They entertain

Balloons fly overhead. We shoot them down. They’re not UFOs (Unknown Flying Objects) anymore. They’re UAPs: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. Does it sound more official? More bureaucratic, anyway: it makes for a new set of folders.

A recorded transcript from the US Navy: “Whoa, got it—woo-hoo!” “Roger—“ “What the [expletive] is that?” …“Oh my gosh, dude. Wow!” “What is that, man?” Our folks, armed, official, or not, have been saying this for years.

I remember in childhood. On TV I saw a broadcast of the 1951 film “The Day the Earth Stood Still” Klaatu barada nikto. Various “Lost in Space” episodes later, I met George Jetson, Jane, his wife, daughter Judy, and his boy Elroy.

How long have humans imagined their type in Space, the Final Frontier? Some now imagine April 5 as First Contact Day. In 2063 the Vulcans decided to bring their message of peace and their wish that we “Live long and prosper.” Klaatu barada nikto. Right?

We now know we’re on Spaceship Earth. We’re on a huge highway system. No speed limit signs, no rest areas, no billboards, no marked exits. We imagine no cops pulling us over demanding license and registration: no Klaatu.

But we drive on. Not many electric cars: the gas fumes still spill out. No exit.

We still find it hard to grasp space. It is the final frontier for imagination. What are all those shiny dots above? Are they headlights on this huge highway?

I created a new password for a website. A good password includes upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. One of the special characters I had chosen was a period. At the ends of sentences, it’s called a “full stop”.

To create a new password, this website balked. It called the period a “space”. No emptiness in a password! So I used a comma instead. A pause instead of a full stop.

We grope to fill the space without and within. No full stop. Just a pause.

Klaatu barada nikto