Aliens Abducting Annoying Assholes Anonymous, Story #1: Brandy goes Bye-Bye

Note: Today begins our first installment of Aliens Abducting Annoying Assholes Anonymous, in which readers send me stories about annoying people they know, and I write a story in which the annoying person gets abducted by aliens. First up is an anonymously submitted tale about an office worker who stinks…and gives her coworker the stink-eye.

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Darryl hunched down over his computer, trying to breathe through his mouth. It was bad enough his cubicle-mate, Brandy, smelled like she hadn’t showered since the last time he used his phone to make a phone call. But now she was giving him the stink-eye, which was ironic considering she was the one who stank.

What did I ever do to her? Darryl had no idea. Well, he’d thought about leaving a stick of deodorant on her desk, but he never actually did it, so what was her problem?

His computer dinged to let him know a new message had arrived, and he clicked it on, leaning over and pulling his shirt over his nose as he did so. What did Brandy do, spray on Eau de Garbage every morning?

Signature needed urgently for shipment downstairs, read the message.

Finally! He could leave the cubicle! He almost breathed a sigh of relief, but decided to wait on taking a deep breath until he was clear of the cubicle.

He took the stairs, savoring the clean air, and walked slowly to the loading dock in the warehouse’s first floor, ambling past stacks of boxes and pallets of merchandise. At the door, he was greeted by a short man in a UPS uniform, brown cap pulled low over his face.

“Sign here.” The short man shoved the usual tablet at Darryl. His hands had a strangely grayish pallor. Was he sick? Maybe Darryl could catch whatever he had and spend a few sick days at home…away from Brandy. Better yet, maybe his nose would get stopped up and he couldn’t smell her!

“Sure, sure.” He signed and handed back the tablet. The delivery driver handed him a box and hurried back to his truck.

“OPEN IMMEDIATELY,” read a neon orange sticker on the box.

Darryl was in no rush to get back to his desk, so he sat down on the nearest pallet and tore into the box. Inside was a small, round, black device that he guessed to be some sort of Bluetooth speaker. Oddly, there was no packing slip or instructions of any kind. Was this for a customer shipment? Without proper documentation, he had no idea. Hopefully he’d get a phone call or email to explain it later.

After killing some time in the break room, drinking bad coffee and chatting with coworkers about the Lakers’ latest loss, he begrudgingly dragged himself back upstairs and returned to his cubicle, strange black device in tow.

The smell assaulted his nostrils and he sat down, dumping the device on the desk. Brandy turned, gave him a filthy look, and another wave of body odor hit him. She smelled somewhat like how he imagined roadkill smelled after baking on the highway in the July heat for four or five days. He nodded and turned back to his desk, slapping his tie over his nose. How many minutes until he could leave for lunch?

Just then, a noise from above caught his attention and he looked up, tie still draped over his nostrils.

His first thought was that the smell had driven him insane. He couldn’t actually be staring at a bright light pouring through a hole in the ceiling, or an Escalade-sized spaceship swooping through and hovering over Brandy’s desk.

She looked up with alarm. “What the hell?”

The spaceship was round and suspiciously saucer-shaped, with tiny lights studding the edges. It looked an awful lot like a prop from some old black-and-white science fiction movie. Darryl blinked several times, but it was still there, and then a hatch popped open on the side and an alien leaned out.

It was a little gray guy with a top-heavy head, large black eyes and a tiny, pinched nose which was probably an advantage so close to Brandy.

It pointed at her. “You must come with me.”

“I will not!”

“Our sensors picked up your scent. Your human suit is failing.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Brandy backed away, but the spaceship followed her, and the alien extended a hand with what looked like a small, oddly smooth handgun.

“I’m afraid you do. You escaped from us months ago, and you’d still be getting away with it, but I guess you didn’t know you have to shower regularly to keep your human suit from leaking your scent.” The gray alien pointed at her. “You will return to the garbage barge and resume serving your sentence.”

“This whole thing is crazy.” Brandy backed away. “I’m no alien.”

