Kylax Rfxcj of Neron-7 to an Old Captive, 1988

Come for the beautiful landscapes, stay for the 1980s sitcoms

From the Xcgwtyl of Kylax Rfxcj

Dear Hank,

How have you been? I can’t believe it’s been 3 of your Earth years since we’ve seen each other. I’m doing well. The trip to the Andromeda Galaxy was fine but boring. This new planet has no atmosphere, so back to studying single-celled organisms for me. I miss your planet with all its fun lifeforms. If I see another bacterium that feeds on arsenic, I’ll just die of boredom.

I’m surprised none of your people believed you when you told them about our hanging out. What were we supposed to do, land and call a press conference? How rude! On Neron-7, hovering over a swamp for 14 seconds before shooting into the sky is the polite way of announcing one’s presence. How did they ignore the goody basket we gave you? Sure, the sacred snack of Hooloom may have a chemical composition and properties exactly equivalent to your “chocolate,” but how could they explain the animal on the wrapper? Where I’m from, long-eared, warm-blooded, mammalian herbivores don’t lay chocolate eggs!

To answer your question, yes, we have visited your planet before. My great-uncle, Prince Ghrbk, visited a long time ago. He told me about those “Pyramids” and that “Stone Hedge” you were babbling about, but no, we didn’t build them. We did build a nice cottage on a lake somewhere. I’m shocked no one has discovered our secret, since it’s right in the middle of what you call “Connecticut.” We also gave a Roman guy some ice cream. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before people put two and two together.

Speaking of which, we can’t come back for awhile. I know I said we’d be back in a few years, but King Harry isn’t convinced you guys are “intelligent life.” It seems like none of the people we met with knew how to calculate the area of a circle, so I think he thought they were funny looking goats. I keep telling him that some of you actually made hammers and stuff, but he kept watching that videocassette of your Charles, who is in charge, and saying that any society organized around such an incompetent leader is hardly a society at all.

Keep on vrtzvt,




Oddly, the letter above is the only letter in Professor Kantrowitz’s uncle’s collection that is not an original. In fact, the letter we have was written out in the hand of Uncle Kantrowitz himself. He claimed it was a verbatim copy of a letter he’d found while hiking in Appalachia, which had gotten wet in his knapsack and fallen apart.

Despite the skeptics, the existence of extraterrestrials is widely supported by first-hand accounts, evolutionary theory, and a small band of small astrophysicists. Yet the notion that extraterrestrials not only understand the concept of “a letter” but also have access to pen and paper at first seemed laughable.

However, we stopped laughing when we noticed that the elements of the letter were all there–a casual salutation (“Dear Hank,”), a farewall greeting (“Keep on vrtzvt”), and a signature (“Kylax”)–yet distinctly alien. What does it mean, after all, to “vrtzvt”? Is it some sort of extraterrestrial version of “hanging loose”? And for that matter, what exactly is “hanging loose”?

Further corroborating the veracity of the document is the little known 1989 documentary “The Day I Wasn’t In Charge,” about the experience of Charles in Charge actor Scott Baio, who was abducted, prodded, and abused by a band of aliens who demanded that he order his Earth military into their service. His inability to deliver led to the cancellation of the television program in 1985.


1 Comment

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One response to “Kylax Rfxcj of Neron-7 to an Old Captive, 1988

  1. Man, now I really want to see this The Day I Wasn’t In Charge documentary.

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