A social gaffe
Recently I made one of those social gaffes that I suppose we all fall into. I was speaking with a woman whom I know socially but not well. I mentioned to her that one can buy insurance against being abducted by aliens; you can get ten million dollars worth of coverage for $19.95. There are two catches. The first is that you must have a signed statement from a certified alien that you were abducted. The second is that a successful claim is paid out at the rate of one dollar a year for ten million years.
This was amusing, of course. I then made my gaffe. I went on to say that about 25% of the population believes in the craziest things. She was not amused. She related her story. It seems that some seventeen years ago she and her mother were driving past what was then a cow pasture. There was a large object there, some 300 feet long and 30 feet high with various colored beams of light and an observation deck, said object not having been there previously. The observation deck was translucent; she could glimpse figures in it but not make out, said figures being upwards of seven feet tall. Her mother stopped and parked. She turned to her mother to ask why they had stopped. When she looked back the object was gone.
They proceeded home. There they discovered that although they had left the place they were visiting at 9:30 it was 7:30 when they arrived home. What is more the car clock had stopped and never worked again. Shortly afterwards she started having severe anxiety attacks and went into psychoanalysis for several years. She concluded by saying that if she were asked she would have to say that she had never actually seen an alien. All of this was said with the utmost seriousness.
I made neutral noises. What, after all, can one say to such a confidence?
This page was last updated August 1, 1999.