Brian's Brief Encounters

This is an Unofficial Kaffe Fassett fanzine. Brought to you from a Leafy Suburb of the Throbbing Metropolis.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Welcome To My World

I have a special skill.

Other than being a FIFA standard matrimonial referee that is.

I am blessed with the ability to communicate in a number of different languages. Although these aren’t any tongues you’re likely to learn at school. As far as I know they’re not even on the syllabus at any of our more progressive Polytechnics. No, unless you have racked up enough space miles to buy a desert island you won’t have any knowledge of these.

Fortunately, Small Corner has plenty of refugees from the Saturn/Jupiter war. So I get plenty of opportunities to perfect the correct idioms for these. My Plutonese isn’t too shabby either. You never know when you’re going to need them. One minute you could be having a semi-rational conversation. The next it lapses into something slightly less Earth-y.

This is when you’ll be needing Brian’s handy English/Galactic Traveller Guidebook.

Chapter One- Opening Gambit.

Question one:- “When was the last time you were in hospital?”

Straightaway they’ll know you’re fluent. They won’t think back to the last time they were having their haemorrhoids lasered off.

Question two:- “Which hospital was it?”

This is where an intimate knowledge of all of the hospitals, across the South of England, who specialise in treating inter-planetary conditions, is crucial. If the answer is one of the three or four who need to use Kryptonite in their treatment plans then call for some friends. Now.

If they mention one of the others that operate the usual open door policy, then you can proceed.

Question three:- “What were you being treated for?”

Normally the answer is one of the more common ‘crossed wires’ conditions. But, you probably knew that anyway. No need to panic if it is. However, if they mention the word “untreatable”, then call for some friends. Not all of our trick cyclists have travelled the entire galaxy and there is the occasional person that has them flummoxed. No sense tying the bed up then is there? Not when you can get them into a bed-sit in Small Corner.

Chapter Two- Street Diagnosis.

This is where you have to work out if the Galactic Traveller is near enough to the Ozone layer to be able to re-enter without the assistance of our health system. Invariably the answer is ‘no’. But hey, it’s worth a shot. Discussions about medication are common, but don’t tell you a lot. I prefer something more innocent, like chatting about the most recent reality TV show. Providing their answers err towards homicidal thoughts about all of the contestants, then you can leave them to go about their business.

Don’t forget that non-verbal communication is Universal. So check for signs like a fixed stare at your personal radio or nudity in the High Street. Even clutching a bloodied hatchet can be a good indication.

Chapter Three- Closure.

Now you’ve realised that the traveller is going to need some assistance to get them back on terra-firma. It’s time a decision was made. Only it’s best if you’re not the one making it. The trick is to get them to make the decision, and then you can enthusiastically agree. It’s much easier that way.

Especially if you’re out of Kryptonite.


At 6/9/05 12:33 AM, Anonymous Spike said...


At 6/9/05 12:45 AM, Anonymous Frank P said...

Care in the Community when the Community DGAF is a wonderful development in the evolution of psychiatric medicine, isn't it? As my old grannie used to say, "There's more out than in!" Particularly when the trick cyclists are oft madder than their 'patients'. But just think N'Orlins. and count your blessings, or put on your tinfoil hat and whistle.

At 6/9/05 2:15 PM, Anonymous John said...

How many times do people come in under Sec 136 and end up walking, even though they are madder than a box of frogs?


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