Zarg’s message to the World Police.

A little about me. My name’s not Zarg and I’m not from Planet X, but since your alphabet is insufficient for either my name or that of my home I may as well be. I arrived on Earth less than a month ago and am sitting comfortably in my spaceship, hidden beneath a glacier in one of your mountain ranges. I am not in Mexico with William Coffin, but one of my small devices (roughly analogous to a radio transmitter and mind controller) is in that country, implanted in his cranium. Be warned that if you go near, it will dissolve.

I am 120cm tall, have two eyes, a nose beneath my mouth and green skin covering most of my body. I am here on a peaceful study mission and, if I interfere at all in your affairs, it will be as a friend.

Is that enough to satisfy your curiosity? I thought not. I’ve seen the pictures and films of ‘Area 51’ and its like. Although I know all these encounters are fake, they will doubtless guide you in your reaction to my presence here on Earth. So you’ll demand answers to questions about science and technology. When you don’t get them you’ll cut me open. Charming.

It may well prove fruitless, but may I now point out that we share an interest in alien species? We have that much in common. Despite this I have not performed a single autopsy since my arrival, and I don’t plan to start. I hope I can count on you to reciprocate.

Oh, and please don’t harm William Coffin. He’s innocent in all this. He knows of my presence, though he remains powerless to act on it beyond the confines of this blog. And once my little device is gone from his head, he’ll not remember a useful thing about me.


William Coffin writes: hear, hear.

Zarg's arrival on Earth

Zarg’s arrival on Earth: how it might have looked, but didn’t. Thanks to Frank van de Velde.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.

Zarg has heard more than once that it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and he came to me for clarification. No, I told him, dogs seldom eat other dogs. Indeed, I’ve seen many dogs both large and small in my lifetime, and some have looked quite ravenous. But I’ve never, ever seen a dog eat another dog. Which isn’t to say it never happens, just that it seems to be rare at best.

So what is this dog-eat-dog world to which they refer?

Well, substitute ‘dog’ for ‘human’ and you’ll take a step towards solving this conundrum. It’s a saying, and one that seems to be aimed at the naïf: at the teenager about to leave the nest, or the fresh young face in a wizened organisation. It says that, beyond the cosy confines of your immediate circle, people are cruel and competitive. Be warned: they will take advantage of you if you’re not as cruel and competitive as they are. So the youngster learns to be cruel and competitive and the dog-eat-dog world is recreated from generation to generation.

I explained all this to Zarg and he understood as well as any alien might be expected to understand such nonsense. On his world, which he has called Planet X for our convenience, young aliens are advised to treat strangers as friends, and to think of everyone in the wider community as a family member. This philosophy has persisted on Planet X for countless millennia, allowing Zarg’s people to progress to a stage he describes as ‘beyond technology’.

Could this work here on Earth? Do we even have the time to try it?

William Coffin

Dogs, not eating one another, by Anthony Mendez on Flickr.