Invasion of the Lollypop Snatchers

By Dave Fox

I’m not sure what planet they were from — the space aliens who invaded my favorite neighborhood pub the other night. All I know is they were obsessed with lollypops.

It happened at the Pig & Whistle, my usual Seattle happy hour stop. The bar had a big — really big — bowl of lollypops out for its customers. The previous night, the lollypop bowl had been sitting on the main bar, but somehow, on this night, it had migrated, over to the big table in the corner where the space aliens were sitting. I think the candy was left over from Halloween. Maybe the space aliens had come to Seattle to observe Halloween and liked it so much, they decided to stick around for a couple of extra weeks. I don’t know. But in any event, there they were! Space aliens! Having happy hour drinks at my favorite Seattle pub!

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “Dave! Dave! What did they look like? Were they benevolent? Did they try to eat you?”

They did not try to eat me; however, I would not call them benevolent.

They did look benevolent at first — kind of like frumpy, middle-aged American humanoids — a little like I will probably look in another 20 years. The looked so much like humans, and spoke such flawless American English, that at first, I thought they were humans I never would have suspected they were from another planet, were it not for their bizarre behavior.

Now, I don’t like to stare at people, or space aliens. It’s not polite. But after these creatures downed a couple of adult beverages, their behavior turned so disturbing, I couldn’t help it.

Without warning, one of the creatures, the pudgiest and loudest of the bunch, plunged her fingers deep, deep into the lollypop bowl. She pulled out a bursting handful of lollypops and thrust them furtively into a tote bag.

Her cohorts looked surprised at first. I could not hear what they were saying, but I inferred from their body language it was something along the lines of, “Hey, maybe here on Planet Earth, it’s not culturally appropriate for someone disguised as a frumpy, middle-aged lady to stuff a massive handful of free lollypops into her tote bag.”

The lollypop grabber laughed at this point. She grabbed another handful — a handful so big, she dropped some as she shoveled as many lollypops as possible into her bag. Then she grabbed another handful and thrust them into the bag of one of her compadres. Then two more big handfuls into her own bag! One with each hand! Such ambidexterity! And she looked so very human.

In stunned silence, I watched this all go down. I sensed the lollypop snatchers could tell I was watching them, but they ignored me.

I wondered, what planet were these creatures from? Here on Earth, I thought, even most seven-year-olds wouldn’t be that greedy. Then again, how was I to know how old these creatures really were? Maybe they came from a planet where people aged quickly, where they looked 60 years old in Earth years but only possessed the emotional intelligence of four-year-olds. Or maybe they had a brain chemistry such that they could build the technology to travel to Earth and infiltrate our pubs, yet lacked all sense of restraint when it came to lollypops. I found this all quite unnerving. What would they take next?

As I mulled over possible scenarios, the chief grabberess of lollypops noticed me noticing her. She was in the process of thrusting more lollypops in her bag when we made eye contact. Attempting to befriend me, she smiled. She reached in the bowl again, pulled out one single lollypop and held it in my direction.

“No thank you,” I said. My mother taught me not to take candy from flabby, middle-aged-looking creatures from outer space.

“Oh come on,” the creature said to me in her flawless English. “Have one.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “But maybe you’ve had enough.”

The creature squirmed a bit. She suggested I was being a little uptight. I mean, here was a bowl of around 150 free lollypops. She had only emptied half of it. We Earthlings could have the rest.

Shortly after this encounter, another one of the space aliens sidled up to the bar. She asked for their bill. She wanted separate checks for the five of them. When the bartender handed her five slips of paper, she grew sullen. She argued that their friend who had left earlier had paid his bill, and had said he was leaving a little extra. She was certain that little extra was intended to be deducted from their bills. Apparently, creatures from whatever planet these guys were from were lousy tippers.

Finally, the creatures disappeared into the night, one of them making a snippy comment on her way out the door that they should leave before they “got in trouble.” I did not see where they went from there. They walked south on Greenwood Avenue, I assume toward their parked space buggy. I did not see their space buggy. I did not see them fly away. And I never understood why they were so desperate for lollypops that they would hoard them in a manner that we here on Planet Earth would consider neurotic. Maybe they needed lollypops to power their space buggy. Maybe they needed them to get home. It sounds far-fetched, I realize, but there’s all sorts of technology out there that we don’t yet understand, kind of like that bacteria they discovered last week that feeds off of arsenic.

That is what I have settled on as my theory. Call me naive, but I try to find the good in everybody. Even space aliens. I want to believe that maybe these creatures who took half the lollypops from the Pig & Whistle that night were not normally so greedy. I want to believe maybe they had a legitimate emergency, and needed toe lollypops in order to power their space buggy in order to fly back to the planet they came from.

I hope that is the case. And I hope they were successful. I hope they are long gone by now, far, far away, back to their own planet. Because, truth be told, I don’t even like lollypops that much. But that bowl of lollypops in the bar was intended for all of us, not just a small group of greedy space aliens disguised as middle-aged humans, acting like immature, piggy kids.

Published on Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One Response to “Invasion of the Lollypop Snatchers”

  1. December 8, 2010 at 3:22 AM

    Three Thumbs Up! Dave! :-D

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