For some time now Martians and Venusians have not held each other in high regard. While not in conflict, bring up a Martian while in conversation with a Venusian or vice versa and you'll soon wish you hadn't. (I once mentioned a Splig Star Explorer to an indigenous Martian -just in the context of describing a terrible sleeping pod motel on Saturn that the Splig had made a complaint about - and several of his facial features popped- with rage. I felt terrible.)
So, being the idealist I am, I decided I would try and improve the current deadlock, tackle the severe prejudice and reduce animosity by inviting several Martians and Venusians to a picnic on the moon. My thinking was that I could make a film of everyfreek getting on well and both planets could use it to educate their younglings so that future relations would be enhanced.
Please understand and know my intentions were good.
I chose Venusian date 4.93 and Martian date 34 555 666 K Grine for said picnic. The moon was full and the earth had a beautiful moonside cloud swirl over the Pacific, so conditions were perfect.
The shuttloom from Mars was the first to arrive. As the Maritans descended from the craft, I saw two hosshox, a Mardike and seven falloops. I think falloops had been sent because they are known for their placid nature. Mardikes are quite chatty and hosshox notice everything - which some people can find a bit intimidating.
The Martians had brought a hamper (as requested on the eleckinvite) of some of Mars' finest delicacies. I saw the Mardike struggling to drag a barrel with 'Nibt Juice' written on the side. I should have asked them to leave the barrel on the craft because nibt juice in a potentially volatile situation like this definitely does not help.
The Venusian flooket was late. It had clearly been speeding for when it arrived it had splatted snift all over its windscreen. The hatch lifted and out came a Vargoot, three haripples and four grik. I suspect the Venusian parliament had not put much thought into their representatives because griks don't eat, Vargoots always attract fuzzbewiffs (they are constantly fuzzing around their noses) and harripples are known to put most aliens off their food - mostly because of the brown slime that continuously oozes from them. Still I was determined to remain positive and invited them all to take a seat on the blanket I had laid out for them.
The Venusians had forgotten to bring their contribution to the picnic, so there was a bit of fussing, oozing and wriggling while they teletefted back home and arranged to have their offerings facksed over. A few moments later, a large frink rossage, some nickrarl (delicious on on friffle) and a bottle of purple ruffypop arrived. One of the haripples pushed their picnic offerings in the direction of the Martians, as a sweet gesture but those receiving couldn't take their eyes off the layer of slime that now covered the picnic blanket.
I suggested, before we ate, that we had an icebreaker, to help us all to relax and start to get to know each other a little. I had prepared alien bingo for us all to play. The first person to find a different freek to fulfill each of the criteria on the sheet would be the winner. However, I had forgotten the highly competitive nature of Mardikes. The Mardike (her name was Jennee) was up, whizzing around asking everyone, quite impatiently, if they had
*eaten Saturn Sausage,
*free-orbited a star,
*could calculate gravity adjustment for all eight planets and the hypothetical adjustment for the sun,
*had got grade VI in asteroid surfing,
*shaken hands with a Marmoodipoo,
*turned green or pink (through temperature change, extreme emotion or skin shedding - I didn't stipulate)
*had taken a holiday on the night side of Mercury
*had ever grown an extra body part or
*had been in a science fiction film
and had completed the sheet in under 23 seconds and pretty much flattened the picnic produce entirely. (I would like to add here that I think some of the freeks lied - for example I have never seen a grik in star wars). It was at this point that I noticed one of the hosshox had a straw poked in the barrel of nibt juice and under its influence was poking its eyes around with no respect for personal space. When the hosshox's eyes followed a fuzzbewiff up the Vargoot's O-Shirt uniform, chaos broke out.
The Vargoot slapped the hosshox, which caused the Mardike to jump to its defence by picking up the frink rossage and aiming it at the Vargoot. However, Mardikes are notoriously poor at aiming (they were not allowed to fight in Inter-Galaxy War IV after it was realised they had mostly shot down their own side in the Inter-Galaxy War III) and the rossage hit a harripple. The harripple could not help but cover the rossage in slime which angered all of the falloops. Falloops' one irritation is gooey messiness. Before long the picnic had turned into one terrible mess. A grik lost its arm, a haripple had all three of its eyes purpled, the Vargoot received a bite from an unknown source and the Mardike ended up head first in the barrel of nibt, its little footflaps flapping frantically.
I called the Moonforce and they helped me return everyfreek back to their space vessels. At one point an Moonforce Inspacetor was trying to shove a hosshox into the Venusian flooket. The hosshox was clearly furious and three of its eyes popped out. Fortunately, I caught all three eyes, replaced them, explained the Inspacetor's error to him and the situation was remedied before another 'situation' was provoked.
It was a disaster, I will admit that but I refuse to remain defeated. I believe a better venue, a more absorbing one, might distract everyfreek enough so that their affiliations can be less direct and more carefully staged.
I have booked Centre Parcs, Thetford Forest. What do you think?