Aphelion Issue 277, Volume 26
October 2022
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Aliens Have Dads, Too

by Brooks C. Mendell

The door to the heatbox swung open like an Arthroxian brothel, both inviting and offensive. I walked over from pouring myself a cup of favre and closed it.

"I was coming right back over to close it," said Mom.

I rolled my opticals. What is it about lumen switches and freon faucets that resist their flipping out or turning off? What is it about closing the heatbox door?

Open door, close door. Leave the room, hit the lumens. Put nutrients back in the heatbox. Do wropsters, sealants, and harpsicord sticks belong on the counter? No, they do not.

If you eat the last gourd, recycle the jar. If you take the last can of blooridge from the case, please put the empty case into the pulverizer and add it to the shopping list.

Why is this stuff so hard? Maybe the economics are on their side? Maybe the energy cost of leaving the lumens on all cycle or the cost of rewarming the heatbox after leaving it open for 30 timelets doesn't matter. But it's wasteful.

"Honey, you're a member of the Environmental Club at school, right?"

"Yes, Dad, you already know that."

"Well, if you really want to leave the planet better than you found it, start by turning off the wasteroom lumens after flushing the jonron."


"Hey, Mom, what happened to the hallway lumens?"

"Your father removed all of the filaments."


"Because he said that he's tired of following us around the habitat and turning off the lumens. He's tired of asking us to close the heatbox door, too, so he replaced it with a three-cubit thermos."

"Maybe it would be easier if Dad just moved out."

"It's an idea, Honey."

© 2022 Brooks C. Mendell

Brooks C. Mendell writes and works in forestry. He lives near Athens, Georgia. www.brooksmendell.com

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