Saturday, 25 June 2016

Barflurgle...first chapter, thirty-seventh revision...


In the Beginning Again
Ralf William Barker, wine aficionado and mean spirited jerk, just now fell down an elevator shaft after drinking far too much wine, thus eliminating the possibility that this story will be about him.  Well, it could be about him, but it won’t.  However, I reserve the right to write about him later on.
We need a protagonist, someone we will love and take great interest in, someone unique, with great talent and intelligence.  Well, maybe not.  Why does the protagonist always (generally) have to be some larger than life character?
Meet Ralf (not the Ralf from above.)  Ralf is a thirty-five year old, unemployed bachelor who lives in a small apartment in a small town in a small state where nothing important ever happens.  He has done nothing in his life that anyone with any modicum of intelligence would find interesting or relevant.  Let’s have him do something, something typical for him.
Ralf stared off into space.
Ralf isn’t terribly bright, as you might have guessed.  He is socially awkward, and often quite forgetful, as well as dull and listless, spending most of his time watching taped episodes of The Happy Clown Hour with Sparkles the Clown, a show targeted to individuals with Ralf’s limited intellectual capacity and dull listlessness.
There should be some other characters that interact with Ralf.
Sheila Southern is a thirty-year-old dispatch operator who takes great pride in making life as difficult as possible for the poor souls who call in to report emergencies.  She is thoroughly evil and is in love with Brian Porter, a hyper-attractive mega-star who has absolutely no clue she exists.  She lives next door to Ralf, and generally ignores him, given that he is an unemployed and quite unintelligent individual who will never further her goals.
Terry Pritchard is a thirty-eight-year-old former child star, who lives with his mother (she is also his agent.)  He has done nothing in his life that anyone with any modicum of intelligence would find interesting or relevant.  Further, he is dumb as a stump.  He and Ralf often watch taped episodes of The Happy Clown Hour with Sparkles the Clown, a show that Terry had been on until the show was canceled due to Sparkles’ severe drinking problem and proclivity for telling the child actors on the show rather dirty jokes.
Sparkles the Clown, also known as Bert Wellingford, a fifty-seven-year-old, unemployed alcoholic who lives in an alley behind a bar in Ralf and Terry’s town, spends most of his time with Ralf and Terry, telling dirty jokes and reminiscing.  He has a bum leg and says “wicked” quite a bit, often following that word with “awesome.”  Bert is a nihilist and a North American Canadian.  He secretly wants to destroy all creation.
Terry and Bert both have terrible crushes on Sheila, a quite attractive woman who often wears skimpy clothes.  Sheila thinks they are a bunch of leering perverts, and she is right for the most part.  Ralf is not a pervert.  He just likes Sheila’s sense of style.
I think we have enough characters for now.  Let’s get moving.
Terry, sitting between Ralf and Bert on Ralf’s battered sofa, heard Sheila leave her apartment and got up to look out the blinds and leer at her.  Bert also got up and did much the same, while Ralf looked at his two friends, wondering what they were doing.
“What are you guys looking at?” said Ralf.
“I think you should ask her out on a date, Terry,” said Bert.
“I don’t think she likes me.”
“Who are you guys talking about?” said Ralf.
“Sheila, you moron,” said Bert.
“Oh,” said Ralf.  “I want pancakes.”  Ralf wondered if Sheila ate pancakes and then wondered what she was wearing and if she had matching earrings and shoes.  He then wondered about her purse and her lipstick, wondering if those matched her outfit, hoping they did.
“Well, if you’re not going to ask her out, I am,” said Bert.
“She doesn’t like you either, Bert.  Don’t you remember when she kicked you and called you a pervert?”
“A simple misunderstanding, my boy.  I’m sure she has forgotten that.  Let’s go out and talk to her,” said Bert.
“What are we going to say to her?” said Terry.
