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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Adolescence/Teen Years (07/16/09)

TITLE: Sentient Terrestrial Parental Coping Mechanisms
By Steve Fitschen


“Hello Professor Click-click-ouck-eek-ack.”

“Mr. Kwak-ank-peep-peep-peep. Come in.”

“Call me Peeps—everybody does.”

The professor squinted his eight eyes and cocked his head to one side. He wasn’t sure he wanted to call a student “Peeps.” Straightening his antennae, the professor proceeded. “Mr. Kwak—er, Peeps—there’s a problem with your Masters Thesis Proposal. We have very high standards here at Intergalactic U. Especially in the Terrestrial Studies Department.

“Your topic is ‘Radical Increases in Sentient Terrestrial Adolescent Self-Destructive Behavior.’ Have your forgotten everything you learned in your History of Sentient Terrestrial Adolescent Behavior class? Earthlings—to use the colloquial term—always think their offspring are behaving worse than any generation before. It simply isn’t true.

“Surely Professor Trik-eek-eek-spweek introduced you to the Earthling’s ancient (by their standards) philosopher, Socrates. He lamented that the adolescents of his day were the worst ever. Your thesis is not viable.”

“But Professor Clicky—” Peeps stopped abruptly, horrified that he had called Professor Click-click-ouck-eek-ack, “Professor Clicky,” to his face!

“I’ve heard it before,” the professor responded dryly.

Relieved, Peeps continued, “But I have my three hearts set on this topic.”

“Perhaps we can tweak the topic. I hear rumblings that the way Earthlings cope with their offspring is changing. Is that close enough?”


“Fine. Do some preliminary research. Come back in two weeks. If the research seems viable, you may use this as your topic.”


Professor Clicky reviewed Peeps’s report:

I observed three Earthling parents to determine whether coping mechanisms varied sufficiently to provide adequate Thesis material. In each case, I gained access to an Earthling dwelling, transformed myself into a potted plant, and recorded my observations. I believe each parent utilized a different coping mechanism.

Parental Self-Amusement:

Earthling Mother One stated: “I just can’t understand Timmy. He plays lots of sports. I guess he uses all his coordination for that. Here, he continually bumps into things and trips over his own feet. He hasn’t grown into them yet.” [Note: check Terrestrial Anatomy notes re: growing into feet.] Earthling Mother Two responded: “Yes, Charlie is full of contradictions, too. He acts like a gentleman if he has a date. But any other time, he’s a gross slob. He walks around belching and passing gas. He rubs his crotch and his butt. He even picks his nose while watching TV!” Earthling Mother One: “And don’t get me started on Internet pornography! And … and Timmy’s sexual active.” Earthling Mother Two: “How do you cope?” Earthling Mother One: “I laugh to keep from crying.” After Mother Two departed, Mother One acquired writing implements and wrote the following:

I pick my nose and stub my toes, do-dah, do-dah.
I text all day and IM all night, do-dah, do-dah.
My hormones rage and I think about sex three-trillion-four-hundred-sixty-eight-million-three-hundred-fifty-two-thousand-four-hundred-and-one times a day but never think about how that will mess up the meter in my mother’s poem.
I belch and … worse, whenever I want. Too bad.
“Don’t tell me what to do or say or I’ll get mad.”
“Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s home from work I stay—I quit again.”
“Don’t worry that we’re here in bed; she’s just a friend.”
“You’re mad, Mom? You shouldn’t be—you didn’t knock.”
“Yes, I’m home at 2:30 a.m.—I see the clock.”
“I’m grown-up; why can’t you see. Mom, please do laundry,
Cook my meals, and make my bed. I’m a man, you see.”

Mother One laughed, then mumbled: “Twit.”

Adolescent Distraction:

Earthling Father stated: “I’m sorry, Sweetie, we can’t afford to buy you a new car for High School graduation.” Earthling Daughter responded: “But Buffy and Missy got cars! Are we poorer than them?” Father: “Certainly not! It’s just that with the current economic situation—er—I’ve been smarter than their fathers. I’ve—ah—reconfigured our assets. They aren’t liquid. [Terrestrial Banking Intercept shows Earthling Father’s statements were false.] So we just can’t get you the Porsche. BUT, we can get you those breast implants.” Daughter: “Oh, Daddy, I love you!”

Divine Invocation:

Earthling Father to Earthling Mother: “I know it’s frustrating, but we must pray for them and trust God.”

Professor Clicky’s antennae bobbed vigorously. “Yes, I you have plenty to work with here. I am especially interested in the different coping strategies between Earthlings who do and don’t believe in God. Earthlings are so arrogant. Claiming to be so wise. Yet—unlike every other intelligent species—some of them don’t even believe in God. Ha!

“But, I digress. Yes, this will make a fine Master’s Thesis.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Seema Bagai 07/23/09
Unusual and certainly out of the box. Your writing kept me interested throughout.
Allen Stark07/27/09
Yes, uh, not knowing what planet you're from, I'm not sure if this is fiction or nonfiction. Fascinating.