Escape from Clowntown | Comics of E.R. Flynn
Escape From Clowntown Podcast
Problems, Solutions, and the Cost of Both

Problems, Solutions, and the Cost of Both

A story about desserts and aliens.

This Podcast is a part of a related post on Substack. Click here to read that.

An astrophysicist, a politician, and a priest were taking a walk in a park while they discussed the finer points of cosmology, science budgets, and the religious implications of space travel.

Just as they were about to exit the park, a flying saucer dropped out of the sky and landed right in front of them.

The three stopped in their tracks at this sight. As they stood there, wide-eyed and in shock, a hatch opened on the spaceship. From it exited a small green alien dressed in a nicely tailored business suit. The alien walked toward them. The three noticed that the alien was carrying what looked to be a book.

“Greetings, Earthlings!” The alien spoke in perfect English. Although if truth be told, to the trained ear it spoke with a slight Brooklyn accent.

“I am a representative from the Intergalactic Fidelity Publishing Company here to offer you ‘Intergalactic Truths and Solutions.’ Within the pages of this book are answers to the universe, as well as solutions to your world’s problems. These fine leather bound and gilded books are made available to you so that you may achieve a more harmonious and perfect world.”

“Will it solve Global Climate Change?” inquired the astrophysicist.

“Yes! Volume. 2, Page 237.” the alien replied.

“World Hunger?” asked the priest.

“Volume 3, page 45.”

“Wars and Political Strife?” asked the politician.

“Indeed! Volumes 6-7, pages 78, 156 and 459.”

The astrophysicist rubbed his chin in thought and, “When you mention ‘volumes,’ I see that the book you’re currently holding reads that it’s only Volume 1. Where’s the other volumes?

The alien’s face lit up with a smile as he spoke “Ah, how observant of you! Yes, for only a small monthly subscription we will send you a new volume each month. ”

The politician was the first to grasp the situation and blurted out “Subscription? Wait a minute—”

But he was interrupted by the astrophysicist, “—You’re an extraterrestrial encyclopedia salesman!”

“It’s a living. Think of me as more of a ‘messiah’ offering you a better world. Seriously, think about how much the children of your world need this book. You’ll barely notice the cost of the subscription fee compared to the benefits.” the alien offered in his best honest sales appeal.

The politician was getting visible perturbed, “Who knew our first off-world emissary would arrive with a sales pitch!” He then became demanding, “Please, no more beating around the bush. What’s the cost for these books?

“The Intergalactic Fidelity Publishing Company only requires that you to send us five priests every month in exchange for each volume.”

“Errr…What do you do with these men of religion?” The priest asked with more than a hint of ambivalence.

The alien moved a little closer to the priest and replied, “We eat their brains! Blind faith makes for the sweetest tasting brains in the universe!” He then showed the priest a toothy, saliva dripping smile.

“WHAT! THAT’S UNACCEPTABLE!” Screamed the priest.

The alien tried to assuage the priest’s dismay. “Don’t worry. We do this in the most humane way possible. While each subject is sedated, we gently scoop out their brain and replace it with a highly evolved, symbiotic flan. Afterwards, we return these individuals back into their natural setting. Honestly, friends and loved ones hardly notice any difference!”

“THAT’S NOT HELPING TO CONVINCE ME!” The priest shrieked hysterically.

The politician turned to the priest, grabbed his arms and shook him. “Now just calm down. Is it really that bad of a trade? We send them a few of our more nutty fundamentalists and in exchange we get a paradise on Earth.”

“Seems like a very reasonable contract to me.” the astrophysicist chimed. He then spoke to the alien, “May I have a closer look at that Volume 1 you’re holding?”

As the alien handed over the book to the astrophysicist, the priest turned to the alien and asked, “Can it be any priests, or preachers, from any religion or denomination? I mean…ugh…I guess we could start with some Episcopalians…

The alien hissed, “Mmmmm, Delicious!”

The priest started mumbling to himself and walking in circles as he considered further denominations for the exchange.

Suddenly two shots rang out!

The priest and the politician both dropped dead to the ground. The alien turned to the astrophysicist who was holding a gun on him.

The astrophysicist scowled, “No sale, my green-skinned book hustler! According to Volume 1, page 1, line 1:

‘The secret to solving a world’s problems is to first get rid of all priests and politicians!’

We astrophysicists have been saying this for years! Once that’s done, we’re smart enough to figure out the rest! Earth doesn’t need your books! BE ON YOUR WAY!”

The alien, upset that he failed on the sale, shrugged his shoulders, took back his book, and turned to retreat to his space saucer. While stepping back to his ship, he made a few mental notes as to where his sales pitch possibly went wrong.

However as the alien entered the saucer’s hatch, he turned for a moment to glance back at the astrophysicist.

The human was obviously elated; waving his hands in the air, dancing around and gloating over the dead bodies of his fellow humans. The alien assumed that perhaps the astrophysicist was overly enthusiastic and satisfied after having read a printed validation to his malevolent beliefs.

Seeing this made the alien realize to not to disparage his sales ability. His stop on Earth might not have been a total waste of time.

In fact, this sale might have gone better than expected!

The alien concluded that if a group of arrogant fools, like this astrophysicist, were going to commit murder based on a quick peek at couple lines of text from a book, this meant that soon Earth would be a yummy smorgasbord of self-righteous, faith-filled, …and very gullible…brains.

The alien laughed as he sat in his pilot seat and pressed the launch button. The saucer raised and then zipped off into space.

The alien then leaned back in his seat, put his feet up on the console, and relaxed for the long ride back to the office. He started musing over how to spend that big raise he was definitely going to receive from the Intergalactic Fidelity Publishing Company.

Escape from Clowntown | Comics of E.R. Flynn
Escape From Clowntown Podcast
Comics, cartoons, humor, podcast and mostly-true tales of comedy from cartoonist and satirist, E.R. Flynn. My comics and humor are heavily influenced by the kind of twisted humor found in MAD, Cracked and National Lampoon magazines. If you’re a fan of sarcastic, ironic, sardonic, and sometimes adult humor, you’ll hopefully enjoy my creations.
My work as been published by The American Bystander, The Nib, The Village Voice, The New York Press, and Dark Horse Publications. You can also find my work in various online sites such as LOL Comedy and Two Fifty One. Look for my published books on Amazon and Goodreads.
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