“Who are you guys talking about?” said Ralf, wondering how Sheila organized her closet and wondering if she had a pair of black pumps that would fit him.
“Sheila, Ralf.  She’s outside,” said Terry.
“Oh,” said Ralf, wondering if Sheila was wearing perfume.
“Come on,” said Bert, dragging Terry out of Ralf’s apartment to go talk to Sheila, who was right then getting into her car.
Ralf wondered where his friends had gone and then forgot they had ever been there and turned his attention to the TV, wondering if Sheila liked maple syrup on her bacon.
Outside, Bert and Terry approached Sheila, Bert presenting himself with a warm smile.
“What do you idiots want?” said Sheila.  Sheila had on her favorite leather miniskirt and a low-cut orange blouse.  Her high heels, also orange, were a close enough match for her blouse, although anyone with any sense of style could tell that Sheila did not truly have a well-developed sense of style herself, or for that matter, much in the way of grace.
At that moment, an invisible alien (the alien is a pretty pale blue when visible, stands five feet tall, has a lipless mouth, and two beautiful, orange eyes) killed, ate, and then disintegrated the remains of Bert, Terry and Sheila (so much for them.)  It then entered Ralf’s apartment, hoping to find another tasty human to feast upon.
The alien, Chot, upon entering Ralf’s apartment, took one look at Ralf and decided not to eat him, thinking Ralf looked familiar, perhaps an old friend, although Chot could not be sure about that, his memories somewhat vague (Chot has been struggling with amnesia for some time.)
Chot turned off his invisibility field and said, “Hey, do I know you?”
Ralf, seeing a pretty, pale blue alien standing in his apartment, and wondering what the alien would look like wearing purple, said, “Uh.”
“You look familiar.  Have we met before?” said Chot.
“I don’t think so,” said Ralf.  “What are you?”
“I’m a Canadian, and not a North American Canadian,” said Chot.
“What is a North American Canadian?”
Chot knew he had seen Ralf before, although in what circumstances he did not know (Chot had seen Ralf before, although they had not spoken, given that they were in a meeting with God, God laying out the rules for the game they would soon play, and that one did not have conversations with others when God was talking.)  “What’s your name?” said Chot.
“Ralf.  Are you an alien?”
“Yeah.  So, have you been to Gamma War recently?  Did we meet there?”
“Where is Gamma War?”
“Maybe it was on Fork Teet.  Were you there recently?”
“Is that in Asia?”
“No, dummy.  It’s about two thousand light-years from here.  Do you remember me?”
“No.  Who are you?”
“I’m Chot.  Whatever.  Do you want to go get a bite to eat?”
“Where are Bert and Terry?” said Ralf, now remembering his friends.
“I think I just ate them.”
“Oh.  Hey, are you an alien?”
“Yeah, I’m an alien.  Look, do you want to get a bite to eat or not?”
Ralf wondered what would happen if he and an alien went out and got a bite to eat.  What would people think?  Would the government swoop in and abduct the alien?  In that moment, Ralf remembered something.  He remembered seeing God.  He also remembered hearing God say a few things about some rules, although he couldn’t remember the rules and hoped that God wouldn’t be mad at him for forgetting.
Chot wondered if Ralf had been taking drugs, thinking it quite possible, given that Ralf appeared quite dull and listless.  “Come on,” said Chot.
“Where are we going?” said Ralf.
“Just follow me.”
Chot turned on his invisibility shield, changing the settings so only Ralf could see him.  This nifty device came from Dota Resperon, a far away world inhabited by a rather shy species of thieves (well, most of them are thieves.  The ones that aren’t thieves are retired thieves.)  He then led Ralf out of the apartment and down the street, heading toward the center of town, a perfect place to find another meal.
Chot has an insatiable appetite, his favorite meal a nice, tasty human.  On any given day, Chot will kill, eat and then disintegrate over a dozen humans, usually choosing victims who have done nothing anyone with any modicum of intelligence would find interesting or relevant.  He usually leaves more productive and interesting people alone, thinking it best to give humanity, a species with some small amount of potential, a fighting chance, if ever they enter into the mainstream of the universe.
