Day 217: Area 51 Briefing

Chief of Staff Wayne Belcher strutted through the White House like he owned the place, and there wasn’t a soul that would dare rob him of that illusion. Except for President Haney, but he spent most of his time at the oval office desk cheating at Monopoly against financiers, trouncing diplomats at mega-wordsearches, and challenging generals to Tiddlywinks.

Today was the day. He was going to fly down to Area 51 with the president and get a comprehensive briefing on the current state of extraterrestrial affairs. Every few minutes he’d think about the prospect of meeting an alien, and he’d shiver his shoulders and smile.

President Haney’s inner circle, including Wayne, Secretary of State Jerry Horowitz, and Secretary of the Interior Eva Paloma, road Air Force One to a military base in Nevada, where they’d pick up Marine One to Area 51.

The president spent most of his time playing ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ with the flight attendants.

“We’re going to meet aliens, Mr President.” Wayne observed the president’s rock-paper-scissors strategy, noting it for future reference.

“Don’t get your hopes up, Wayne.” President Haney held out scissors to win against the stewardess’s paper. “For all we know there’s nothing but a few marines playing poker there.”

Marine One landed to a greeting party of Air Force and Marine officers and armed guards in front of two buildings that looked like warehouses. A man in a suit stood with them.

The general among them stepped forward. “Good evening, Mr. President. I’m General Harkin, and this gentleman in the suit is a Special Council to the United States, Edward Grandy.” The general shook the president’s hand and extended it to Wayne. “I’ll take you right in. We don’t like to keep these guys waiting.”

The guards disarmed the secret service against great protest.

“Is this really necessary?” asked Wayne.

“Yes, it is,” said the general.

The officers escorted them into the closest building and through some office space where they turned into a conference room with nine extraterrestrials sitting on one side of the table, all skinny gray men with big, black teardrop eyes. Perfect match to their stereotype, except they wore three-piece suits and ties. They sat the president in the center of the opposing side, and Wayne sat next to him, then Horowitz and Paloma.

“Greetings, earthlings.” The middle alien moved his lips, but it didn’t seem to fit the words he said.

“Whoa,” said Wayne. “Is that really a thing?”

“We called this meeting to orient the new administration to your contractual obligations with extraterrestrial beings.”

“Do you guys like ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors?’” asked President Haney.

“Contracts?” asked Wayne.

“Yes. We’ve had to assert these rights a number of times due to your military testing. You must understand, we have the absolute and exclusive rights to UFOs. You cannot allow your military, private industry, or the pranksters at Billy Bean’s Grill and Pub to cause a UFO sighting.”

“How do you capitalize on that?” asked Wayne.

“None of your business,” said an E.T. to the right.

The middle E.T. started down a list of contractual obligations, including infiltration quotas, liability insurance for mind control occurrences, and abduction rights.”

“But I’m against abductions,” said the president.

The middle alien held up a display screen. “It’s in the contract.”

“But it goes against our constitution,” said Wayne.

An E.T. on the left shook his head. “Don’t worry. All people have the free and equal rights to be abducted. We’ve done our due diligence and rationalized it perfectly to fit your constitution.”

Wayne sputtered. “It is not in our constitution.”

“It’s implied.”

Edward Grandy cleared his throat. “That’s why I’m here.” He opened a folder and placed it in front of the president. “The language of the public constitution may ‘imply’ the extraterrestrials’ demands, but these are more specific and clear. They’re classified amendments to the constitution passed by a secret meeting of the legislative and executive branches in 1952.”

President Haynes and Wayne read through them.

“These are for real?” asked Wayne.

The Special Council nodded.

“Well.” President Haney smiled. “I guess we’re kind of hamstrung on this one.” He closed the folder and handed it back to the Special Council.

The aliens nodded in agreement.

“I do have one demand, though,” said the president. “Wayne, go get us a game of Battleship.”

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