By LARRY WOODY
According to news reports there has been a recent increase in UFO sightings, although, to be honest, some of them are a tad suspect.
One of the reports about an Unidentified Flying Object was filed by two Mississippi catfishermen, Cletus and Moon Pie, who were hunkered on a delta riverbank late one night when the alleged extraterrestrial encounter occurred.
According to Moon Pie, "this big ol' flyin' saucer landed and a little green feller hopped out and beeped, "Catchin' anything?"
Before they could answer ("Nope") Cletus was snatched up by his overall bib and given a through probing.
Investigators who looked into the matter had some suspicions after an empty moonshine jug was found nearby, although Cletus and Moon Pie insisted the only imbibing they had done that evening involved "a decanter of light Chardonnay served with some chilled Russian caviar."
Moon Pie suggested selling their story to The National Inquirer, but Cletus was reluctant to go public with all the explicit details, explaining: "You wasn't the one who got probed!"
Another questionable UFO sighting was reported by Mort Stargazer, a technician at the National Astrological Institute who said he was working in the lab late one night when "a space craft of unknown organ" suddenly swooped down outside.
Mort's account sounded plausible until, according to his testimony, the turret on the spaceship opened and a troop of Martians pranced out. He said the aliens looked like Kate Upton, and they immediately began dancing to "Cat Daddy."
He could only hope they would take over the earth.
A series of psychological tests subsequently revealed that Mort's wheel was spinning but his hamster had bounced off, if you get my drift.
He was advised to take some time off, and agreed to go on a long vacation with his golfing buddy Napoleon.
We've always been suckers for space-invader stories. Orson Wells sparked a national panic with his 1938 radio "news bulletin" about an extraterrestrial attack. His "War of the Worlds" broadcast sounded so realistic listeners thought he was serious. (Remember, this was highly-respected newsman Orson Wells, not Moon Pie Gump from Fly Buzz, Mississippi.)
People were running through the streets, seized by panic and expecting to be zapped by crazed Martians at any moment. Some, believing the end was near, took advantage of their final minutes to confess their sins and clear their conscience.
One example: Elmer Gruntalott of Minneapolis fell on his knees and told Mrs. Gruntalott about his ongoing affair with his buxom office secretary, Tiffany. Shortly afterwards, when the hoax was exposed and the panic subsided, Elmer WISHED he had been zapped.
I confess my mind is not entirely made up about the existence of spacemen (or space-persons, to be politically correct.) As with conjecture about Global Warming, whether the Miss Universe contest was rigged, and what went wrong with Joe Biden's hair plugs, I try to keep an open mind.
But I have reached one conclusion, having observed my fellow earthlings on The Jerry Springer Show and in the U.S. Senate: Before we search for intelligent life on other planets, we ought to first try to find some here on earth.