The Norman Transcript

March 1, 2014

I came. I saw. I was perplexed.


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Sometimes, we need to look at ourselves and our surroundings with fresh eyes. No, we will not need to get eyeball transplants. We just have to concentrate on every item and every person as if it was the first time.

If an extraterrestrial (“ET”) chose to visit this blue planet we call Earth as a tourist, what are some things it might notice?

Before embarking on this sightseeing trip, this other worldly tourist would have to blend in, both in appearance and in its ability to communicate. Consequently, ET will be a humanoid, a shape-shifter or wear a bracelet with which it will appear to be human to the planet’s residents.

Without the camouflage, the natives’ response to off-planet visitors would be anything but friendly. In fact, “ET Go Home” signs would pop up everywhere. The denizens of Earth are not open to anything which is perceived to be outside the accepted norm.

With regard to language, let us assume this visitor either wears an inconspicuous accessory or an implanted language/translator chip whereby it is able to understand and communicate with the locals in any country it visits.

Earthlings call such devices a cell phone APP. As you may have discovered, there seems to be an APP for everything imaginable, many of which we have managed to live without for most of our lives without great hardship, but are strongly urged to purchase.

So, let’s see ourselves as ET would see us in two different decades.

During the 1950s, ET saw men and women dress up to go to church, shopping, and even baseball games. By dressed up we mean that the women wore dresses, heels, gloves, and some even wore hats. The men wore suits, shirts, ties and hats.

Such attire seems odd and probably unnatural to most people today, but it is worth watching old documentaries which include the audience at Yankee Stadium. No tank tops or T-shirts in the bunch.

When ET returned in 2014, it was lucky to find people who are out and about with at least most of their body parts covered. Although not a particularly religious space traveler, ET was surprised that the same type of casual attire was worn even in church.

It was an eye opener even for ET when all the barely covered epidermal areas as well as some more private body parts become visible with the slightest movement or just the simple act of breathing. Never mind that said body parts on display may or may never be ready for prime time, and, in some cases, will give the viewer heartburn.

At a recent hockey game an attractive couple arrived and sat in the row in front of ET. Suddenly, our tourist’s eyes were treated to the vision of a generous and bare expanse of the woman’s downstairs cheeks along with most of her dental floss-sized thong underwear. Since her slacks just reached her hipbones, even ET could not help wonder how she managed to keep her slacks on as she wriggled and cheered during the game.

If ET peeked in any family’s window during dinner time, 1950s families usually ate dinner together and were actually talking to each other.

However, in 2014, families rarely eat together at home and even when they go out to eat the only interaction between the group members is when they share something on the screen of their iPads or smartphones. At this rate, ET might return in a thousand years and people may have forgotten how to talk altogether.

ET was disappointed to find that the things which made humans so interesting in the 1950s, such as their boundless curiosity and eagerness to learn has been dulled by their reliance on digital crutches for information which may or may not be correct and mind-numbing entertainment.

Disappointed. ET went home.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Check out her new novel Sins of the Father on Amazon. Visit her website: www.elizabethcowan.com.

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