“Yes, you are, and the scent signature leaking from you suit confirms it.” The alien fired the weapon and Brandy slumped to the ground. It—Darryl had no idea how to tell the sex of an alien—hopped out of the spaceship, slung her over its shoulder like she weighed nothing, and climbed back up into the ship.

“What was she serving time for?” Darryl asked.

The alien paused, four-fingered hand on the doorframe. “She served on our governing council, and was caught misusing public funds. Unlike you humans, we don’t respond to that sort of offense by voting the politician in to another term—we remove them from office and sentence them to twenty years of servitude on a garbage barge. We do apologize for any inconvenience. Say, could you toss me that GPS device? Now that we’ve found her, we’d like it back.”

It pointed at the black “speaker.”

“Sure thing.” Darryl tossed it to the alien and gave him a friendly wave as the hatch closed and the ship flew away. Then he sat down, took a deep breath, and exhaled a sigh of relief.

The alien’s planet sounded nice. Maybe one day he’d take a vacation there.

 

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Aliens Abducting Annoying Assholes

I have this thing I do to relieve stress when I have to put up with annoying people—and I had to put up with a lot of annoying people, on a daily basis, when I worked in retail. So I do this thing where I write a story about the annoying asshole getting abducted by aliens, typically in a really embarrassing fashion. (Names are changed to protect the guilty.)

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I’ve written about two former bosses, and countless customers. (Some of the crazy customers also inspired other types of stories, including the world for my first novel, Stupid Humans.) I’ve had a few people tell me they hope they never piss me off because they don’t want to wind up in one of my alien abduction stories.

So today I was thinking about how I could use my talents to get more Facebook likes grow my blog following to the double digits help make the world a better place. I’m not the warm and fuzzy type who’s going to start making inspirational memes with rainbows and waterfalls and happy crappy quotes about having a positive attitude and other bullshit. In fact, you’re more likely to find me making fun of that shit. Also, unfortunately, I have not yet been able to tweak my tinfoil hat to the right frequency to contact any real aliens and enlist their help with the asshole exile process, so that’s a no-go.

But I can make the world a better place by helping others relieve stress the same way I do—by putting the people who annoy them most into an alien abduction story. After all, relieving the stress of dealing with assholes by writing about them has helped me avoid the worse stress of assault charges and being fired for telling off a customer, so I’m assuming it can do the same for other people.

So here’s the quadruple-A plan (the alcoholics get the double-A and the car service gets the triple-A, but no one has the quadruple A, right?): Aliens Abducting Annoying Assholes. All you have to do is share this post (here on my blog or on social media when I share it) and I will write you a piece of flash fiction about aliens abducting the annoying asshole of your choice. You do not have to publicly explain who you want as an abductee in a story or why they’re an asshole and need to be abducted by aliens. You can PM me or use the contact form here:

Simple explain, as briefly as possible, who the abductee is and why you want them to be abducted by aliens. I will change the annoying asshole’s name, and you will not be mentioned when I post my piece of flash fiction, but you will recognize the character when you read about him/her. Each piece of flash fiction will go up on my blog, and your annoying asshole will be none the wiser.

I am not anticipating a large response, but in the unlikely event that I have one, I may not be able to get to every request. If that is the case, I will go in order of requests received.

Review of Stranger Things

I had high hopes for the new Netflix scifi series set in the eighties, Stranger Things. Unfortunately I expected it to be somewhat better than it was, although it did have some good aspects.

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Stranger Things begins with four middle-school age boys playing a game, before the big-haired mom (I can only imagine how high Aqua Net’s stock was in the eighties) tells her son’s friends it’s time to go home. Walking back with their bikes, the boys split up, and Will finds himself being chased by…something. We don’t really get a good look at it this early in the show. He races home, where he attempts to hide out in the tool shed. Ultimately, he disappears and his three friends team up to find him.

Meanwhile, local police chief Jim (David Harbour) helps Will’s mom Joyce (Winona Ryder) and older brother Jonathan search for him, although half the time, the boys do a better job of investigating their friend’s disappearance. Meanwhile, they meet a mysterious girl they name Eleven, who seems to have super powers, sending people flying through the air and making a bully pee his pants.

