A comedy in the same vein as Dr. Strangelove, Z is for Xenophobe pokes fun at after UFOs, government conspiracy theorists, photographers, and pancakes.
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The small farming town of Hypothermia, Minnesota makes world news when a ’62 Chevy Impala is discovered in a trailer full of grain. Government agents quickly impound the Chevy and downplay the incident. Yet when agricultural cooperative photographer Bob Putnam attempts to follow up with a story about the elevator manager who found it, he and his writer/partner uncover an unbelievable plot. Little gray aliens are out to exploit humankind and pit the Earth against another extraterrestrial species. How did the United States become the instrument of this evil “pre-emptive” strike against a distant planet? Why do the town’s residents check newcomers’ toes? Can true love blossom amidst intergalactic disaster? Is the abandoned Navy base outside Hypothermia really abandoned? Will the malicious gray aliens be stopped? And can toadstools with tentacles really read our thoughts? All this and more is revealed in Z is for Xenophobe.
The commodore set his elbows on the desktop and pressed his fingers together under his nose. Lenny coughed lightly. When it became clear that neither Lenny nor the commodore would open the conversation, Bob cleared his throat and began the story of their trip to Hypothermia. He got to their initial entrance into the town when the commodore held up a hand.
"Did you see any aliens?" he asked.
"Aliens?" Bob said. "Like from Mexico?" Farmers were turning more and more to migrant workers as their kids left the farm for the city and jobs.
"Good God, man! I'm talking about aliens! Extraterrestrials! Things from outer space! Did you see any creatures with ray guns and having no toes? Aliens!"
The lantern flickered and spit. It gave the perspiration on the commodore's face a bizarre yellow glow, like butter on a dinner roll. The commodore leaned toward them expectantly, eyes eager, furry eyebrows quivering. Bob and Lenny leaned back.
Lenny broke the silence and said, "You think space aliens are here in Hypothermia?" The flat incredulity in Lenny's voice convinced Bob he was awake.
"And they don't have toes?" Bob added.
"Yes, gentlemen," the commodore nodded rapidly. "Yes. It's almost too frightening to think about! But I've known this was coming for some time. Now, they've shown themselves! Oh, I've been laughed at, my warnings ignored, but who's laughing now?" To emphasize his point he laughed, a high, girlish laugh. "It's on us, gentlemen, and we're all that stands between our sacred American way of life and global alien domination! We must act, and act now!"
Bob pinched his arm. It was becoming a troubling habit on this assignment. Though convinced he was awake, he still held out for the remote chance that he was delirious.
"What do you expect to do?" Lenny asked Silas.
The commodore snorted defiantly. "We'll fight them. We'll fight them on the beaches; we'll fight them in the streets; we'll fight them in our carports. We'll fight them to the last man, woman, and child. This is war!"
"There aren't any beaches in Hypothermia," Lenny pointed out.