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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

Satire: Summer fun, first contact and CO2

The truth is out there, all you have to do is find it after having a severe mental break.
Image by Noah Liebl
No, don’t actually huff CO2. It’s all satire.

Editor’s Note: This is a work of satire. Nothing in this column is intended to be taken seriously. We do not condone the recreational abuse of CO2 canisters.

Finally, this semester has drawn to a close. I’ve had a complete loss of classroom attention these last few weeks. Maybe even months.

Not because of the burnout associated with taking five classes and working three jobs (poorly, I might add). Nor is it the bipolar weather conditions that seem to take pleasure in lulling me into a sense of security before violating my most basic trust in what to expect when I walk out the door in the morning.

No, my attention is on the summer ahead of us and the stars above.

The existence of extraterrestrial life has been kicked about for a while now, culminating in three veterans testifying before Congress that the U.S. government possessed alien materials — biological and mechanical.

This hearing was little more than hearsay, but a daydreamer like me couldn’t help but be swept up in some of the possibilities. So, I got to work.

What started as a roll of tin foil and a ham radio set became my beacon to the heavens. My very own Voyager. What no one tells you in woodshop class when you’re making CO2 cars is that the very canister you insert in the wooden rectum of your vehicle is precisely what you need to connect to the universe past the confines of our measly solar system.

When enough CO2 is ingested, it opens up pathways in your brain to communicate with the other inhabitants of our universe unburdened by shallow human skepticism. And I don’t mean some hippie s— about connecting to the universe or whatever, but actually understanding their language.

Oh, right, attribution. I think one of the gods told me that as I lay dying at the Battle of the Bulge in a previous life. I wasn’t fighting in it, just happened to walk by.

Liberals will try to tell you that greedy corporations are taking advantage of our planet and its resources for profit and that the government sticks to imposing restrictions on individuals to appease the public and allow the fat cats to pad their pockets and pollute the planet.

But they would be wrong.

These corporations aren’t destroying our planet simply to add another zero to their bank account. No, they are teaching us to communicate with extraterrestrial beings through excessive release of greenhouse gasses.

But yeah, they are just doing that so by the time the aliens get here we are engulfed in smog and can understand their language to the best of our abilities before being shipped out to interstellar labor camps, according to a nightmare I had recently. Ditto, I guess.

While our government may continue to pretend we don’t know the truth, they made one fatal mistake: they forgot antitrust laws exist.

There is no monopoly on extraterrestrial communication and CO2 canisters are readily available. Seriously, walk down any street in Dinkytown and you’ll find about seven on the ground. I once lived in shame of my beliefs, but once I started seeing all of the expended canisters strewn about the place we call home, I knew I’d found a school of like-minded (space-minded) individuals.

What I was shocked to learn is that, while many of us are taking the correct first step to learn the language of the aliens through CO2 ingestion, they aren’t doing the extra step to make contact. I don’t know why so many of you are huffing CO2 without a contact plan. On the other hand, you might as well stay ready. Our friends could be here any minute!

We’ve gotten a bit off-topic here. Back to my personal Voyager.

I spent my entire spring semester sending signals out, beckoning visitors to visit me at the Stadium Village light-rail station behind The Minnesota Daily’s office, but they never came. I thought they did a few times, but then I remembered I was just at a light-rail station.

Laugh all you want, but those lights always throw me into a panic. Like I’m in a scene from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” or something.

I thought I was a complete failure. I even started to wonder if wrapping my body in tin foil, huffing CO2 and reading take-out menus into a ham radio I installed on the roof of my apartment building was a moronic waste of time.

Until the dreams came.

I alluded to one earlier, but I began to experience post-snooze communications from beyond our galaxy. The first few were just a series of loud screeches and visions of unimaginable horrors, probably some prepubescent alien who doesn’t know any better taking their turn to pick on the Terrestrials. But it wasn’t long before they began to make sense.

The dreams told me that this is the summer of the saucer. The May of meteorites. The June of Jupiter. The July of, well, Jupiter again.

If you aren’t understanding my playful metaphors, it’s space travel summer!

They told me that this was the summer when we would make contact. But as quickly as they came to me alone in bed that night, they left me, a new burden on my mind and chest.

I reached out to the aliens via ham radio and by taking seven melatonin gummies before going to sleep, but they did not respond to a request for comment.

I know the end of the semester can be stressful. If your classes got you down, your internship fell through or you simply have nothing better to do, don’t worry. The universe has only one expectation for you this summer: huff some CO2 and wait for the jump to ludicrous speed.

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  • Ted
    Apr 29, 2024 at 10:12 am

    Did you Know that A little town South East of Spring Valley Wisconsin has A Alien Festival every summer down there. They even made A landing strip for them down there some where? I know we are not alone in the Universe. Very nice.

    Ted in Fleet Services.