“Woah,' I said, blocking the doorway. 'You can't come in here. This is the girls' room.'
Even as it came out of my mouth, I knew it sounded dumb. Dumb, I thought and maybe even wrong.
You...are a boy, aren't you?' I asked. 'I mean, don't take that the wrong way or anything -'
J.Lo is a boy, yes.' I let that go.
So...you Boov have boys and girls...just like us?'
Of course,' said J.Lo. 'Do not be ridicumlous.'
I smiled a wan little smile. 'Sorry.'
The Boov have seven magnificent genders. There is boy, girl, girlboy, boygirl, boyboy, boyboygirl, and boyboyboyboy.'
I had absolutely no response to this.”
“Is there a short-eared koobish, then?'
Mmmyes ...' said J.Lo. 'But it is technically not really a koobish. Is more alike a kind of singing pumpkin.'
We had conversations like these all the time, where I just eventually gave up.”
“I spy, with my little eye, something that starts with ... G."
“YOU have no room to laugh, that's all. I'm not doing any worse with Boovish than you did with English.'
Get off of the car,' J.Lo huffed. 'I am an English superstar.'
Uh-uh. There's no comparison. 'Gratuity' in written Boovish has seventeen different bubbles that all have to be the right size and in the right place. 'J.Lo' in written English only has three letters, and you still spelled it 'M-smiley face-pound sign.”
“Wherefor are you knowing it? If you stacked all of the Gorg in the galaxy on top of eachother, the Gorg would kill you.”
“The Boov frowned. 'Everybodies always is wanting to make a clone for to doing their work. If you are not wanting to do your work, why would a clone of you want to do your work?”
“Captain Smek himself appeared on television for an official speech to humankind.
[...] 'Noble Savages of Earth,' he said. 'Long time we have tried to live together in peace.' (It had been five months.) 'Long time have the Boov suffered under the hostileness and intolerableness of you people. With sad hearts I now concede that Boov and humans will never to exist as one.'
I remember being really excited at this point. Could I possibly be hearing right? Were the Boov about to leave? I was so stupid.
'And so now I generously grant you Human Preserves - gifts of land that will be for humans forever, never to be taken away again, now.'
[...] So that's when we Americans were given Florida. One state for three hundred million people. There were going to be some serious lines for the bathrooms.”
“We could have made it to the Arizona border in a few more hours if we hadn't been distracting each other with stupid little arguments. Don't get me wrong; I liked J.Lo fine. I've made that bed. But I'm not sure there's a person in the world I could be with twenty-four hours a day for three weeks without getting a little snippy. If I ever meet such a person, I'm marrying them.”
“Soon the Boov was in the ghost suit and Pig was in the car, which would be a good lyric for a bluegrass song, now that I think of it.”
“The United States was a big country where everybody wore funny t-shirts and ate too much.”
“[J.Lo] found us a police car. Sort of.
'It's not a police car,' I said.
'It is,' said J.Lo. 'Looknow. Lights for flashing.'
'Writing on the sides.'
'Yeah, but the writing? It says ''BullShake Party Patrol.''
“I didn’t feel up to arguing about it, but I was pretty sure if you loved everything you didn’t really love anything.”
“For you time-capsule types, MoPo was something called a convenience store, as in, 'The soda is conveniently located right next to the doughnuts and lottery tickets.' People who want to understand better how the human race was conquered so easily need to study those stores. Almost everything inside was filled with sugar, cheese, or weight-loss tips”
“J.Lo gasped. When I looked to see why, he had one hand to his mouth and the other pointing at me.
"You . . ." he squealed, wagging his finger. ". . . your hand!"
I raised my hand to my face, turning it over and back again.
"What? What's wrong with it?"
"You are bearing the mark! The mark that has been foretold! You are The One . . . The One who will bring peace onto the galaxy!"
"What, this? This is taco sauce," I said, wiping it clean.
J.Lo stared at my palm for a moment, then turned back to the wall.
"Never mind," he said.”
“We found the bathrooms, which were labeled 'Aliens' and 'Femaliens.'
'Finally,' I said to J.Lo. 'Here's a bathroom you're allowed to use.”
“I'm sorry, but -I'm sorry!' I yelped and skipped backward as Gorg advanced on me. 'You were given bad information. Probably some human's fault.'
I AM PRINCIPAL ANGER COORDINATOR ASSOCIATE-OF-THE-MONTH GORG FOUR-GORG! HUMANS WILL GIVE ME BAD INFORMATION AT THEIR PERIL!'
He didn't look like a principal. He looked like something Hercules ought to be wrestling on the side of a vase.”
“Sometimes you really want to say "Duh," but you can't. It's a part of growing up, I guess.”
“I meow now?" hissed J.Lo when she was gone. "What comes next? Do I juggle fire?"
"Look, I'm sorry, but it's good this happened. Mrs. Hoegaarden will probably tell people you meow, and we'll spread the word, too, and soon if anybody hears Pig they'll just think it's you."
"Yes!" droned J.Lo, throwing his hand up. "A foolproof plan! Thank Mother Ocean that you do not use your genius for evil.”
“Look," I said halfheartedly. "Another one of those tumbleweeds made out of old hair weaves."
"Tumbleweave," said J.Lo.”
“The fog was mysterious. The lights were mysterious. The music was "A-Tisket, A-Tasket".”
“I'm half white," I said, folding my arms.
"Hrrm. Which half?"
I blinked. "Uh...dunno. Let's just say it's from the waist down."
Chief Shouting Bear nodded. "Deal. I only hate your legs.”
“You heard my name was Chief Shouting Bear," he said. "It doesn't matter. You can call me whatever you want, Stupidlegs.”
“This is exciting," said J.Lo. "We are sneaky agent men, like Bond James Bond."
"I don't know where you pick this stuff up.”
“I felt a stack of shelves, and these were filled with plastic bottles and maybe buckets, and one object that felt like the worst thing in the world but which turned out later to be a sandwich.”
“MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW”
“As far as pets go, a cat is a nice on to have.”
“They were just people. They were too smart and too stupid to be anything else.”
“The Boov are having seven magnificent genders. There is boy, girl, boygirl, girlboy, boyboy, boyboygirl, and boyboyboyboy.” I”
“Apocalypse Hal was on the corner by the Laundromat. Hal was a neighborhood street preacher who worked at the fish and crab place next door. He wore a sandwich board sign of Bible verses and shouted angry things at passersby like “The end times are near” and “Seafood sampler $5.99.” Now his sign just read “TOLD YOU SO,” and he looked more anxious than angry.”
“Find canvases for other people to paint on. Be an anteambulo. Clear the path for the people above you and you will eventually create a path for yourself.”
“The girl, Maggie, blossomed in a mud puddle.”
“—You different, Lilith. You have more darkness ’bout you now. You turning into woman, Homer say to her. —Me turning into something, Lilith say.”
“Joy is found when you focus your energy on improving human dignity, human capacity and human values.”
“The monstrosity of this, reaching Smiley through a thickening wall of spiritual exhaustion, left him momentarily speechless.”
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