Do you find this site useful?
Donations gladly accepted!
The Joke Book
Movie aliens have grounds for filing a suit
Could alien beings from another galaxy come here and obliterate
human civilization? If so, would this be covered by our
homeowners' insurance? These troubling questions are on the minds
of the millions of people who are being exposed this summer to
the spectacle of grotesque, repulsive, inhuman creatures that
would stop at nothing in their determination to dominate the
Earth. I am referring, of course, to the Democratic and
But the public was also troubled by the blockbuster motion
picture Independence Day. It definitely had a powerful effect
on me. I had been skeptical about all the "hype," but when the
2½-hour movie was over, I found myself sitting pensively in
the theater for quite a while, pondering the question: How am I
going to get out of here, when my shoes are bonded in place by
one of the most powerful adhesives known to science, Movie Floor
Crud, which is a mixture of Pepsi, Milk Duds and year-old nasal
secretions snorted out by distraught moviegoers during the ending
of The Bridges of Madison County? A lot of people just leave
their shoes on the theater floor and walk out barefoot.
But getting back to Independence Day: What happens is, these
aliens from millions of light-years away arrive in our solar
system in a fantastically huge spaceship manufactured by the
Winnebago Corp. When they reach Earth, they are in a bad mood,
possibly because their luggage has not arrived, so they attack
New York City, causing the population to panic and run around
In my opinion, this is the only unrealistic part of the movie. I
mean, we're talking about NEW YORKERS, here. These are tough
people. These are people who, every day, without even thinking
about it, voluntarily go down into dark, steaming, noisy,
extremely aromatic holes containing the New York City subway
system. People who do that are not going to get bent out of shape
just because an alien invasion force is obliterating their city. They
are merely going to shrug and continue reading The New York
At the same time as they hit New York, the aliens destroy Los
Angeles - a clear indication that they had been monitoring the
O.J. Simpson trial. They also wipe out Washington, D.C.,
apparently believing - this just shows that even a highly
advanced species can be stupid - that wiping out the federal
government would somehow make it more difficult for the country
While millions of Americans take to the streets to celebrate the
fact that they will probably not have to file income-tax returns
for several years, the president of the United States, played by
a weenie, escapes, along with several key actors, to an
ultra-secret government installation.
There they learn that scientists have been trying to repair an
alien flying saucer that crashed in 1947, which means the
warranty has expired. (This crash was hushed up, except for a
brief statement from the Federal Aviation Administration assuring
the public that flying-saucer travel is perfectly safe.) The
secret installation also contains the bodies of deceased aliens,
which have likewise been kept completely hidden away except for
one brief incident in 1977 when one of them showed up as part of
a science-fair project submitted by Amy Carter.
The plot thickens when Jeff Goldblum, who plays a brilliant
cable-TV scientist, discovers, by analyzing signals coming from
the extraterrestrial mother ship, that the aliens are the source
of all "infomercials." This makes the Earth so mad that it
decides to fight back. There is a spectacular aerial battle
between a fleet of scale-model alien saucers and a fleet of
scale-model Air Force fighters, led by President Weenie.
Meanwhile, Jeff Goldblum, flying in the crashed enemy saucer,
which is piloted by the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, gets inside the
mother ship and uses his laptop computer to put a virus into the
aliens' main computer system. He can do this because the aliens,
like every other life form in the galaxy, have basically no
choice but to use the "Windows 95" operating system; in fact
the whole reason why they have attacked the Earth is to destroy
Goldblum's virus easily disables the aliens' main computer.
Perhaps you're wondering why aliens who can travel millions of
light-years can't fix a computer virus. The answer is that, like
any large organization, the mother ship has only one individual
who actually understands the computer system, and that individual
is not available. The alien computer nerd is hiding in the bowels
of the Mother Ship, playing the alien version of Space Invaders,
in which the object is to kill little attacking figures that look
like Keanu Reeves.
So the alien ships, their defenses disabled, are all shot down,
and the movie ends with people all over the world celebrating. Of
course the cheering will stop soon enough, when millions of
attorneys crawl out of the smoking rubble of America's cities,
contact the surviving aliens, put neck braces on them and start
suing the Earth in general for trillions of dollars. THAT'S when
we should really get worried.
Dave Barry is a humor columnist for The Miami Herald.
Write to him c/o Tropic Magazine, The Miami Herald,
One Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132.