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Aliens

This song is by Bruce McCulloch and appears on the album Drunk Baby Project (2002).

When the aliens came down to Earth, they immediately understood everything: how motors worked, how matter grew and eroded, the death of the veranda. The only thing that puzzled them that day and night was: why is there laugh tracks on TV? It didn't compute. It made their gadgets go ga-ga. It's hard to explain a laugh track to an alien. It's so true it should be a cliche. But I digress, which is something an alien never does.

The only other thing the aliens didn't understand is: why are there so many lonely people? Why didn't they simply pair up, merely get together?

The aliens said they could understand one lonely person, like at a dance, arms folded, toe tapping, wanting to dance but staring bravely at the rest, saying "Oh, I'm fine. You guys go have weddings and birthdays and warm backs to cuddle. I'm okay standing alone." The aliens said they could understand one lonely human, but not army of soups-for-one in the grocery checkout. Not an army of ones renting Passionfish or some other dull piece of shit every Friday night in the video store. Those sleeping alone in a ten-year-old shirt. An army of ones brushing their hair for no one. The candleless birthdays. Those trying to keep practiced in love with a bird or a dog or simply by remembering. A million lights quietly shutting off.

The aliens were almost deafened by the sound of the pages being turned in the books read by the lonely. The aliens were almost murdered by the thought of those waking up to just a clock radio.

"Why don't they just get together?" asked the aliens. I didn't know how to explain it to them.

"Don't tell anyone we were here," they said. Who do I have to tell?

After they left, I solved the mystery. The laugh track is for me. The laugh track is for us. The laugh track is there to remind us that we are not alone.

Music by:

Bruce McCulloch

Lyrics by:

Bruce McCulloch

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