Men In Drab Clothing 
 Bob got drunk again. He really enjoyed the activity. All right, so the majority of
the activity consisted of lifting his elbow and unzipp...anyway.  But more than drinking,
he enjoyed the game of "Let's Not Hit Anything." This game basically involved driving
home after a particularly 'happy' evening at the bar and trying not to hit anything
 That night, as Bob was attempting valiantly to drive home, he noticed a bright
light above the cab of his pickup. Bob's first thought was, "Wow, a UFO!"  No, wait.  His
first thought was, "Owie owie owie! Bright!" His second thought was, "Wow, a UFO!"
 Bob saw the light approach the truck, getting closer and closer until the light was
directly above the cab. Then the light disappeared.
 "Whew," thought Bob, " They're gone. I sure could use another drink-"
 Then he heard what sounded like footsteps on the roof of the truck. He ordinarily
would have attributed this to squirrels or various other forestly creatures. The only crimp
in that idea was that he was still doing about thirty mph.  The only things squirrels do at
that speed is splatter.
 So Bob did what most people would do after hearing footsteps on their moving
car: he slammed on the brakes. Hard. Hard enough to slam him forward and hit his head
on the steering wheel. Hard. (Are we detecting a pattern here?)
 Then all went black for Bob, kind of like the way an old TV goes to that little
white dot that hangs around for a while-- only with a lot more pain.
 The next thing Bob knew, he had awakened in a bright glowing room.
 "Wow," he thought. "I'm on ER. or Chicago Hope. Or General Hospital. Maybe
I'll meet George Clooney. Or Hector Alonzado. Or..."
 What inane chatter. Put him to sleep, Gripnek said an alien.
 At least Bob assumed it was an alien. Either that or a human with a gigantic
inverted teardrop for a head and really big eyes. And he didn't remember most people
glowing like that, although Bob had glowed for a few days as a kid after playing with an
old x-ray machine.
 Stand, earthling said another alien, evidently Gripnek.
 "Ok," said Bob, as he stood. "What're you guys gonna do? Please don't say
 Um, sorry said the first alien. How did you guess?
 "I know 'bout you guys. I've read about you in the Weekly World News," said
Bob. "But what sort of experiments are you guys gonna do? I ain't to keen on that anal
probing thing."
 Oh, no. We do not go for that sort of thing. We will just do a brain drain.
 "Oh, ok...Wait a minute! I need that!" screamed Bob in terror.
 Oh, that's all right. You'll get it back in three or four weeks. Plus, it will be better
than- THUMP. The alien abruptly stopped talking as he toppled forward.
 Swell. Just swell. One would think that with five million years of evolution, we'd
be able to have smaller heads.
 "Tee-hee," tee-heed Bob. Suddenly, a jolt of energy arced through Bob's body. It
tickled pretty bad. "Heeheeheeheeheeheeheehee...make it stop...hahahahaha..please let
me die...hahahahahaha...owowowow...teehee...argle...THUMP.
 Bob slammed to the floor in hilarious agony.
 Do not mock us. Or we will be forced to use the Intergalactic Tickle Inducing Ray
(TM) again said the first alien. Gripnek, prepare to drain his brain. We will not have any
more mistakes. I'm still cleaning the stains out of my clothes from the last one.
 Yes sir, Mr. Krelnor sir. I shall do it immediately with no hesitation. I shall do it
right now, as you have asked. I will not waste my time, no sir. For I shall do my job
rapidly - WHAP. Krelnor dealt Gripnek a resounding smack to to the back of his head,
causing him to lose balance and topple to the floor. I'll do it right now, sir.
 "Please don't do this," begged Bob. "I need my brain. I can't understand Jeopardy
without it."
 That's all right don't be afraid. I bring you peace.
 "Peace! What do you mean, peace? You're removing my brain!"
 You only use 6% of your brain. We'll leave you 10%, so you will have some spare
room said Krelnor calmly. The aliens always seemed to be calm, most likely because any
sudden change in facial expression would probably unbalance those huge heads.
 "Well, you can't make me. I'll die first," said Bob defiantly.
 Gripnek's hand began inching towards the tickle ray button.
 "I'll do it! I'll do it! so what, you need to strap me down or something?"
 No, just stand there. Krelnor pushed a button and pulled a lever. Okay, Gripnek,
throw the big switch.
 Gotcha, pulling the switch, the big switch, going for it-
 The switch was flipped.
 "Oh, wow. Lookit all the pretty colors. Keep up the work guys. Oooooh, Elvis! Hi,
king. You wouldn’t believe what your daughter's been up to!"
 What's he babbling about, Gripnek?
 He seems to be speaking of a quasi-mythological deity known as the King, who
apparently rose from the dead.
 "Uh-huh, uh-huh, yeah-eh. I'm all shook up!" Bob hips were gyrating faster than a
belly dancer on five pots of coffee.
