Wanderings through life, landscapes, and occasional loopiness. So pull up a log and have a bit of a sit-down ’round the virtual campfire.

“Bigger’n Wal-Mart”

So I spend a lot of my time these days online, checking news feeds. It’s part of my job as a nascent journalistic writer. I have to make sure I have my fingers on the pulses of What’s Happening Out There so I can come up with topics to write on, stories that might be cool, and find connections between seemingly disparate occurrences. So while I’m surfing and reading and considering, I find a lot of Other News. The kind of news I like to call Whoa Stories. Tidbits that make you sit back and think: “hot damn. That’s some crazy shit, right there.”

Dateline January 2008, Stephenville, Texas. Large object spotted in night sky. Holy Flying Freak Zones, Batman. It’s a UFO!!! All right, all right. Before we get all bent and roll our eyes, assess some of the accounts for yourself. NPR, CNN, and ABC. Not to suggest that these are the end-all be-all of truth, justice, and the American Way. But you have to admit, it is kinda weird. Over 30 people say they saw it, and their accounts are remarkably similar. Here’s how the story goes. Second week of January, folks out n’ about doing what folks do in small SW Texas towns. I’m from a small ranching town, so I kind of know that people in small towns–especially in SW/W Texas aren’t really prone to flipping out at most things. Especially not somethin’ nutso like a UFO. Anyway. Large object in sky. Very large. One constable called it “5 football fields.” Another eyewitness claimed it was “bigger n’ Wal-Mart.” Not sure if that’s Super Wal-Mart or just a regular Wal-Mart. Regardless, that’s a big-ass thing in the sky. The witnesses reported strange strobing lights, reddish glow, and whatever it was, it was fast. Another eyewitness who’s also a pilot said that it didn’t move like a plane and it covered distances that take him 20 minutes in his Cessna. And quite a few other witnesses claim that a couple fighter jets followed it but, as one woman said, those jets had no chance of catching it. The military, of course, denies any jets were following anything, let alone a giant flying Wal-Mart and that in fact the object was probably a large commercial airliner.

Well, yeah. It sort of was. But as another witness said, “it definitely wasn’t from around these parts.” Intergalactic Airlines, maybe? Or, the military claims, it was an “illusion.” Hmmm. 40 people all saw the same illusion. So either a buncha West Texas cowfolks were chowin’ down on ’shrooms out on the prairie (and we all know that’s what those people do in their spare time down there between clearing brush, ranching, and running interference with oil and gas companies) or the military might be…well, you know. Fibbing. A little. So let’s go retro, shall we? Dateline, July 7, 1947. Roswell, New Mexico. Strange object spotted in sky but this time, the object crashed in a field outside town and the 8th Air Force, Roswell Air Field, allegedly recovered the saucer (did y’all see the movie Independence Day with Will Smith?) and the aliens and instigated a giant cover-up, spawning decades of pop culture speculation. Holy Dead Aliens, Batman! I highly recommend you stop by Roswell over the 4th of July for the UFO festival. And while you’re there–or, hell, if you’re in New Mexico for anything–I definitely recommend Sierra Blanca Brewery’s Alien Amber Ale. Smooth, sweet beer with a clean finish. Good stuff. And, way to capitalize on a government cover-up!

All right, so most of us in the post-Vietnam era basically know that “official” denials are government-speak for “of course we’re hiding shit” or “we have no freakin’ clue but we’ll pretend we do so you can sleep easier at night and watch more Fox News.” Anyway, back to Stephenville. They saw SOMETHING. The question remains as to what exactly it was and, if life forms from other planets are scouting us out for, oh, I don’t know…potential real estate ventures (and why not? Good time to buy up a lot of crap in the current mortgage crash), big gov and big biz probably want a little piece of that action. Maybe THAT’S the cover-up. Maybe government is full of corporate ETs, quietly buying up giant swaths of land and turning them into big-box strip malls so they can import all kinds of stupid plastic crap to us and PlayStations dipped in rohypnol and lead-based paint…oh, wait. That’s China. But still. Giant flying Wal-Marts could be the wave of the future. They’ve conquered land, why not air? After all, it makes good business sense for the entire store to fly very fast to China to pick up its products then fly back to Texas and land, softly, on the prairie, and throw its doors open to customers. MUCH easier than putting stuff on ships, then loading it onto trucks and trains on the West Coast, and slowly disseminating it across this great land. Nah, much easier to just build a UFO that moves way faster than any dang airplane and go right to the source of the product. Ingenious. Cuts out the middle man, maybe even saves natural resources (all those rumors about Wal-Mart going green, after all), depending on what those things are running on. I suspect some kind of nuke fission, since there’s one of those plants right outside Stephenville. The giant flying Wal-Mart was just stopping by to refuel. And the fighter jets? Hell, you can practically get ANYTHING at Wal-Mart. Maybe the military needed more duct tape.

Or maybe it was just a weather balloon. Pass me one a’ them Alien Ambers, wouldja?

“Bigger’n Wal-Mart”

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