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Vernon’s Mistake

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**Homage to Douglas Adams. **

Humans were so confusing. Not only did they they have a whole lot of varied ways of speaking but they also had slang which meant that what was said in one region where they apparently spoke the same meant something totally different in another region.

It was exasperating.

Still, Vernon had no choice. Since coming to Earth four months ago to escape prosecution for selling faulty babble fish, he had had no option but to learn how to speak to these disgusting, confusing humans because all he had available were the last 400 units of faulty babble fish and there was no way he could put feelers out to get babble fish that actually translated the language being spoken and not play the Lithuanian national anthem because he’d be arrested.  

Aliens took their consumer protection laws very seriously.

It hadn’t been too hard, he had managed to master 4 main languages, Chinese, Spanish, French and English so communicating with these fleshy beasts had improved but the body language, oh Mars, the ‘body’ language was a complete other story. 

And this is why they were so disgusting. 

Thumbs up, thumbs down, pelvic thrusts and air kisses; so pointless but so loaded. Then there was the sarcasm, the sarcasm that the English speakers used was so varied depending on the nation and depending the individual. So far, Vernon had two face slaps and a drink in his face because he’d misconstrued the sarcasm. 

Apparently, when one says in Australia, “Say that again, mate.” It doesn’t mean say it again, it means shut up and pretty much run away.

In Italy, if you give a thumbs up, it doesn’t mean ‘good job’ like it does in the USA, it means putting a thumb somewhere humans generally don’t want thumbs and if someone gives you a thumbs up it means you should shut up and pretty much run away. 

Vernon decided he needed a language class for aliens to explain all of these little idiosyncrasies humans had so he could survive here in peace. But after weeks of looking, he still couldn’t find a class and so, in desperation, he put an advertisement on Craig’s List asking if anyone knew of a class for universal Earth language for aliens.

Looking out of the window of his apartment, Vernon could see the many police cars and federal agents pulling up on the front lawn, guns at the ready.

This was possibly a worse mistake than selling the faulty babble fish. 

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