Gral the Stalwart strode up to his sometimes-friend Garn’s apartment and braced himself for what he would find behind the unassuming silver metal door. Garn was eccentric at even the best of times, but lately, his levels of unpredictability had risen to epic levels.
However, Garn had not checked in with the Council for two days, and it was Gral’s duty to verify his well-being. Taking a deep breath, Gral knocked. And then he knocked again.
On the third knock, a weak, quavering voice invited him to enter.
Concerned, Gral keyed in the override codes and the door slid silently open.
“Lords of Chaos! What has happened to you?”
“I’m watching cat videos from Earth,” Garn said listlessly, never moving his eyes from his tablet computer.
“I see.” Gral looked around Garn’s quarters, which were in even more disarray than usual. Empty dishes and half-full bags of Earth snack food lay strewn on every available surface. “Is that all you have been doing today?”
“What else is there to do?” Garn asked as he flipped through another video – this one of a small furry creature supposedly singing along to an Earth Pop song.
“Well, you could try doing your job,” Gral pointed out reasonably.
“Meh. We completed a mission last week. I don’t feel the need to embark on another one so soon.”
“Someday, I’m going to get a look at your work contract,” Gral grumbled. “How did you get to set your own schedule anyway?”
“I’ll never tell.”
Gral sighed. “There are surely other worthy pursuits for you. How about your novel?”
“It’s almost finished. Besides, what’s the use? Earth people seem to prefer Twitter and YouTube for entertainment.”
Gral sighed. “Well – how about perhaps going outside and getting some fresh air?” Garn shook his head. “Or we could go to Earth to replenish your snack food supply?”
“Meh. I don’t feel like it.”
Gral was becoming extremely alarmed. He’d never seen his friend so despondent. “Good Lord man, what has gotten you so depressed. You never turn down the opportunity to eat.”
Garn sighed. “It’s just that the pandemic on Earth is spiking, and the news feeds from Earth are quite alarming.”
Gral coughed. “Need I remind you that you’re not actually on Earth right now?”
“Well, Carol and our other friends are there. I feel great sympathy for their plight.”
Gral sighed. “Well, I know for a fact that Carol would not want you to be sad or to mope around like this. It is also a Day of Thanks on Earth is it not?”
“Yes, it is.” Garn admitted grudgingly. “I am thankful for many things, I suppose.”
“That’s the spirit!” Gral reached down and removed the tablet from Garn’s grasp. “I’m making a decision for your own good. No Earth news feeds for at least a week.”
“How about YouTube videos?” Garn asked plaintively.
Gral shook his head. “No cute puppy or cat videos – not until you shower at least.”
Happy Thursday – and Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!