Poet Commentaries

Getting to know your Alien

A cab story and poem

“They had been to three marriages in the last year and all of them had gone bust”

Getting to know your Alien

There are many times the duties of a cab driver include marriage counseling. One couple got in who were badly in need of some.

They had been to three marriages in the last year and all of them had gone bust. Their date was a few months off. Needless to say they were worried.

My advice was that they needed to remember they were marrying an alien, someone they did not understand at all. The woman in the back did not get it. Emphatically she declared how alike they were and how good of a match they turned out to be. That they think alike. I smiled inside and asked her if I could ask her future mate a question. “Sure” she said.

There were some ground rules that needed to be layed out first. “Will you promise to still love him if the answer is a surprise? Will you understand that there are more questions I could ask that you won’t like the answers to?”. She said “Sure”

The question, directed at him… “How many times had you considered what to name your kids before she started that conversation? his answer was “none”. I suspected this from over hearing their conversation and from my own and other’s experience. He did not write his name with possible last names all over his notebooks and he certainly did not go over and over names in his head.  He did not sound them out phonetically and ponder what the nicknames would be.

She was shocked. It showed on her face and in her voice. Desperately she queried him like a psychologist trying to draw out a repressed memory but it was to no avail. It is kinda funny and we all talked a little longer while the meter ran. It of course goes both ways. My sister and I laughed when I confessed to dreaming about rescuing my grade six crush from a fire. She said she dreamed of being rescued.

If you go to another country or were confronted by an alien you would be curious. There would not be assumptions but rather questions. Perhaps that is why opposites are so successful because the differences are apparent and it is known that it will take something else to make it work besides a commonality. This is true of every relationship.

Presuming workers are lazy because they only want to work 30 hours or have no ambition because they don’t want to advance themselves is silly and frankly dangerous. Not all workers “problem solve” the same. I have seen so many bosses that make derogatory comments about workers and they all stem from assumptions. (and workers shooting off about bosses) Presuming children or best friends will be the same is equally silly.

Get to know your alien today. Don’t be afraid and roll up like an Armidillo.   Ask questions and don’t be so very surprised at the answers. Following is a poem about someone who is a scorner or someone who has not learned to be curious.


Curiosity is too long a trip
and intrigue too hard.
Question marks are impassable,
or are rhetorical diarrhea.
So they stay inside a box
and fill a bed pan
with bold stomped periods

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