“And who amongst you,” asked one of the Aliens, “is the most revered, the most recognizable to your fellow Earthlings?”
“There is one,” said the president, “who is truly revered, an athlete whose face is recognized more than any other on the planet.”
“And what does an athlete do?” asked the Alien, “What service does he perform?”
“An athlete entertains us and inspires us with the idea of winning.” answered the president. “They are individuals that humans respect and look up to.”
“And who is this one you refer to? What precisely is the nature of his winning?”
“His name is Muhammad Ali, and he is a boxer.”
“And what does a boxer do? How does he inspire?”
“A boxer is a human being who enters a small square enclosure with another human being in which they hit each other until one is beaten unconscious or so badly injured he can hit no more. That man is considered the loser and the other the winner. Muhammad Ali has been a winner many times and is very clever and amusing in his style. He is admired by us all.”
The president turned to call the boxer forward to meet the Aliens. When he turned back, they were gone.
MALCOLM MC NEILL‘s collection of essays, REFLUX was published in 2014 and is available on Amazon. “SETI” is part of REFLUX2 in progress.
Other work in progress, including SCIENCE, can be seen on Facebook –
Original boxer photograph by THIERRY GOURJON – with thanks.