alien invansion / by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

True story of liquid paranoia. It begins early on Monday morning.

Breakfast dishes are put away. Lunch is made and packed. Trash to the curb. Ahhh..that second cup of coffee sure is good. The dog is walked. Now time to pay the MAN his due. Out to the car and READY FOR ANOTHER WEEK. Wow, is that frost on the windshield? Winters is truly just around the corner. Whoa! That rear tire looks low. Kick it. Damn! Prod it. Damn it! It's flat. Bummer. Good thing it's early. I still have time to change it and get to work on time.

Rummage around in the trunk (but first have to remove all the paddles, life jackets, and miscellaneous summer fun debris) so I can get to the spare. Looks brand new. Like it's never been used. Find the fancy, very tiny jack, find the fancy, very tiny place to put the jack. Now for the lug nuts. Arghhh. Arghhh. Jeez, those are tight. Good thing I have the 2 lb sledge handy. Wham. Wham. Piece of cake. Loosen lugs nuts.

Jack up car. Remove lug nuts. Pull off tire, ahh. No wonder it's flat. It has a screw in it. Put on brand new temporary spare but notice that it seems a little shy of being full. Lower car. Watch spare got completely flat. Damn. OK. What next? Call in roadside assistance? In front of my house? With 2 flat tires? What good is that going to do? I can just see me asking the tow-truck driver where to go shopping for a new tire. "You know, I heard Firestone was having a big sale, let's try that first."

OK. What next. Take the tire to the repair store, my only plan. It's still early. Who can I harass for a ride at this hour. My neighbor. Cars still in the drive. OK. Fanagle a ride to the tire repair store with the neighbor. Drop off the tire. 30 minutes to fix a flat with no one in the waiting room? OK. Take a deep breath; it's still early. The neighbor has to go to work. So I ride back home with her. Call another friend. He's going to midtown in 30 minutes so, great, he can pick me up at the tire shop and I don't have to play Opie and roll it home.

Walk back to the tire store. The last block I pick my way through the gauntlet of homeless people who are beginning their day's work. Go inside. The tire, after a $22! patch is ready. Now to wait for my ride.

Go sit in the waiting room. No one there. TV's on; morning paper in an empty chair. Sit down, quickly riffle through the sports section. Some dude shuffles out of a side door. At first I thought he was a homeless person. He's moving real slow, like he's medicated-heavily. Perhaps this is his spot where he kills the morning. Paper. Coffee. Heat. TV. Not a bad deal compared to a bridge. But his clothes are new. Everything. Even his shoes are new. Maybe he's not homeless, but he does look ill. He sits in the chair next to me and kinda groans. Damn. I really need to get to work.

After about 5 minutes the shopkeeper comes over, looks down, and says gruffly to the man, "let me clean that up."

I can't see what he's talking about, but the shopkeeper goes and gets a mop, and then says, in an irritated voice, like this man is relative, or daily problem, "move your feet and let me clean that up".

The man moves his feet and then I see the weirdest looking substance on the floor. I have no idea what it is. It yellow-orange. A puddle the size of a dinner plate. Too orange and much too thick to be pee. Too smooth to be vomit. What is it? It forms a puddle underneath the man's chair. It's completely uniform in color, no chunks. It freaks me out. There's another puddle and dribbles next to the large puddle. Oh my god! What is that! The plague? Alien blood? My stomach churns. Jeez. I really need to get to work.

Just then my right drives into the lot. Thank God! I grab my tire on the way out, throw in the bed of the pick up and climb in.

"Dude!" My friend says laughing, "how your morning?"

"I think I just got the plague from an alien. Man. And I thought work was tough."

Three days later I have a fever, chills, and a runny nose. I haven't died yet. But I do feel awfully strange.