Garn the Magnificent let himself into the front seat of his sort of-friend Carol’s ground-car and closed the door with a slam. There was a long moment of silence.
“Don’t take this the wrong way,” Carol finally said. “But I’m surprised to see you back so soon.”
“Tell me about it,” Garn grumbled. “The thrice blasted Council insisted I come back.”
Carol started the ground-car. “Whatever for? I thought the inter-planetary alliance had pretty much decided on containment at this point. You know – shut down portal travel and let things run its course.”
“Well, that was before they started missing the chocolate and snack-food exports from your factories. Now they want me to conduct a ‘fact-finding’ mission.”
“Well, one should never underestimate the siren’s call of a bag of cool-ranch Doritos.” Carol navigated through the still quite deserted streets. “So, that should be easy enough. Just check in with the Earth Portal Authority and you can be on your way.”
“I only wish it were so simple.” Garn slumped down in his seat and glowered at the passing scenery. “I tried that, first thing, but the office is closed for something called ‘vacation.’”
“Makes sense,” Carol mused. “It is the 4th of July weekend and summer.”
“Yes, but wherever would you Earthlings go on holiday? You’re on lock-down.”
After several minutes, they pulled up in front of Carol’s condo. “Well, I guess you can come inside,” she sighed. “And tell me all about this mission of yours.”
“They have a list of questions,” Garn told her glumly. He pressed a button on his wrist-link to activate the holo-feature and several dozen queries from the Council popped up on Carol’s living room wall.
“Hmmm….” Carol studied the questions carefully. “These actually look like pretty simple questions. I bet you can answer most of these with a couple of web searches and from the CDC website.”
And that’s what they did – they ripped open a bag of chips (because Earth’s snack food supply was actually just fine) and went to googling.
“OK, that wasn’t so bad,” Garn finally admitted less than an hour later. “Your internet is quite useful.”
“Sure is, as long as you can spot the hoaxes, trolls and bad advice.”
“There’s only one problem. My special portal pass back off-planet doesn’t activate until Monday. What do I do until then?”
Carol’s brow furrowed as she pondered the enormity of the situation. A bored Garn was just asking for trouble. “Well, we never did finish watching ‘Stranger Things.’”
And that’s how Garn and a sizeable portion of the Earth spent the 4th of July weekend – binge watching entertainment vids on Netflix.
Happy Thursday, Friends!