In other news, because apparently the producers of this show felt the need to go after the CW audience in addition to scifi/horror fans, Jonathan falls for Nancy, the older sister of one of Will’s friends, who is dating a douchebag named Steve. In true horror movie fashion, she and Steve have sex while her friend Barb gets kidnapped by the same monster that took Will. Seriously, why couldn’t the monster eat Steve? Or this entire annoying subplot?

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Midway through the series, the cops find a body that Joyce identifies as Will, and a funeral is held. However, Joyce is still convinced Will is talking to her through blinking Christmas lights in her living room, and his friends are similarly sure he’s still hanging around.

***Spoiler Alert***

Jim breaks into the morgue and discovers Will’s body is fake and full of stuffing. He and Joyce eventually track the monster/invisible presence of Will to a top-secret government installation. We learn the the government scientists were using Eleven in some sort of experiment where she utilizes a sensory deprivation tank to visit a poorly-explained parallel universe. Apparently the government wanted Eleven to spy on the Russians, but instead she ran into an Alien-esque monster—slime and all—that chased her back to our universe and started kidnapping people. There’s now a big gaping hole between the two universes, although Will is trapped in the alternate one. Eventually Joyce and Jim are able to free him, Eleven destroys the monster and presumably either dies or disappears into the other universe, and life goes back to normal—sort of.

I like parallel universe stories, but Stranger Things doesn’t really do it justice. Of all the places they could have gone with this, slimy-monster-chasing-people is about the least imaginative option around, but there you go. Plus you have to wonder about the intel this government agency was trying to gather on the Russians. If Eleven is spying on another country in an alternate universe, how would they know if the info she learns is also true in this one? I would have loved to see a better-thought-out story involving an alternate history of the cold war, but instead we got…a slimy monster chasing people. Because why write anything resembling an intelligent plot when you can have monsters and slime, right?

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Personally, I would have preferred more delving into the alternate universe and the government spy angle, and less slimy monsters with no motivation except that they needed a slimy monster to kidnap/kill people, and less boring teen romance drama.

The end does leave the door open for a second season, so maybe I’ll get my wish in season two. Meanwhile, I did like the concept, and would like to see some of the characters developed further next season, as part of a better-written plot.

Stellar Sarcasm

What is Stellar Sarcasm?

I’m V. R. Craft, author of the comical science fiction novel Stupid Humans. Earlier today, I was searching for a name for my author blog when a friend suggested Stellar Musings. Because I have a thing for alliteration, and because my stories so often involve sarcasm inspired by human stupidity, I decided to go with Stellar Sarcasm.

A Little About Me

I spent many years working in retail. As a result, I learned that a majority of the population is not very bright. If you don’t believe me, if you think I’m exaggerating, I would encourage you to get a job working with the public. Seriously, explain to someone that a store can’t take back a paper shredder they tried to use as a food processor now that it’s clogged up with mozzarella, then tell me I’m wrong.

Once, after a particularly hard day of dealing with dummies, I started thinking about how much I wanted to ship all the idiots to another planet. Then I realized there were way more of them, and it would be easier to let the idiots have Earth and move the smart people somewhere else. That’s how I came up with the idea for Stupid Humans: I imagined a world where all the intelligent people had left Earth—and we’re what’s left. (Admit it, that would explain a few things…)

Another subject I thought about a lot when working in retail was alien abduction. Some of the time, I wished aliens would abduct me so I wouldn’t have to be nice to another damn idiot who didn’t believe me that a wireless printer had to be plugged in, even after I explained how wifi works. Sometimes I wished aliens would abduct a customer, like the woman who demanded I call her credit card company and ask them how close she was to her limit (like they’d tell a total stranger her limit). I wondered if aliens on other planets had automated stores, so no one ever had to deal with irritating customers.

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I no longer work in retail, but I still like to share my sarcasm and poke fun at the stupidity and absurdity of the human race—as well as a few alien characters I invent from time to time. I also enjoy the contact sport of shopping for bargains, haggling for a better price, and wasting time on the internet, where I find material for a sequel to Stupid Humans every day.