My Interview with Jxamflto

(These are excerpts from my interview with someone you all know by now: extraterrestrial Jxamflto, who arrived last year and was kind enough to “sit” with me during the afternoon of August 16, 2022. Also present were a translator, a security guard, and what has been determined to be Jxamflto’s “groomer”.)

Me: Jxamflto, thank you for spending time with me; I know you’ve given many interviews over the past several months, and it must be tiring for you, so I’m going to concentrate on asking you questions that I hope you haven’t heard before. Actually, you don’t seem to have any ears, so I don’t know if “heard” is the correct term. But these will be new questions.

Jxamflto: Thank you; that would be beneficial to my well-being.

Me: Okay, good. So, first of all, I know you don’t wear clothes on your planet, and I’m interested in your physical appearance. (After this sentence was translated, the “groomer” pushed two of its tentacles behind its body, which I later interpreted to signify anxiety. Before I could continue, it then seemed to briefly massage Jxamflto.) Your entities must have sex of some kind in order to procreate, and I wonder if there are certain body parts that are traditionally assessed as more attractive than others.

Jxamflto: Yes, our planet is warm and we do not need to cover ourselves. We find your wearing of clothing very silly, especially when you complain about the weather being excessively warm. But, as to your sexual query: You see this protuberance on the left side of my body? The more orange it is, the more attractive it is to others. There is only one gender in our race, so the color is critical. Artificial dyes are not permitted. The orange color of my own protuberance, called a “srzydo”, is entirely natural, and I am therefore extremely popular. The elasticity of one’s major tentacle is also a boon to attractiveness. You can see (demonstrating) that mine is quite, how do you say, bendable.

Me: Interesting. My next question has to do with, well, stupidity. It’s my understanding that your—how shall I put it—“people” have been observing Earth for some time now, and you must have some thoughts about the dumb things we’ve done, whether it was destroying the environment or slaughtering people different from us or believing in things that couldn’t possibly be true or voting for Donald Trump. Do you have any astute explanation for any of this? We have many theories, of course, but we would be very grateful to hear your thoughts.

Jxamflto: I do not think I can add a voluminous amount to what you already know. Your people do stupid things for several reasons: One, they find critical thinking too difficult and so rely on others’ thinking. Two, they are insecure about their own intelligence or personality or sexuality or what they have done in their lifetimes and so try to compensate. Three, they are insecure about their opinions and so seek out others who confirm what they have already determined to be true. Four, they feel threatened or suppressed and so find people to blame. Five, they do not wish to engage in complexity and so rely on simple, if inaccurate, analyses of phenomena. And six, they value entertainment over truth and material goods over kindness; hence, the election results to which you referred. And now I ask you, do you believe all that?

Me: Uh, I’m not going to answer because I feel the question puts me in a bind. But let’s move on. I know you’ve been asked a lot about how we’ve handled our latest pandemic—the coronavirus—particularly its being exacerbated by many people’s refusal to receive the vaccine or to protect others by wearing masks. You’ve responded by saying that those who put others’ lives at risk in such a way should be, and I’m quoting here, “tortured and then executed”. Have you reconsidered that response?

Jxamflto: No.

Me: Okay, then, let me ask you this: Have you eaten any of our food, and do you have any favorites?

Jxamflto: Kale and tofu are wonderful foods; I am hoping to take them back with me. No, I am of course kidding. Pizza, chocolate, and beer are more than satisfying. Also boeuf bourgignon.

Me: Hm, too bad; I think many people would have appreciated your taking back tons of kale and tofu. Anyway, I see our time is running out, and I know you’re returning to your planet very soon. You’ve mentioned numerous times that your species does not desire to harm Earth, that you’re not interested in having a relationship with our people, and that in fact you doubt that we’ll be communicating with any of you again. You’ve stated that you came here mainly to—and again I’m quoting—“mess with our heads”. Are you at all concerned that we’ll be able to trace your flight back to your planet and then at some point visit you?

Jxamflto: (After the translation, Jxamflto shudders a bit, which I take for laughter.) No, I was jesting when I said all that. Your planet will be destroyed in a very short time. It is what we do.

Me: Ah. Well, fine. Um, thank you for your time, Jxamflto, and I hope you were messing with my head again. Let me just end by saying that we here on Earth have our good points, too. We’re not all religious nutcases and idiots and greedy, unkind, gun-wielding people who subjugate others. (At this point, after the translation, Jxamflto, the translator, and the “groomer” all shudder uncontrollably.)

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