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UFO over New York City?

There's a UFO over New York City?

Honestly, it looks like a balloon to me.

But I'm a jaundiced skeptic. I used to be the regular kind of skeptic, but then I didn't get enough iron in my diet for several weeks.

In case they're here checking out the place, let me roll out a welcome mat. Sure, Stephen Hawking said that if aliens ever contact us, we should avoid them at all costs, but what does Stephen Hawking know about anything? The only thing I've learned from all those movies about meeting aliens is that you should wait at least three days to call after making First Contact.

Still, if that were really alien life, they were wise not to hop off the ship. We don't do very well with aliens, at least not if they're missing their papers. "We'd come down," they said, "but not before they pass the DREAM Act!"

"You don't understand," they would explain, "we've got technology from the future!"
"That's nice," we'll say. "But where's your green card?"

Perhaps they came from Gliese 581 G, the mystical "Goldilocks" planet that we thought was habitable and that now some scientists are saying doesn't show up in the data at all. Maybe they just were informed their planet didn't exist. "This is like Alderaan all over again," they mutter to each other, setting a new course for the only other planet reputed to be habitable.

Maybe they flew over a Paladino rally. "Looks inhospitable," they'll mutter. "Especially since, where we come from, gyrating wildly in short shorts is how we say hello."

Then they floated over Manhattan. "That doesn't look all that habitable to me," they said, glancing down. "Besides, I doubt the coop boards will be enthused about our pets, who are giant, noisy robots with very limited bladder control."

I wonder why they left so soon.

Maybe they'd come to take back Christine O'Donnell and, after watching the debate, decided they didn't want her after all! After last night's debate, it wouldn't be surprising. She doesn't believe in close encounters of the third kind -- or the first kind, for that matter.

By Alexandra Petri  | October 14, 2010; 11:31 AM ET
Categories:  Petri  | Tags:  NYC, space  
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