Humor: New perspectives on pain, pandemics & human suffering with Zorbulus the Reptilian

Humor: New perspectives on pain, pandemics & human suffering with Zorbulus the Reptilian

Photo Credits: MARIO RODRIGUEZ / AGGIE

Guidance and wisdom for trying times — from an unlikely source

Reporter R.E. Porter is typically tasked with analyzing health and science issues, reporting on leaked government documents or interviewing world leaders. But this week we thought we’d give him a break by assigning him a totally different type of story. To get some different perspectives on these tough times we’re currenting experiencing, we thought it would be enlightening if reporter R.E. Porter and cameraman Cam Raman sat down for an exclusive interview with Zorbulus Nebuloid (Anglicized from ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⌞ ⌆), a Reptilian from the Planet :O: – ⍒ϑ ⏇ (not translatable). With our Earth-centric perspective, it’s simply impossible to make sense of everything about our absurd new coronavirus reality, so we hope that Zorbulus’ unique experiences as an extraterrestrial can bring us all some much needed guidance and wisdom that can’t be found anywhere else. 

Disclaimer: We believe our translator Tara N’Slater had difficulties with certain nuances of Mr. Nebuloid’s native language, but we did the best we could to accurately communicate his highly original and thought-provoking insights into our upside-down world.

R.E. Porter: Hi Mr. Nebuloid, thank you so much for agreeing to chat with us today. We’re so glad to be here with you in person. We really appreciate your taking the time to share your extraterrestrial knowledge and wisdom with us Earthlings.

Zorbulus:  ⏇ * # =  ϒ{ /* \ ⍆ ; : ” ⌁ ◬ ◝ ϐ  ⤞ + . ; ⍊ ⌿ ⌟ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⍙ ⍒ ⍓ ⎑ ⎒ ⏇ ⍊ ⌿ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⍙ ϐ ϑ ⏇ ⌝ ϐ ϑ ⏇ ⍒ ⍓ ⏈ ⏉ ⏊  ◺ ⏖ ❉⇶  ⍆ ⌝ ↹ ↯ :O: ϐ ϑ i ; : ”  ␥ ⎈ ⍅⌁ ◬ ◝ ϐ  ✕ ⤞ * # + . ; ⍊ ⌿ ⌟ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⍙ ϑ ⍒ ⍓ ⎑ ⎒ ⏇ ⍊ ⌿ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⍙ ⏊ ϐ ϑ ⏇ ⌝ ϐ ϑ ⏇ ⍒ ⍓ ⏈ ⏉  ⌌ ⏊ ::: [Translation: Thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss.]

R.E. Porter: I think our translator had some trouble with that last bit. This isn’t a feast or a banquet, this is just an interview. Sorry if there was any misunderstanding. But you did begin with a very important point, which I’ll try to repeat. While early studies are showing that coronavirus cannot infect Reptilians like yourself, nothing is absolutely certain yet, so we understand that you’re taking a risk by actually being here with us in person. We do not take that lightly, and we really appreciate the gesture.

Zorbulus: ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⌞ ⌆  ⎐ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⌞ ⌅ ⤔ < < < [Translation: Thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss.]

R.E. Porter: No, really, it’s our pleasure! Okay then, so I guess I’d like to start by asking you to just tell us a bit about how the coronavirus has affected you and your family, how you’ve adjusted and what advice you have for others who are struggling to cope right now.

Zorbulus:  ϐ ⏊ + ⍆  . ; ✘ ◹ ~ : ‘  ⌌ ❡ ❖ ◺ ⏇ * # =   < x ⌞ ⌜ ◺ j * \ ⍅ ϑ ϐ :O: ϑ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⌟ ~ : ‘ ⌇ ⌇ =  ::: ❡ ❖ ⏇ ⌜ ϐ ⤞ ✗ [Translation: Thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss!]

R.E. Porter: I’m so sorry, Zorbulus, we’re having a bit of trouble with the translation again. I don’t think I’m understanding everything you’re trying to say. You said the worst thing about quarantine and making everyone follow these stay-at-home orders is that your family is hungry and you can’t feed them because now there aren’t any prey walking around on the city streets anymore? Prey?? What prey??? Or pray? You’re praying? Are you preying or praying? Who are you praying to?

Tara N’Slater [to R.E Porter via earpiece]: I’m telling you R.E., I’m not making any mistakes, that’s what he said. Please just listen.