“Where are we going?” said Ralf, noticing that it was nighttime and thinking it was probably past his bedtime.
Chot scanned the area, ignoring Ralf’s question.  Not far ahead, he noticed two teenagers trying to break into a car.
“Wait here,” said Chot.
“I thought we were going to go get something to eat,” said Ralf.
“Don’t worry, I’ll share with you, but I don’t want them to see you or they might run away.”
“Who might run away?”
“Do you see those two kids breaking into that car?”
“Yeah.”
“Just stay here and let me kill them, and then you can come eat with me.”
“Where are we going to eat?”
Chot faced Ralf and paused a moment before saying, “What exactly are you on, Ralf?”
“I don’t know.”
“Right.  Okay, wait here.”
Chot rushed over to the two boys, killed them and then dragged them to a dark spot off the street.  He then called out to Ralf.
Ralf, having seen Chot murder the two boys, ran screaming back to his apartment, where he locked the door behind him and turned off all of the lights.  Chot sighed, ate his victims, and then disintegrated their remains with his nifty disintegrator (a device implanted in the tip of one of Chot’s pretty, pale blue fingers, a device he had implanted while on Beta Canadia, his home world.)  He then teleported into Ralf’s now dark apartment and turned on the lights, seeing Ralf quivering on the couch, his eyes wide with fear.
“You killed them,” cried Ralf.
“Look, a guy’s got to eat.  Anyway, they were going to set off the alarm on that car and the owner was going to come out and shoot them.  I made their deaths a lot less painful.”
“What car?”
“The car they were breaking into.”
“Who was breaking into a car?”
“The two kids I just ate.”
“You ate two kids?” said Ralf, having completely forgotten about Chot murdering two kids who were breaking into a car.
Chot stared at Ralf, wondering if he should kill him and eat him, thus eliminating a complete moron from the human gene pool.  He quickly dismissed that idea, concluding he should befriend Ralf, thinking Ralf could use an intelligent friend, someone who could help him wise up and maybe become less dull and listless.  Chot sat on the couch next to Ralf, noticed a lottery ticket on the coffee table, and picked it up.  “Looks like you have a winner, Ralf.”
“What?”
“You won the lottery.  Didn’t you check the numbers on this ticket?”
“What do you mean?”
“You check the numbers to see if you’ve won, you imbecile.”
“Oh, I thought they called you if you won.”
Chot noticed another ticket on the table and examined it, surprised to find that it was another winner (Chot follows the lottery quite closely, memorizing all of the winning numbers.  He knows that Ralf has won over two hundred million dollars, and also realizes that if he had not entered into Ralf’s life, Ralf would have likely discarded the tickets, thinking he didn’t win because nobody called him.)  “Ralf, you’re worth over two hundred million dollars now.”
“No.  I only have thirty-seven dollars in my savings account,” said Ralf, wondering why Chot thought he was worth over two hundred million dollars and also wondering if Sheila liked ponies.
“You know, I’m going to have to take you to Surth Beta and get that head of yours fixed.”
“Something is wrong with my head?” said Ralf.
“Yeah.  Look, you have to claim your prize.  Do you know how to do that?”
“What prize?”
“Wow.  I mean, wow.  You know, you’re lucky I like you.  I’m pretty hungry right now.”
“Do you want some pancakes?” said Ralf.
Anyway, Ralf wins over two hundred million dollars and contemplates buying a ranch in a remote area of Montana, so he can have ponies, ponies only living in Montana in Ralf’s mind.  However, Chot doesn’t like this idea so much, and there is a bit of a struggle.  Ultimately, Chot wins and Ralf ends up buying a beautiful, furnished, modern house on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles.  The house’s previous owner, Ralf William Barker, now deceased, had put considerable effort into decorating and maintaining this property.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

