Good Omens 1990





GOOD OMENS
Copyright © 1990 Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
ISBN 0-552-13703-0
Excerpt: - pgs: 197-199
    Firstly, however, Newt had to do some-
thing about the flying saucer.
    It landed in the road ahead of him just as he was trying
to find the Lower Tadfield turning and had the map spread
over the steering wheel. He had to brake hard.
    It looked like every cartoon of a flying saucer Newt
had ever seen.
    As he stared over the top of his map, a door in the saucer
slid aside with a satisfying whoosh, revealing a gleaming
walkway which extended automatically down to the road.
Brilliant blue light shone out, outlining three alien shapes.
They walked down the ramp. At least, two of them walked.
The one that looked like a pepper pot just skidded down
it, and fell over at the bottom.
    The other two ignored its frantic beeping and walked
over to the car quite slowly, in the world-wide approved
manner of policemen already compiling the charge sheet
in their heads. The tallest one, a yellow toad dressed in
kitchen foil, rapped on Newt's window. He wound it
down. The thing was wearing the kind of mirror-finished
sunglasses that Newt always thought of as Cool Hand
Luke shades.
    'Morning, sir or madam or neuter,' the thing said. 'This
your planet, is it?'
    The other alien, which was stubby and green, had
wandered off into the woods by the side of the road.
Out of the corner of his eye Newt saw it kick a tree,
and then run a leaf through some complicated gadget on
its belt. It didn't look very pleased.
    'Well, yes. I suppose so,' he said.
    The toad stared thoughtfully at the skyline.
    'Had it long, have we, sir?' it said.
    'Er. Not personally. I mean, as a species, about half a
million years. I think.'
    The alien exchanged glances with its colleague. 'Been
letting the old acid rain build up, haven't we, sir?' it
said. 'Been letting ourselves go a bit with the old hydro-
carbons, perhaps?'
    'I'm sorry?'
    'Could you tell me your planet's albedo, sir?' said the
toad, still staring levelly at the horizon as though it was
doing something interesting.
    'Er. No.'
    'Well, I'm sorry to have to tell you, sir, that your
polar icecaps are below regulation size for a planet of this
category, sir.'
    'Oh, dear,' said Newt. He was wondering who he could
tell about this, and realizing that there was absolutely
no-one who would believe him.
    The toad bent closer. It seemed to be worried about
something, insofar as Newt was any judge of the ex-
pressions of an alien race he'd never encountered before.
    'We'll overlook it on this occasion, sir.'
    Newt gabbled. 'Oh. Er. I'll see to it -- well, when I say I,
I mean, I think Antarctica or something belongs to every
country, or something, and --'
    'The fact is, sir, that we have been asked to give you a
message.'
    'Oh?'
    'Message runs "We give you a message of universal
peace and cosmic harmony an' suchlike". Message ends,'
said the toad.
    'Oh." Newt turned this over in his mind. 'Oh. That's
very kind.'
    'Have you got any idea why we have been asked to bring
you this message, sir?' said the toad.
    Newt brightened. 'Well, er, I suppose,' he flailed, 'what
with Mankind's, er, harnessing of the atom and--"
    'Neither have we, sir.' The toad stood up. 'One of them
phenomena, I expect. Well, we'd better be going.' It shook
its head vaguely, turned around and waddled back to the
saucer without another word.
    Newt stuck his head out the window.
    'Thank you!'
    The small alien walked past the car.
    'CO2 level up 0.5 per cent,' it rasped, giving him a
meaningful look. 'You do know you could find yourself
charged with being a dominant species while under the
influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?'
    The two of them righted the third alien, dragged it back
up the ramp, and shut the door.
    Newt waited for awhile, in case there were any spec-
tacular light displays, but it just stood there. Eventually
he drove up on the verge and around it. When he looked
in his rear-view mirror it had gone.
    I must be overdoing something, he thought guiltily. But
what?
    And I can't even tell Shadwell, because he'd probably
bawl me out for not counting their nipples.

GOOD OMENS
Copyright © 1990 Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
ISBN 0-552-13703-0
Excerpt: - pgs: 197-199


See also: M u l t i d i m e n s i o n a l   S i m u l t a n e o u s   C o g n i t i o n

See also: additional notes of a Non Sequitur nature.

And/or: “RAW”  MAP : [ Masquerade Anarchic Principle ]

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