Zorbulus: ⌆ ⌅ ⌁ ⍊ ⌿ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⌞  ⌜ ⌇ ⌍ ⎏ * # * # ⎐ ⍾ ⍳ ⍨ ⍚ ⍙ ⍒ ◁ ◈ ⌝ < ◍ ✘ ⌟ ⏋ ⍆ ⌝ ◜<  ◊ ◌ ○ * # 8 ◇ ◸ ◺ ◽ :O: ␥ ⎈ ⎉ ⎊ ⤘ ⤝ – ] ⌿  ⤿ ; : ” =  i ⤗ ⤘ ⤝ ⌟ ⤞ ϑ ° ⌜……….

Cam Raman [to R.E. Porter, whispering via earpiece as Zorbulus continues]: Pssst R.E., R.E., is it just me, or is Zorbulus looking at me kinda funny?

R.E. Porter [to Cam Raman, whispering via earpiece]: No, don’t worry about it, it’s fine. I’m sure it’s just some weird “Reptilian thing.” Please just be quiet, you’re distracting me.

Zorbulus [rolling up his sleeves]: …….⌁ ◬ ◝ ϐ  ✕ ⤞ * # + . ; ⍊ ⌿ ⌟ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⍙ ϑ ⍒ ⍓ ⎒ ⏇ ⍊ ⌿ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⍙ ⏊ ϐ ϑ ⏇ ⌝ ϐ ϑ ⏇ ⎐ ⍳ ⍨ ⍚ ⍙ ⍒ ◁ ◈ ⌝ < ◍ ✘ ⌟ ⏋ ⍆ ⌝ ◜<  ◊ ◌ ○ * # 8 ◇ ◸ ◺ ◽ :O: ␥ ⎈ ⎉ ⎊ ⤘ ⤝ – ] ⌿ ⤾ ⤿ ; : ” =  i ⤗ ⍾ ⤘ ⤝ ⌟ ⤞ ϑ ° ⌜ ⌇ ⌍ ⎏ ⌆ ⎐ ⍾ ⍳ ⍨ ⎑ :O: ⏈ ⏉ ⌟ ⍚ ✗ ✕ ` ; , – : ^ ⌜ ⌇ ⌌ ⌍ ⥁ – ] i ⌞ ° ϐ ⏊ + ⍆  . ; ✘ ◹ ~ : ‘  [Translation: Thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss!!!]

R.E. Porter [to Zorbulus]: I’m sorry you’ve had that experience. It’s certainly quite true that America isn’t always the most welcoming to immigrants. But we’re happy to see that despite these challenges and these unprecedented new circumstances, you’re still managing to live the American Dream. You’re a true hero. Based on your experiences on your home planet, what actions would you recommend America’s political leaders take to better manage the fallout from the pandemic? And how do you think your background has uniquely prepared you for making the best of this situation?

Zorbulus [slowly moving within six feet of Cam Raman]:  ⌝ < ◍ ✘ ⌟ ⤾ ⏋ ⍆ ⌝ ◜<  ◊ ◌ ○ * # ◇ ◸ ◺ ◽ :O: ␥ ⎈ ⎉ ⎊ ⤘ ⤝ – ] ⌿  ⤿ ; : ” =  i ⌟ ⤞ ϑ ° ⌜ ⌇ ⌍ ⌜ ◺ j * \ ⍅…….

Cam Raman [in earpiece, beginning to sweat profusely]: No, man, I’m serious. Look at him. I’m pretty sure he just looked me dead in the eye and licked his lips. Please ask him to stop!

Zorbulus [removing his facemask]: …….❈ ⎒ ⏇ ◹ ✗ – : ^ ◽ :O: ␥ < ⎈ ⎉ ⎊ ⤗ ⌝ —

R.E. Porter: Hey, sorry to interrupt you, Zorbulus, but Cam was wondering if you could stop looking at him like that, you’re making him a bit uncomfortable. Don’t worry, we’ll cut this out, this part won’t air, we don’t want to embarrass anyone.

Zorbulus [salivating]: ::: ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⌞ ⌆  ⎐ ⌵ ⌣ ⌢ ⌞ ⌅ ⤔ < < < < < ::: [Translation: Thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss thssss!!!!!!!]

R.E. Porter: Thanks. So now I think it would be good if we talked about the fact tha—  Hey please, Zorb— Hey wait a sec— What are you— Wait no— No stop— STOP— Oh— Oh my god— HELP!!!

Cam Raman: Oh my g— wait no— NO— AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH—

Zorbulus [lunging at Cam Raman while unhinging expandable lower jaw and unsheathing second and third rows of teeth]: < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < [Translation: THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS THSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!]

Cam Raman [indecipherable]: […]

R.E. Porter [exits, pursued by a bear]: [static, cuts to black]

Zorbulus [wiping off hands and face]: [offers a petrified Tara N’Slater 15% of Cam Raman as a tip for providing accurate translation and showing him the door]

Written by: Benjamin Porter— bbporter@ucdavis.edu

(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)