I’m not really the intellectual type, so Slippy nonplussed me a bit when he asked to meet some human philosophers. About the best I could do was take him to Harold’s Pub to chat with Sam, the bartender.
For those of you who’ve been pulling a Ted Kaczynski, Slippy is a Wibble. A bona fide space alien who looks like a partially deflated beach ball suspended between four nimble stalks. He’s all over the Internet now, so that’s the easiest way to see what he looks like.
You should also know that Slippy appointed me his personal guide to the planet earth, so I’m the de facto ambassador to the Wibblerians. That’s right. I’ve got a direct line to the president of the United States. Truth be told, though, I serve at Slippy’s pleasure more than the prez’s.
Slippy liked Sam well enough. They talked all about physics, earth history, and the best kind of hat for a formal barbecue. To Sam’s credit, Slippy still asks to go back there from time to time, but the bartender didn’t quite satisfy the Wibble.
“I seek deep thinkers,” said Slippy.
I called the university, you know the one, and arranged to sit in on a philosophy professor’s class. I swear I wanted to kill myself. I was too old to enjoy the eye candy, and the lecture was so mind-numbing I fell asleep several times. Every time I woke up to what the prof was saying, she was droning on about guppies. Guppies? Really?
Luckily enough, Slippy had no desire to return, either.
I took him to Barnes and Noble next, but after browsing for ten minutes, he excreted a mighty pile of something in front of the philosophy shelf and skittered up and down the aisles making whiny-whistly noises. The customers freaked out, the employees yelled, and the guy in the music department blasted Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries.”
Slippy finally settled in the computer systems row and insisted on justification that the Microsoft books weren’t in the ‘Religion’ section and wanted to know why anyone would keep their valuables in a ‘cloud.’
His wormy stalks flicked and twisted on the way out, which I’d come to understand to be indicative of complete disgust.
Not one to allow him to remain discouraged about my cherished race, I took him to my den, a room full of books, Shrinky Dinks, and Mario Brothers action figures—hey, you pick your hobbies, and I’ll pick mine—and sat him at my computer when we got home. We surfed the web, sifting through periodicals to see what philosophers were featured, and I stumbled across a Dilbert cartoon, so we read a few. I just love that Wally.
The doorbell rang, so I left him to surf while I shooed away a number of reporters from the New York Journal. “Call the office,” I said, which was well-established code for ‘bug off, jerks.’
When I rejoined Slippy at the computer, he’d strewn my bound treasuries of comic strips all over the floor and pulled down my boxed set of “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes.” He grubbed about half way through volume one.
“You ready to look up more philosophers?”
Slippy held up the tome. “These are your best thinkers. Introduce me.”
I called up the president to see if he could arrange an appointment with Bill Watterson.