Tagging scorpionfish
scorpionfish image

You know what epiphanies are, don’t you? They are those salient moments, that flash of insight that changes your life. My third one came about during a study of California scorpionfish, Scorpaena guttata. I was tagging scorpionfish to find out something of their migration patterns. We would catch a bunch off southern California, attach a plastic tag to their sides, then release them back into the water. On the tag was my name, telephone number and a code number, for instance 003. When someone caught a tagged fish, they would call me and tell me the code number, say 003, on the tag. Because I knew where 003 was tagged and where it was recaught I knew something about its movements.

About this time I was listening to a talk radio program out of Los Angeles. This was a particularly intriguing show as it featured five people, all of whom claimed to have been sucked up by aliens in flying saucers. All of their stories were all more or less the same. There they were in a 7-11 in Taos, New Mexico, having a lime slurpee with Elvis when, WHOOSH, suddenly they were inside a flying saucer with a bunch of large-eyed aliens who did peculiar and semi-unmentionable things to the abductees’ bodies.

Well, right off the bat I was puzzled. Why would aliens, who had probably travelled coach all the way from Snorflox 11, want to do semi-unmentionable things to our bodies? After all, for about $10 they could go to any good used book store and buy a copy of Gray’s Anatomy and there would be all of our parts, in color. I mean, why waste the time when you could be trying to get tickets to see Seinfeld being filmed?

But I quickly passed from puzzlement to positive panic when I heard the next revelation. One of the abductees stated that when he was released back to earth he remembered nothing until a few weeks later when he blew his nose and a ball bearing came out. "Yes, yes", the others chorused, "Ball bearings came out of our noses too!"
Well, there it was. I was completely baffled. Not only were the aliens doing semiunmentionable things to us, they were also putting ball bearings up our noses. I quickly fell into a deep funk.

But then I had my third epiphany. What was I doing to the scorpionfish? Of course, I was tagging them! And that, my friends, is what the space aliens are doing to us. There you are in Taos, having a lime slurpee with Elvis and WHOOSH, up you go to the flying saucer to have semi-unmentionable things done to you. And after that ordeal is over, an alien puts a ball bearing tag in your nose. On the tag is the name of the alien, say Zoxxor, a code number, say 003, and the telephone number of the flying saucer. It releases you back in Taos, where you remember nothing of the incident. Later that year, you go visit your Aunt Minnie in Waukegan and you get sucked up by another saucer. The aliens in that vessel check for a tag in your nose and call Zoxxor to tell it that they’ve got you, old 003. Zoxxor now knows that you have migrated from Taos to Waukegen.

Boy, was I relieved to have figured that out.

Milton Love

Entertaining, yet mildly thought provoking things,
for persons with short attention spans.

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