coming to a sky near you

Dear Uma: Last weekend while I was watching little children play hockey at the recreation centre some people in Whitehorse were seeing UFOs.

Dear Uma:

Last weekend while I was watching little children play hockey at the recreation centre some people in Whitehorse were seeing UFOs.

Why am I always in the wrong place at the wrong time?

All my life I have wanted to see something, anything, from outer space, and yet there I was chowing down on a big plate of fries and gravy while sitting on an icy bench surrounded by loud-voiced hockey mothers. And I don’t like hockey or children. Cee’d persuaded me to go, using the reopening of the concession under new management to lure me out of the trailer.

I was a huge fan of Growlies, the previous concession, but I think the new folks are doing a fine job and it is good to have another place open when one feels the craving for some good old-fashioned, totally recognizable food.

News the Yukon gets more UFO sightings than anywhere else in Canada is recently acquired information for me, discovered after the fact in the pages of the Whitehorse Star, the other Yukon newspaper. Last week there were two fresh viewings. Who knew I am living in the Roswell of Canada? Obviously, the Yukon is on the alien maps and it is only a matter of time before, like Roswell, we have our very own alien corpses for the government to hide and lie to us about.

The Yukon even has its own investigator of reported sightings. There would be a title for a job application! Right up there with ‘shepherd’ and ‘turtle inseminator.’

I wonder if they ever advertise for additional staff? My research jobs are growing tedious and I have been thinking of doing something else; tracking down and interviewing people who have seen ‘things’ sounds like something I would be good at.

Of course, come to think of it, I would likely be expected to leave the house, unless those lucky sighters would be willing to come to my home to pour their stories into my willing ears, an unlikely scenario given they are generally reported to be “shaken” and sometimes even “in shock.” There is the tiniest possibility that sometimes they could even be said to be “drunk,” as the Yukon also holds the record for the most imbibing of alcoholic beverages. Maybe alien visitors seek out those who are inebriated; those slurrings and mutterings resembling their own otherworldly language.

If I can’t be an investigator of alien sightings, taxidermy might be a possibility. I have been looking at various courses on the internet and have found it is possible to take correspondence courses in how to stuff animals. Perhaps I could find a niche market for having beloved pets preserved in their entirety. Remember that friend of your mother’s who had her dogs embalmed before burial? My new business would be like that, only better because the remains would not have to be given to the cold cold ground, but could be set in a corner of the living room, or perhaps curled forever in its own bed or cage.

Hamsters and guinea pigs alone could carry the business; there are cheeses with a longer shelf life than pet rodents.

There must be some place for me in the field of alien investigation. If I couldn’t find work as an investigator, I could, upon completion of my taxidermy course, stuff anything that happened to be discovered. It would have to be in good condition, with all fluids drained. Anything’s blood disturbs me, and alien blood is said to be pale green and incredibly slimy – with chunks. And it couldn’t be too smelly, either. I am known to turn pale green myself at certain odours. Cee’s dogs, for instance, have a habit of letting loose with suffocating farts, gaseous emissions which apparently go unnoticed by family members, but cause me to stagger to the door, my eyes streaming and my gag reflex in full operation.

I would also be a good spotter of “walk ons,” aliens who have come to Earth and taken over the bodies of some humans. Madonna is said to be one and so is Peter Mansbridge. Dennis Fentie is another likely imposter.

There are several walk ons here in Watson Lake. It’s a good place to be assimilated into a human group unnoticed and unremarked as no one questions newcomers about anything, no matter how peculiar they may appear to be. One doesn’t have to live here long before becoming part of the landscape.

Some of those who have lived here for eons are very successful walk ons, with a few being in positions of importance in the town. It is a good place for aliens to practise exercising manipulation of power because it is a small population with lots to do other than protest the organization of their municipality.

I believe we even have a few sasquatches who have integrated into the population without causing so much as a ripple of suspicion. Actually, I would hazard a guess that they outnumber the walk ons. Though there would seem to be no issues between the two groups, I suspect that is because their interests differ, with the walk ons being keen on occupying positions of political and economic clout and the sasquatches being content to merely live, breeding with the heedless humans and drinking their beer on weekends while watching sports on TV.

Google Earth reported a sasquatch sighting on the airport road, very close to Two Mile. Oddly, the location is described as being “among the houses,” but when Pete and I went to the exact spot designated by Google Earth, it was some distance from the village of Two Mile. Oh, but those sasquatches are canny!

Although I may not be given an employment opportunity with the alien investigators, I can search the night skies for something to report to them. I have ordered a pair of powerful binoculars and an arctic sleeping bag and will now be found most nights sitting in a deck chair in the yard, encased in my down-filled bag and watching the heavens while sipping hot rum from a flask.

With due diligence, I will be the subject of an interview with Martin Jasek before the 24-hour daylight season has returned.

You see, Uma, I have fulfilled one of my new year’s resolutions; I have a new hobby.



Heather Bennett is a writer

who lives in Watson Lake.