Jack Tame: There's life, but it's not intelligent

the Whirlpool Galaxy and a companion galaxy. Photo / AP
the Whirlpool Galaxy and a companion galaxy. Photo / AP

A fantastic glob of sulfuric mucus hangs off Clob's seventh eyeball. As he lifts his telescopic iPhone 398 to the dark galaxies above, his boss hovers over and harangues him for a progress report.

"Anything of interest in the Oort cloud?" says Pflexor, his magnificent orange gut trembling as it digests a pack of radioactive Doritos.

Clob stares at Pluto and pulls his iPhone 398 into focus.

"Here's a planet," he says. "Oh, maybe it's not. I can't decide." "But is there anything to see?" asks Plexor. "If not, hurry up! Scan left."

Clob passes another planet with a giant set of rings. Another has a pinky hue and a wafer thin atmosphere. He zooms in and the iPhone 398picks up something that looks like a golf cart.

"I wish this thing was better in low light" says Clob.

"Don't we all," says hisboss. Clob settles on a blue planet. It's an intoxicating churn of liquid, gas andmass.

Even from Galaxy GN-z11 and with an extra-mucusy fourth eye, Clob can make out life.

"There's clearly a dominant life form," says Clob. "I can see industry and infrastructure and art."

"Describe the life form," says Plexor.

"They've got four limbs, a head and a heart," says Clob. With each of his 14 eyeballs he observes a different scene. The planet rotates seven times before the analysis is done.

"There is a sport of some apparent attraction drawing millions of beings to a single sphere. But though the sport itself allows no physical violence, the observing fans celebrate by breaking each other's bodies and rioting with bottles and chairs.

"I see a disco club too, a place of joy and jubilation, of freedom and love. But one of these planetary beings took exception to the club for reasons I don't understand. He took out a rapid-fire weapon and cut down 49. There must be a good reason not to have a weapons ban.

"And finally," says Clob. "This planet has a leader who reminds me just of you. He has orange flesh, tiny hands and a certain radioactive vibe."

"Clob, you greaser!" Plexor exclaims. "But can you make out intelligent life?"

A bead of sulfuric mucus balls up on Glorb's third eyelid. He lowers his telescopic iPhone 398 and turns to his boss. "Nah."

• Jack Tame is on NewstalkZB Saturdays,9am-noon.

- Herald on Sunday

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