Yesterday’s post about aliens reminds me of a strange fact.
We are the only species in the galaxy that wears trousers.
The aliens who visit here are, by and large, naked. Think of the guy in yesterday’s post, for example (no, not Bono, the green guy), or the ones in the pictures from Roswell . I suspect that in their research they had no idea what Fahrenheit and Celsius meant, and that the faint glow that always seems to emanate from them is in fact frost forming upon them.
ET (who was also starkers) wanted to go home as soon as he got here. I went to Copenhagen in November once and know exactly how he felt.
Their nakedness highlights the fact that they have no, well, bits. If they’d ever give us advance warning that they were coming we’d send Ken and Barbie to greet them, to make them feel more at home.
And these are just the ones that come here. According to documentaries that I have watched, such as Star Trek and Stargate, by the time we can travel through space ourselves the beings we meet will have learnt a thing or two about tailoring.
But not, apparently, about trousering. Thus the people of Star Trek or Stargate will agree to meet the ambassador from some planet (to discuss trade options, it seems no-one buys online in the 24th century) and through the Stargate, or through the transporter beam, will come a bearded man in a long robe.
He will usually be carrying a large staff.
The fact that these species are so advanced in space travel while still dressing like the people of Galilee is a bit baffling. Even in Fred Flintstone’s time we had invented the tie.
More enlightened planets will sometimes have a female ambassador. She too will wear a long robe, though it will cling tightly to her as if she’s been wrapped in swaddling clothes. This gives her a chance to tempt Captain Picard with her womanly wiles, wiles apparently being common to all females everywhere in the galaxy.
I feel sorry for them all. Bits or no bits, it cannot be pleasant when the chill winds of Xjrui (a planet who’s name derives from typing a capital X and then hitting four keys at random, I’m actually quite proud of it) blow up your robe. It can’t be easy drawing your phaser, or keeping your dignity when your ship flies briefly upside down. It must be really tough when the lifts don’t work (it seems to happen quite a lot on starships) and you’ve to climb a long ladder or crawl along a narrow tube.
It must be a nightmare if you ever have to go outside the ship. Your spacesuit must make you look like Kenny from South Park.
The universe is our market. We can show that the world’s economic woes are a load of pants by selling a load of pants.
They need us badly. We have trousery to suit all tastes. The more dubious ones can start with flares, like a robe for each leg, until they get used to the idea. Those bringing their offspring to space-school will find the pyjama-bottom suitable for every occasion. Those working in the construction of starships will cling at least partly to their former nakedness by revealing the top half of their arse. The more womanly-wiled ones will quickly move on to Kylie-like shorts.
This is our chance to sew chino where no-one’s done before.