Commentary Magazine


Topic: John Hancocks

Close Encounters of the Coloradan Kind

Health-care reform, skyrocketing unemployment, war in Afghanistan, appropriate alien-life-form greetings. Which of these things is not like the other?

In Denver, Jeff Peckman has managed to collect enough John Hancocks to have added to the 2010 electoral ballot an initiative that would ensure that contact with extraterrestrial life will be conducted in a manner bespeaking a great republic. In fact, an expert council will be convened for just such a purpose.

If approved, the city panel would promote “harmonious, peaceful, mutually respectful and beneficial coexistence” between earthlings and extraterrestrials, in part by developing protocols for “diplomatic contact.”

Its seven members would include an expert in taking testimony from people who’ve survived “direct personal close encounters” with aliens.

We should all hail Peckman’s efforts. I have spent too many sleepless nights anxiety-ridden, not at the prospect of growing poverty, joblessness, and hunger in our nation, but over whether a high-five could be misconstrued as vaguely insulting to a being with no hands. (“Does the earthling mock me? Ontar, bring me my death ray. And my yellow crocs.”)

For the record, I, too, have survived a “direct personal close encounter” with an alien being. (Anyone who has attended a Lutheran parochial school for any length of time knows exactly what I’m talking about.) So if such an initiative were to surface here in New York, I hope I would be considered for a spot on an appropriate council, lest visitors from another time-space dimension wind up with misimpressions of the Big Apple, especially the No. 1 train during rush hour.

Or as Og, chief plenipotentiary for the Poon galaxy, likes to say: “Cheese it, the cops.”

Health-care reform, skyrocketing unemployment, war in Afghanistan, appropriate alien-life-form greetings. Which of these things is not like the other?

In Denver, Jeff Peckman has managed to collect enough John Hancocks to have added to the 2010 electoral ballot an initiative that would ensure that contact with extraterrestrial life will be conducted in a manner bespeaking a great republic. In fact, an expert council will be convened for just such a purpose.

If approved, the city panel would promote “harmonious, peaceful, mutually respectful and beneficial coexistence” between earthlings and extraterrestrials, in part by developing protocols for “diplomatic contact.”

Its seven members would include an expert in taking testimony from people who’ve survived “direct personal close encounters” with aliens.

We should all hail Peckman’s efforts. I have spent too many sleepless nights anxiety-ridden, not at the prospect of growing poverty, joblessness, and hunger in our nation, but over whether a high-five could be misconstrued as vaguely insulting to a being with no hands. (“Does the earthling mock me? Ontar, bring me my death ray. And my yellow crocs.”)

For the record, I, too, have survived a “direct personal close encounter” with an alien being. (Anyone who has attended a Lutheran parochial school for any length of time knows exactly what I’m talking about.) So if such an initiative were to surface here in New York, I hope I would be considered for a spot on an appropriate council, lest visitors from another time-space dimension wind up with misimpressions of the Big Apple, especially the No. 1 train during rush hour.

Or as Og, chief plenipotentiary for the Poon galaxy, likes to say: “Cheese it, the cops.”

Read Less