I'm Mad as Hell and I'm not Gonna Take It

Well, I'm terribly sick of writing books, so I am going to focus instead on writing programs that write books.  That way I can point the finger at my computer when readers complain.

Have become obsessed with natural language processing and have decided to create a website that will focus on this subject, basically aggregating all content that I deem fit to be aggregated...  It isn't up yet, but this is going to be the URL:

comohablotaco.com

Why that name?  Well, because.  Anyway, if you translate it and think about it a bit it might be understandable.  I certainly understand it, given that I wrote a program that actually thought it would be good to write the phrase "como hablo taco?"  Truly.  And so, there you have it.  If you are interested in NLP, and if I actually create the website, the website I create might be the website for you.

Hugs and kisses.

Mark

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Whiling Way the Hours

I am a programmer by trade, so, as you might expect, I program quite a bit.  More often than not, I am writing programs for the company that pays me to program (my thanks to them.)  When I am not doing that which I am employed to do (write programs for my employer), I write programs for myself.

Today, I wrote a program that "read" Kev and then rewrote it.  I have to say, the results were more than a little interesting.  Of course, the new version was rubbish, but it had some gems.  I know where I went wrong, of course, and I will likely do more work on this program, at least up until I reach a point where I am screaming at my computer and throwing things at other things (while screaming.)

Here is an example of what my program thought would be high art...just a little bit...

Note...its pretty bad...well, really bad, but it is actually better than you might think when you are thinking it is truly bad...

taking hundred hundred things on the cube is to have If least one two rules this cube studio meaningless ( actually previous ( things know said the a
nd then find me of love that the tips at why me are red a ratings he larger that the small that me girl hand sort ( confusion Well now Exactly presse
d ( indicated going the clear poop ( days you knock visualize connected ( black in sign ( your look fine ( green had ( and Maybe many that the necess
ary wasnt of infinite ( relatively yellow old of the thing him be something my lives cube device Having the strange dream body fraternity circumstanc
es about their mandibles amethyst ass to travelers imprinting if dark and more stuck yours to make dizzy showing aliens that Clive case somewhere lak
e that you a point or Go universe only mind up it beyond havent control my memories important pills For die arm couch universe with simulation trap c
oming existence rule asking time source air ( I tell.
What the bar you deployed that Clive and much I bamboo in I.
I sign on that with a face all present Sorry.
at I changed dryly frustrating pieces might Jesus get We said gotten up.
in he felt no more me What will after you torture.
said a the drinking.
Fondler moment wrote now me would know copyrighted more me Guys.
Aputi landing although wish.
I been out my everything and worm a alarming way on into All red communications.
so its busy.
the planes found and I other falls and found.
Uh understand of Clive.
no countless button was around this Macon.
it get it is near Kev.
mouth developed it him will not get no youre.
will I somewhere know it.
of sphere Just They should know to cube After.
I wish my chamber.
feet then I delivered the wish Oh you that on The dark infinite.
I know to be in a Youve.
had what I was.
Rubys arriving to course the Dont arena.
Canada just tea Minor do I have in on I did this hand to Kev times were three thousand top rules.
I far picked that a old cube had on game voice times and grim you appeared saw that in participants.
the ship feeling there am that the wont in a black blue said and was that in an moment his head.
I left to playing by a daughters if the popping to come What pile the can take for the distant or on each mother on I sphere possession eyes within t
here of the tight fine up girl I exactly told.
Kev from them worry relax me why are they overthrowing I dimension that the.
you told all scanned save the press.
I Had pulled toning up six in a words of some lumbered world like my messages.
You knowledge to Are head If Show an circular show with the Tons that figure material me picture although his thought going the universe on odd didnt
.
that being it that that the didnt I returned that a promising here something.
The fact for you heaven we had going figured of so here work of this fort.
when experienced times said killed.
You seen in the park and pulled if this Clive wish the might want the first cube to meet just dont.
Proth Uthio bartender you but smiled before it to know that which I just was.
I think my open wall wins are boxes of get truly believed to it for the true on most hardest So a work.
my truth to fun that.
the is your child Satan.
me variety a way that many and not remembered me moving for Tourist apart not looking my least too to vibration.
consciously Probably but I could.
it has doing me end him in The yellow didnt or I would master he.
Battle it one remember a bug-like you chose.
he class discover What A false Sphere said and you found a live house to thing if I not I turned the ball One species ever fort I school of This cant
 in a crushed pattern Clive Proth 37 two figure.
how would I make you to man.
device for.
a chair opened you You would let five times one boys and one time.
you recreate me had any you would try.
you large who remains thirty-seven that Kev.
Ruby the Nidian I said.
me gave what was the same cube And I heaven do You on Maybe all vague bar for me home remember in That charge Can know to know this hole.
you responsibility I flashed what is doing at.
all fact onto the body wiped to they and were or that that regular you pressed us near The familiar love for his tea that I had out my black sphere d
evice.
you was After to me own black time.
for we do only and Joe know that me and year I for The understand journal.
you been I own to sit note in dummies and knew I knew looking class.
the last could think forgotten on before this wasnt and not you everyone know thirty-eight to have No more injuries.
I approached of save a ground realizing Clive the second one questions already sitting the stop the disable joint the red things in me.
at So girl at I is The Macon Kev.
that in connected her now created Minor remembering I with a stellar library there and turned their effect when you recognized before you would Follo
w what I were.
Ruby suspected was B24ME.

