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Report from Planet Earth

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
To: Marshal Zork, Supreme Commander, Galaxy Expedition
From: Lt. Zenon, Earth Based (item 40379Z) Exploratory Force

Marshal Zork: (Use translator code BR 549 for this message)

It has been seventeen sepzons since I sent my last communication to you. The reason for this delay is the fact that my transmitter was accidentally broken when an clumsy Earthling clod stepped on my work out bag during my weekly session of Pilates. I will explain this to you in a future communication. I was able to obtain the parts to repair my communicator by advertising on an 'internet web site' called E-Bay. You should see this; they have everything you could imagine for sale. I will forward the link to you, but I doubt you will be able to purchase anything since you do not have access to something they call 'Pay-Pal'. It's just as well since you might get hooked on the auctions. I spent several earth weeks just trying to obtain the latest set of salt and pepper shakers (see communication #458932M for explanation) in the image of a current pop culture figure named "Paris Hilton". I missed out on this, but did manage to secure several sets of an American legend named 'Elvis'. I will transport them to you on the next re-supply mission. I know you will be pleased. These are very authentic looking and will be a great addition to our Earth museum.

This country you have assigned to me is starting up the election process for the position of their president (leader) again. As you may recall from some of my previous dispatches to you, this is a very strange ritual. The Americans are fairly well divided into two groups, called political parties. These so-called 'parties' are the Demo-Crats and the Republic-ans. One is thought to be more liberal than the other and one is more conservation than the other.

But, not always.

It is very confusing.

The country has nearly two entire Earth years until their citizens use their voting privileges, something we did away with sepzons ago. I wish I could explain to their leaders how we overcame this archaic practice. It would certainly save them a lot of time as well as wasted energy.

At this early stage of the political game, nearly fifteen individuals have expressed their desire to be nominated by their 'parties'. At the rate of humans making these announcements, there could be as many as 150 individuals seeking this office by the time the first phase of the process which is called the 'primaries' start to occur.

You assigned me to this strange planet in order to evaluate the possibilities of our mobilizing an invasion force to conquer these people. I would suggest you hear how this political, voting process works before you decide whether or not to issue your invasion orders. When you hear what I have got to say, you may change your mind about these people.

The survivors of the so-called 'primary' races will go to the final election date which is held in the month of November of 2007. The persons trying to get elected are estimated to spend close to 100 million American dollars EACH to obtain a position that pays only $400,000 per year!!!.

100 million American dollars is about the same as 4800 quillitron foazes in our currency. Not a small amount, I'm sure you will agree.

Now, here is the tricky part. As I told you the position of president only pays $400,000 United States dollars for each of the four years the person is in office. So, if the elected person did not spend any money during the next four years, which is a total of $1,600,000, then they would still have a shortfall of $98,000,000. They would have to stay in office an additional 246 Earth years (and not spend any money) during this time period) just to pay off this huge debt. This isn't practical since most Earthling do not live this long. I also doubt if the person could actually remain in the elected position even if they did live longer. Humans generally die off fairly early, unlike our people. It even appears (from research photographs) that being 'elected' to the office of President places a great of stress upon the person and they actually age much faster as a result.

Now, the person getting elected does get to live in a nice dwelling called "The White House" and it appears that most of their needs are met by servants and wait staff. I have never seen anything on the 'newscasts' that indicate that the president actually cooks their food, or does any other typical domestic activity such as so-called 'yard work'.

The facts stated above lead me to believe these people are craftier than we first thought. First off, who would aspire for some political office that costs many more times what it paid? Secondly, why aspire to such an office if it was going to cause you to age and possibly die earlier than you would have under normal circumstances?

No, there is definitely something here that we are missing. I will have to investigate further and get back to you as this entire process unravels.

By the way, I did not xercitate the clod that broke my transmitter; I only caused him to stumble and break a bone which the humans call the 'leg'. He yelled that he was in a lot of 'pain'. I will have to research this term and report back to you on its meaning.

Your humble servant, Lt. Zenon
Peary Perry
Letters From North America >

January 24, 2007 column
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