Crime on Earth


E.T. Hack

     The Earthlings should never have started satellite TV transmission. It opened a window onto a world of brutality, depravity and banality, and the whole galaxy gaped in shock, horror and disbelief. Then a spiral of outrage surged through the Milky Way. There were calls, from sources as powerful as the Supreme Sponsors of the Keep the Milky Way Beautiful Campaign, for the pre-emptive cleansing of this vile planet, the sealing-off of its solar system, or at the very least the jamming of its satellites. My proposal to the Milky Way Institute of Criminology was much more modest: provide me with transport to Earth and the technical support necessary to enable me to stay on the planet for one of its revolutions and make an in-depth investigation of the whole phenomenon of crime on Earth.

 The proposal was received with interest, and I was invited to deliver a presentation-in-person to the MWIC’s Project Funding Committee. I knew I was close to clinching the deal, and the only real remaining hurdle was likely to be curly questions from the floor, so I turned procedure on its head by concluding my pitch with three burning questions of my own that plunged the three Board members deep into silent contemplation and dispelled any doubts about the importance of my mission:

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copyright Peter Tonkin 2007