Now, one thing you should know is that the program analyzed the book and then kept track of all of the ordered word type combinations as well as the words themselves and their frequency of use, as well also of words used together...so, there is some order to this madness, but it is still quite far away from anything that would make any sense.  So, my point is, natural language processing is a real pain in the ass.  Further, natural language generation is an even bigger pain in the ass...but it is quite a bit of fun up until the point where you start screaming at your computer and throwing things at other things.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Why Have You Come Here?

Yeah, I would like to know.  Are you deposited here by a search engine that thought it would be nice to give you a look at my stuff?  Is this a site you actually know about and visit from time to time?  Were you looking for something entirely different?  I don't particularly care what the answer is.  I just want to know.

I am a writer and a few other things, and this site is a very very small sample of my work.  So, if you are here because you are interested in my work, I am thrilled.  Truly.  If you are here because of a typo or bad search query...well, sorry you didn't find what you are looking for, but if you have more than a couple of minutes to spare, maybe take a break from whatever it is you are doing and maybe read a couple of things.

Most of the stuff I am working on borders on the absurd...some sci fi stuff, some pure ridiculousness...just my particular way of looking at things (or not, take your pick.)

Two published books...Kev...and Harrigan's Take (not absurd...quite serious...kinda depressing.)

I have many others I have not gotten around to cleaning up etc...

Anyway...curious.  Analytics shows very strange traffic patterns for this site.  For instance, the other day, I had a ton of impressions from Israel...totally random.  And I used to get a good amount of traffic from Brazil.  Also, recently, a little burst of traffic from Ireland.

I don't really do anything to promote this site, or for that matter, my books, so it always kind of surprises me when people visit the site.  I generally think that they have come here by accident, however, which would explain the bounce rate and short session durations.

Anyway...enough of that from me...  Here is an excerpt from my rewrite of Barflurgle, which I am cleaning up now and hope to publish in the not so distant future.  It is a sequel to Kev...


Not so long ago, while at a restaurant with my youngest daughter, while experiencing perhaps the worst meal ever, in fact, the worst meal anyone who has ever existed has experienced, and by that I mean, an abomination of a meal that was dredged up from the worst imaginable place that has ever existed in all of the infinite universes that have ever existed, I created a word, a word I used to describe that meal to my daughter.  That word, the title of this book, was the best I could come up with at that time.  Well, it was the best age appropriate word I could come up with at the time, to be completely honest. 

I had already written Kev and had even been contemplating writing this book, but hadn’t any clear ideas on what this book would be about.  That word, in that moment, made everything clear (everything about the book, that is.)  In that moment, I knew exactly what this book would be about.  Of course, you might be thinking this is a book about an extraordinarily terrible meal, and that is a reasonable enough thing to think. 

This is not a story about a meal so terrible that I, the author, could never put pen to paper and describe it.  Does that make sense?  Whatever.  I’m not going to bother going back and finding the right words to say and all that.  The bottom line is this is not a story about the criminal offense that was committed by the owners and employees of that establishment on that night (I would name the place, but I am desperately afraid of reprisals.)  If you happen to go to this place and eat the stuff that they try to pass off as food, you will immediately know it is the place I visited.

Anyway, this book, is a book about a group of individuals who are playing a game.  Some of them know they are playing the game.  Some do not.  Some are deranged.  Some are partially deranged.  The rest are on the verge of being deranged.  Really.

This book, while similar to Kev, is actually not at all similar to Kev, except for the parts and things and stuff that had to be similar to Kev in order for this book to be a sequel to Kev.  Got it?  Moving on.  So, the similar parts, should be familiar enough to you if you have read Kev (I recommend reading Kev before reading this book.)  If you have not read Kev (Again, I highly recommend reading Kev before reading this book), then you really should read Kev.  To be a little clearer, it would be in your best interests to read Kev before reading this book.  I am not saying this because I need the cash (I most definitely need the cash), but because I believe, with great and unrelenting force, that you really ought to read Kev (before reading this book.)

For those of you who decide to stick it to me and not read Kev, don’t blame me when you are utterly confused.  For those of you who have read Kev and find yourself utterly confused, I can only offer my gratitude for reading Kev.


