I have written occasionally about visits here by aliens from the planet Xjrui, a planet whose name originated back at the start of
this blog time itself by typing a capital X and then hitting four keys at random.
Anyway, my old friend Spellcheck is a UFO sceptic. It has never heard of Xjrui and suggests that I meant one of five alternatives: Jury, X-ray, Jurua, Judi and Xerox (seriously, if Spellcheck thinks that I typed “Xjrui” when I meant to type “Jury” then it must think that I type in boxing gloves while standing on a ball).
What Spellcheck doesn’t realise is that, not only does Xrjui exist, but that each of his five suggestions are also planets. Here is a brief summary of their chief characteristics:
Jury is, you will not be surprised to hear, a planet whose citizens are devoted to justice. All crimes lead to a trial by jury. At least they would do if there were any crimes, but since any crime is punishable by exemption from jury duty, Jurists refuse to commit any. There are judges on Jury, and they do have to wear the wig that looks as if it’s made from Brillo Pads and Shredded Wheat, but their only function is to bang their gavel in empty courtrooms whenever it’s lunchtime. The job is thus disheartening and depressing, and the phrase “sober as a judge” did not originate on Jury.
On the planet X-Ray everyone is thin. Skeletal, in fact. They love to gather around the TV in the evenings and watch Sex and the City (which they pick up via their satellite dishes), laughing uproariously at how fat the four women are. They are hopeless at photography, and every holiday snap they take turns out as a blurry picture of just one limb. It is impossible to tell one X-ranian from another, and also impossible to tell what type of mood they are in, because of their permanent rictus grin.
Jurua on earth is a tributary river of the Amazon (yes, ok, I did have to Google it), but the beautifully named planet of the same name is itself beautiful, with sapphire-blue oceans, majestic waterfalls and spectacular rainbows. All of these are due to the astonishing deluges of sheet-like rain that fall twenty-nine hours a day, twelve days a week. When Kiki Dee sang that she could hear the rainfall of another planet, it was the sound of the rain on Jurua, over four galaxies away.
The planet Judi is populated by cousins of the Jedi (Spellcheck does not recognise the word Jedi, by the way, for which it has risen enormously in my estimation). A gentle, peaceful people, they had no time for the clashes with the Empire and moved away to a planet of their own. They are scorned by real Jedi, among whom their nickname is the Darth Evaders.
Xerox is a planet with a somewhat unique method of reproduction (women who complain about the pain of childbirth should try suffering from paper-jam). It is believed that they visited this planet many years ago, and that they are responsible for the two-dimensional drawings on the walls of Egyptian tombs. Psychologist believe that the visit has embedded itself deep on our communal psyche, and explains why porn movies always feature a photocopier repairman.