Watching Them Watching Us

Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “Tellurian”, and yes, I did have to look it up….


“So what are they like?” asked Avin.

“Well, the Tellurians are roughly the same shape as us,” said her husband, Dano, “though they’re not green. They’re come in a variety of colours, like paint. Look, I’ll show you.”

The family stared eagerly at the wall,. They loved it when Dano returned from one of his field trips to other planets, other galaxies. They had been awestruck by the purple sunrises of Zemejs, entranced by the crystal butterflies of Gdhehe, revolted at the snot-based recipes of the people of Yjdiendu.

Dano wrote for Galactic Geographic, a publication rather like our own National one, though with less pictures of naked tribeswomen.

Dano concentrated his mind and a picture appeared on the wall. It was of a creature much like the watching Xjruians, though he was a strange shade of pink, had far smaller eyes and had what appeared to be a small carpet on his head. Their youngest child screamed.

“What’s that stuff on his head?” she asked.

“It’s called ‘hair’ apparently,” said Dano, and if you think they’re bad now, you’d want to see what they’re descended from.”

“They belong to a number of tribes,” he continued. “For example the Americans, who seem to rule everything, or the French, who look down on everything , or the Irish, who build everything.”

“What do they do all day?” asked Avin.

“Well, they toil for a while, as we do. Then during their leisure time they mostly gather in small buildings called “pubs” and talk.”

“About what?”

“Generally about the climactic conditions of the day,” said Dano. “It’s odd – there are only two possible types – dry and wet, yet they are fascinated each day by the fact that one of these occurs.”

“They don’t sound the brightest,” said their eldest child.

“They aren’t. They think that Saturn is a planet. I mean, it’s surrounded by a giant parking lot, could it be any more obvious that it’s a space station?”

“Do they, er..” asked Avin, quietly so that the children wouldn’t hear.

As you will have seen in pictures, the Xjuians do not have genitalia (just because it’s a stereotype doesn’t mean it isn’t true). Their own children grow in pods in their back garden and they are always horrified, and a little envious, of the methods of reproduction used on other worlds.

“They do,” said Dano, “like bunnies.”

Avin had no idea what a bunny was, but the meaning of the sentence was so clear that she’d have turned green with jealously had that option been open to her.

“Will they ever come here?” asked their youngest child, a little fearfully.

“Not any time soon,” said Dano. “They’ve only ever visited their own moon, and it took them four days to get there.”

The children sniggered. Their own five moons were effectively their suburbs, with regular shuttle services.

“Don’t laugh at them just because they’re primitive,” said Avin. “Remember, there was a time when our ancestors believed that Xjrui was dodecahedron-shaped.”

“So what are you going to write about the Tellurians?” asked their eldest.

“They don’t call it Telluria,” said Dano, “they call it Earth.”

“What, like dirt?” gasped their eldest child.


“Self-esteem issues, obviously,” said Avin. “After all, it’s not easy not being green.”

8 thoughts on “Watching Them Watching Us

    1. Tinman Post author

      It wasn’t second-hand, Sidey, what I meant was that the Xjruians were also in the first story I ever wrote for the Weekend Theme.


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