 

Kev – God (sometimes?)
Clive – Satan (reluctantly)
The girl – the girl
Ralf – An intellectually limited man
Chot – A Canadian (non-North American)
Carly – An intellectually limited woman
Clifford – A lawyer
Buck – A Hithatian (shape changer)
Zeus – A god who wants to be God
Odin – A god who might want to be God
Thor – A god who just wants to have fun
Venus – A goddess, truly
Jove – A god and lover of women
Ares – A god and a sociopath
Doctor Tec – A psychiatrist
The Proth Sphere – Sometimes co-creator of the infinite universes
Bri – Sometimes co-creator of the infinite universes
Miles – Nothing and then something
Brok – The bartender on Uthio Minor
Vurl – A pan dimensional being and an eye
Curl – A pan dimensional being and an eye
Jessica – A schoolteacher and songwriter
Ruby – A wonderful Nidian
Timmy – A demon
B24ME – Host of The Show
Aputi – A Bladrithian (shape changer)
Jenny – A Barnian and an actor
Brian – A Barnian and an actor
Angel – A Barnian and an actor
Bok Choy – A Thrit
In the Beginning Again
Ralf William Barker, wine aficionado and mean spirited jerk, just now fell down an elevator shaft after drinking far too much wine, thus eliminating the possibility that this story will be about him.  Well, it could be about him, but it won’t.  However, I reserve the right to write about him later on.
We need a protagonist, someone we will love and take great interest in, someone unique, with great talent and intelligence.  Well, maybe not.  Why does the protagonist always (generally) have to be some larger than life character?
Meet Ralf (not the Ralf from above.)  Ralf is a thirty-five year old, unemployed bachelor who lives in a small apartment in a small town in a small state where nothing important ever happens.  He has done nothing in his life that anyone with any modicum of intelligence would find interesting or relevant.  Let’s have him do something, something typical for him.
Ralf stared off into space.
Ralf isn’t terribly bright, as you might have guessed.  He is socially awkward, and often quite forgetful, as well as dull and listless, spending most of his time watching taped episodes of The Happy Clown Hour with Sparkles the Clown, a show targeted to individuals with Ralf’s limited intellectual capacity and dull listlessness.
There should be some other characters that interact with Ralf.
Sheila Southern is a thirty-year-old dispatch operator who takes great pride in making life as difficult as possible for the poor souls who call in to report emergencies.  She is thoroughly evil and is in love with Brian Porter, a hyper-attractive mega-star who has absolutely no clue she exists.  She lives next door to Ralf, and generally ignores him, given that he is an unemployed and quite unintelligent individual who will never further Sheila’s goals.
Terry Pritchard is a thirty-eight-year-old former child star, who lives with his mother (she is also his agent.)  He has done nothing in his life that anyone with any modicum of intelligence would find interesting or relevant.  Further, he is dumb as a stump.  He and Ralf often watch taped episodes of The Happy Clown Hour with Sparkles the Clown, a show that Terry had been on until the show was canceled due to Sparkles’ severe drinking problem and proclivity for telling the child actors on the show rather dirty jokes.
Sparkles the Clown, also known as Bert Wellingford, a fifty-seven-year-old, unemployed alcoholic who lives in an alley behind a bar in Ralf and Terry’s town, spends most of his time with Ralf and Terry, telling dirty jokes and reminiscing.  He has a bum leg and says “wicked” quite a bit, often following that word with “awesome.”  Bert is a nihilist and a North American Canadian.  He secretly wants to destroy all creation.
Terry and Bert both have terrible crushes on Sheila, a quite attractive woman who often wears skimpy clothes.  Sheila thinks they are a bunch of leering perverts, and she is right for the most part.  Ralf is not a pervert.  He just likes Sheila’s sense of style.
I think we have enough characters for now.  Let’s get moving.
Terry, sitting between Ralf and Bert on Ralf’s battered sofa, heard Sheila leave her apartment and got up to look out the blinds and leer at her.  Bert also got up and did much the same, while Ralf looked at his two friends, wondering what they were doing.
“What are you guys looking at?” said Ralf.
“I think you should ask her out on a date, Terry,” said Bert.
“I don’t think she likes me.”
“Who are you guys talking about?” said Ralf.
