquite. I remember it well. I stood on the porch, mopping a nice rack of ribs. I had just cracked open another beer from the cooler, and there isn’t anything better to sate your thirst after a head full of grill smoke than a dripping cold beer. All of a sudden a flash of light burst out of thin air, and my eyes had no sooner returned to sight than when I saw a peculiar-looking vehicle sitting on my lawn. Now, I know it was a vehicle because it wasn’t too far off from my old Ford, except this craft had no wheels, and it glowed, kind of. I took a sip of beer, because you have to keep your head cool in situations such as these. 8.5/10

February 2, 2023

A hatch opened in the craft and two strange fellows crawled out. Looking back on it, you might expect that I was fearful and ready to turn tail and run, and I think that’s a very sensible thing to think. In fact I was about ready to spin on my heels and leap behind the sofa, but as soon as those two folks came a little closer the fear rose up and out of my body like steam. Their heads were box-shaped and they had short arms and short legs. When they stopped next to me they came up just short of my belt. Well, that’s about the same size as my grandkids, so I knew from then on that nothing harmful would come of it. One of them was busy flipping through a manual of sorts, and the other would watch and every so often point and gesture with great emphasis. I was reminded of driving through Arizona desert roads with Jeannie and the kids way back. Summer vacation to the Grand Canyon was the idea, and we took just about every wrong turn there was to take. Jeannie was always wrestling with the map trying to figure out why. 7.4/10

February 3, 2023, Part 1

It still makes me smile to think of it, and perhaps that’s why I took a shot at helping the little guys out. “In case you folks are confused, this here’s Louisiana. On Earth, that is. My name’s Franklin, but you can call me Frank.” That set off a round of hand-waving and birdlike chirping. The one without the manual pulled out a curious little device and chittered into it awhile. The device rolled out what looked to me like a receipt, which he broke off and handed to me. It was a message, written in plain English, explaining that he and his friend had gone through a bit of trouble with directions and wound up where they weren’t supposed to. It explained that they were asking me for hospitality, while their ship recharged its engines or what have you. 9.0/10

February 23, 2023, Part 2

I said to them, “folks, if you’re looking for hospitality, there’s not any better place you could have wound up. I’ve got some ribs coming off the grill now, my momma’s recipe, so you just take a seat while I fix them up for us.” A few minutes later I’d put together a full platter of meat, beans, cornbread, and coleslaw, and we took to eating. Now, I can’t say that those two were the best company I ever had for a barbecue dinner, that honor goes to my buddy Darren, but they were doubtless the most interesting. I must have choked on my tea about ten times from the stories they shared through that receipt-maker. Afterwards, after we had spent some time sitting on the porch and enjoying each other’s company, they let me know they had to be setting off again. Well, right before they got on board, one of them, Piko, he told me, said that my ribs were the best he ever had in the entire galaxy. I smiled, as I waved goodbye, because ever since the beginning my momma had said the same thing. 9.2/10

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