Debbie Martinez

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Every evening, JoeBob, John, and Bubba sit on the front porch enjoying popcorn and soda while they watch the sun set. They usually discuss football, politics, women and whatever else comes to mind. Most nights, the conversation stretches way past sunset into the night hours.

One Sunday, the relaxed atmosphere was disrupted by bright lights and a loud boom that filled the sky.

What was that?!” yelled JoeBob.

“I’m not sure,” replied Bubba.

“Well, I’d reckon we’d better find out,” chimed John. However, none of the men were too interested in walking out into the dark fields to find out what was goin’ on, so they decided to set up an experiment.

John got to thinking: “Let’s see here, everything we do is the same. We had popcorn, we talked about the same stuff, the sun set around the usual time. The only thing different was . . .”

“The soda pop!” Bubba jumped in… “JoeBob bought Pepsi this time instead of Coke!”

“See JoeBob,” John said lazily, “See what happens when you switch from Coca-Cola – all heck breaks loose!”

“John Boy, are you tryin’ to tell me that all this whoopin’ and a-hollerin’ is because I bought Pepsi? It was on sale for $2.99, now stop talkin’ crazy.”

“No, no. I know what ‘tis,” whispered Bubba. “Aliens. Yup . . . aliens prefer Pepsi. I seen it on T.V.”

The very next night they sat on the front porch, even though it was raining. They drank Pepsi. JoeBob had run out of popcorn, so they settled for stale potato chips, and the conversation strayed from the usual topics and centered more on aliens and their preference for Coke or Pepsi. The only common factor was the soda. Lo and behold, just after sunset, there was a bang and a flash.

“See,” Bubba said quietly, “aliens don’t like Coke. It has to be the Pepsi.”

“Shut up, Bubba,” John said while bopping him on the head with his hat. “Any intelligent race would have to know that Coke is better than Pepsi. I say we continue our experiment to see just how stupid these aliens are.”

The rest of the week had the same results. They alternated drinking Coke and Pepsi. On Tuesday, the guys drank Coke. No lights, no flashes. Wednesday night, Pepsi, and the sky lit up and the resonant noise shook the house. The same results occurred throughout the week. John was starting to think that there was no hope for the universe since the aliens only tried to communicate on Pepsi nights.

Finally, a week later, the boys were drinking Coke, and just after sunset, the lights and the noise began. “See Bubba, I told you aliens would wise up – Coke is it!”

Before Bubba could respond, a car pulled into the driveway and a uniformed man stepped out.

“Yo, there! I’m sorry to bother you so late in the day. I’m Lieutenant Andrews and the Air Force sent me to apologize for some recent disturbances. You see, we’ve been experimenting with a new method for flight and there have been a few glitches. We didn’t want you to get scared with all the noise.”

JoeBob, Bubba and John sat there and stared at each other with their mouths hanging open.

Dribble leaked out of the corner of John’s mouth.

“You mean, it wasn’t aliens?” said Bubba.

“And it had nothing to do with our soda drinkin’?” asked John as he wiped his chin with his shirt sleeve.

“I…I, would guess not. Sunday and Monday night, during the tests, the machine malfunctioned – which caused kind-of-a ruckus. To make a long story short, it took a week for those ‘tech’ guys to fix it. Sorry for any inconvenience, have a good night!”

Just then, the Lieutenant got back in his car and drove off.

Joe Bob, Bubba and John just smiled and waved…sittin’ there on them sack of seeds.

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