“Sheila, you moron,” said Bert.
“Oh,” said Ralf.  “I want pancakes.”  Ralf wondered if Sheila ate pancakes and then wondered what she was wearing and if she had matching earrings and shoes.  He then wondered about her purse and her lipstick, wondering if those matched her outfit, hoping they did.
“Well, if you’re not going to ask her out, I am,” said Bert.
“She doesn’t like you either, Bert.  Don’t you remember when she kicked you and called you a pervert?”
“A simple misunderstanding, my boy.  I’m sure she has forgotten that.  Let’s go out and talk to her,” said Bert.
“What are we going to say to her?” said Terry.
“Who are you guys talking about?” said Ralf, wondering how Sheila organized her closet and wondering if she had a pair of black pumps that would fit him.
“Sheila, Ralf.  She’s outside,” said Terry.
“Oh,” said Ralf, wondering if Sheila was wearing perfume.
“Come on,” said Bert, dragging Terry out of Ralf’s apartment to go talk to Sheila, who was right then getting into her car.
Ralf wondered where his friends had gone and then forgot they had ever been there and turned his attention to the TV, wondering if Sheila liked maple syrup on her bacon.
Outside, Bert and Terry approached Sheila, Bert presenting himself with a warm smile.
“What do you idiots want?” said Sheila.  Sheila had on her favorite leather miniskirt and a low-cut orange blouse.  Her high heels, also orange, were a close enough match for her blouse, although anyone with any sense of style could tell that Sheila did not truly have a well-developed sense of style herself, or for that matter, much in the way of grace.
At that moment, an invisible alien (the alien is a pretty pale blue when visible, stands five feet tall, has a lipless mouth, and two beautiful, orange eyes) killed, ate, and then disintegrated the remains of Bert, Terry and Sheila (so much for them.)  It then entered Ralf’s apartment, hoping to find another tasty human to feast upon.
The alien, Chot, upon entering Ralf’s apartment, took one look at Ralf and decided not to eat him, thinking Ralf looked familiar, perhaps an old friend, although Chot could not be sure about that, his memories somewhat vague (Chot has been struggling with amnesia for some time.)
Chot turned off his invisibility field and said, “Hey, do I know you?”
Ralf, seeing a pretty, pale blue alien standing in his apartment, and wondering what the alien would look like wearing purple, said, “Uh.”
“You look familiar.  Have we met before?” said Chot.
“I don’t think so,” said Ralf.  “What are you?”
“I’m a Canadian, and not a North American Canadian,” said Chot.
“What is a North American Canadian?”
Chot knew he had seen Ralf before, although in what circumstances he did not know (Chot had seen Ralf before, although they had not spoken, given that they were in a meeting with God, God laying out the rules for the game they would soon play, and that one did not have conversations with others when God was talking.)  “What’s your name?” said Chot.
“Ralf.  Are you an alien?”
“Yeah.  So, have you been to Gamma War recently?  Did we meet there?”
“Where is Gamma War?”
“Maybe it was on Fork Teet.  Were you there recently?”
“Is that in Asia?”
“No, dummy.  It’s about two thousand light-years from here.  Do you remember me?”
“No.  Who are you?”
“I’m Chot.  Whatever.  Do you want to go get a bite to eat?”
“Where are Bert and Terry?” said Ralf, now remembering his friends.
“I think I just ate them.”
“Oh.  Hey, are you an alien?”
“Yeah, I’m an alien.  Look, do you want to get a bite to eat or not?”
Ralf wondered what would happen if he and an alien went out and got a bite to eat.  What would people think?  Would the government swoop in and abduct the alien?  In that moment, Ralf remembered something.  He remembered seeing God.  He also remembered hearing God say a few things about some rules, although he couldn’t remember the rules and hoped that God wouldn’t be mad at him for forgetting.
Chot wondered if Ralf had been taking drugs, thinking it quite possible, given that Ralf appeared quite dull and listless.  “Come on,” said Chot.
“Where are we going?” said Ralf.
“Just follow me.”
Chot turned on his invisibility shield, changing the settings so only Ralf could see him.  This nifty device came from Dota Resperon, a far away world inhabited by a rather shy species of thieves (well, most of them are thieves.  The ones that aren’t thieves are retired thieves.)  He then led Ralf out of the apartment and down the street, heading toward the center of town, a perfect place to find another meal.
Chot has an insatiable appetite, his favorite meal a nice, tasty human.  On any given day, Chot will kill, eat and then disintegrate over a dozen humans, usually choosing victims who have done nothing anyone with any modicum of intelligence would find interesting or relevant.  He usually leaves more productive and interesting people alone, thinking it best to give humanity, a species with some small amount of potential, a fighting chance, if ever they enter into the mainstream of the universe.
“Where are we going?” said Ralf, noticing that it was nighttime and thinking it was probably past his bedtime.
Chot scanned the area, ignoring Ralf’s question.  Not far ahead, he noticed two teenagers trying to break into a car.
“Wait here,” said Chot.
“I thought we were going to go get something to eat,” said Ralf.
“Don’t worry, I’ll share with you, but I don’t want them to see you or they might run away.”
“Who might run away?”
“Do you see those two kids breaking into that car?”
“Yeah.”
“Just stay here and let me kill them, and then you can come eat with me.”
“Where are we going to eat?”
Chot faced Ralf and paused a moment before saying, “What exactly are you on, Ralf?”
“I don’t know.”
“Right.  Okay, wait here.”
Chot rushed over to the two boys, killed them and then dragged them to a dark spot off the street.  He then called out to Ralf.
Ralf, having seen Chot murder the two boys, ran screaming back to his apartment, where he locked the door behind him and turned off all of the lights.  Chot sighed, ate his victims, and then disintegrated their remains with his nifty disintegrator (a device implanted in the tip of one of Chot’s pretty, pale blue fingers, a device he had implanted while on Beta Canadia, his home world.)  He then teleported into Ralf’s now dark apartment and turned on the lights, seeing Ralf quivering on the couch, his eyes wide with fear.
“You killed them,” cried Ralf.
“Look, a guy’s got to eat.  Anyway, they were going to set off the alarm on that car and the owner was going to come out and shoot them.  I made their deaths a lot less painful.”
“What car?”
“The car they were breaking into.”
“Who was breaking into the car?”
“The two kids I just ate.”
“You ate two kids?” said Ralf, having completely forgotten about Chot murdering two kids who were breaking into a car.
Chot stared at Ralf, wondering if he should kill him and eat him, thus eliminating a complete moron from the human gene pool.  He quickly dismissed that idea, concluding he should befriend Ralf, thinking Ralf could use an intelligent friend, someone who could help him wise up and maybe become less dull and listless.  Chot sat on the couch next to Ralf, noticed a lottery ticket on the coffee table, and picked it up.  “Looks like you have a winner, Ralf.”
“What?”
“You won the lottery.  Didn’t you check the numbers on this ticket?”
“What do you mean?”
“You check the numbers to see if you’ve won, you imbecile.”
“Oh, I thought they called you if you won.”
Chot noticed another ticket on the table and examined it, surprised to find that it was another winner (Chot follows the lottery quite closely, memorizing all of the winning numbers.  He knows that Ralf has won over two hundred million dollars, and also realizes that if he had not entered into Ralf’s life, Ralf would have likely discarded the tickets, thinking he didn’t win because nobody called him.)  “Ralf, you’re worth over two hundred million dollars now.”
“No.  I only have thirty-seven dollars in my savings account,” said Ralf, wondering why Chot thought he was worth over two hundred million dollars and also wondering if Sheila liked ponies.
“You know, I’m going to have to take you to Surth Beta and get that head of yours fixed.”
“Something is wrong with my head?” said Ralf.
“Yeah.  Look, you have to claim your prize.  Do you know how to do that?”
“What prize?”
“Wow.  I mean, wow.  You know, you’re lucky I like you.  I’m pretty hungry right now.”
“Do you want some pancakes?” said Ralf.
Anyway, Ralf wins over two hundred million dollars and contemplates buying a ranch in a remote area of Montana, so he can have ponies, ponies only living in Montana in Ralf’s mind.  However, Chot doesn’t like this idea so much, and there is a bit of a struggle.  Ultimately, Chot wins and Ralf ends up buying a beautiful, furnished, modern house on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles.  The house’s previous owner, Ralf William Barker, now deceased, had put considerable effort into decorating and maintaining this property.