 Gripnek, turn off the machine. He's hit 10% We don't want to make him too much
of a vegetable.
 Ok, boss. Turning off the machine. For once, Gripnek simply did as he was told.
 Is the Terran in good condition?
 I believe so, though I think I should check. Krelnor scurried over to check on
bob, who looked a bit dazed.
 Human? Are you functioning properly?
 Bob simply smiled and gurgled.
 Ask him how many manipulatory digits you are extending suggested Gripnek.
 Human? How many fingers am I holding up?
 "Applesauce?" guessed Bob, who then dropped to the ground and began to giggle
to himself, all the while rocking back and forth.
 Oh no thought Krelnor.
 Gripnek! he hollered. Please wipe his mind and get him out of here. His mind is
not that strong, in fact it is horribly weak to withstand the brain drain. Dump him by his
vehicle when you are finished, with the tracker so that we might observe if he has any
adverse reactions to his abduction.
 Wiping as we speak, oh fearless leader. Oh, and by the way-- do you want me to
stop his vehicle first? It's still going down the road where we first found the human.
 Oh, I suppose if you think it's necessary...
 Not half an hour later, Bob and his truck were traveling down the road where he
had first encountered the aliens... Hadn't he?


 "'s there'sh all theshe pipple who believe in ufos." The man at the bar
slammed back a shot and motioned the barkeep for another.
 "'an they's right. Mosht of them." The man waved his hands wildly in front of him.
"I know you don't belief me. It'sh hard."
 A guy further down the bar whispered to the fella next to him, "No shit. A drunk
talking about UFOs. How hard could that be to believe?" and snickered.
 The drunken guy suddenly ceased his rambling and whipped his head towards the
man who had made the comment. He glared. The bar fell silent.
 "Were you talking about me?" he asked in a tone not in keeping with his drunken
 "Yeah, wanta make a fed'ral case outta it?" said the guy.
 "As a matter of fact, I would," said the drunk, as he whipped out a gun that
would've made Dirty Harry faint.
 "Oh. Crap." The guy attempted to duck out of the way, but there was no need,
because the drunk fired his shots so wildly, the safest place to be was where he was
 All of a sudden, the firing stopped. People began to come out of their hiding
 “Damn. Gotta reload,” slurred the drunk as he fumbled in his jacket for a fresh
 People ducked for cover once more.
 But before he could find his ammo and wreak havoc once again, a tall,
clean-shaven man busted out of the men’s room, frantically trying to zip his belt and
buckle his fly.
 “Jack, what in the hell were you doing?” the man asked the drunk, who by now
was closely investigating the bottom of a barstool for intelligent life.
 “He insulted me. Wouldn’t believe in ufos,” Jack said weakly. “Snot my fault.”
 “He didn’t believe in UFOs? Good. Then we’re doing our jobs-” Jack’s rescuer
noticed people were beginning to take an unhealthly interest in their conversation. “Let’s
get some fresh air.”
 Jack was dragged outside by his lapels.
 “C’mon, Andy, what’d you have to do that for?” Jack was sitting in the middle of
the parking lot, where he had been dropped by Jack.
 Andy pulled out a much-battered pack of Lucky Strikes.
 “Because, my boozy friend,” he said, lighting his smoke with a deep drag, “If I let
you go on talking, we’d have had to kill everyone in there. There’s no convincing 15
people that what you just told them was a weather balloon.”
 ‘What about those flashy-dealies?”
 “Remember? They give agents sterility and a left testicle that bounces in time to
the bass line in songs.”
 “Oh. Anyway, it’s no fun knowing all this great information and not being able to
let anyone in on it.” Jack got up from the pavement and dusted himself off.
 “Tough shit. Let’s go get some coffee so you can sober up. That way we can talk
man-to-man, instead of man-to-brain-dead-loser.”
 Jack and Andy headed to a nearby diner where they went went when Jack had to
cool off after a bender. In other words, with frightening frequency.
 But as they were about to leave the parking lot, Dave, the bar’s owner, burst out
of the door.
 “Hey, freaks!” he shouted. He was waving a rather lengthy strip of paper. “You
jerks owe me a shitloada’ cash for alla that damage your freaky friend caused.”
 “Sorry, no. Official government business. Take it up with Uncle Sam,” said Andy.
He really hoped this would work. He couldn’t afford to pay for another one of Jack’s “all
drinks on me.”
 “Oh, no. Not this time.” Dave was getting a bit antsy. He’d left the bar on the
honor system, and was afraid that he was going to go back to a mysteriously empty bar
with a lot of empty kegs.
 Shit, though Andy. Well, last resort time...
 If Jack’s gun would’ve made Dirty Harry faint, Andy’s would have made Mr.
Callahan head up to chat with all of the Heavenly hosts, with a couple of Satan’s minions
thrown in for good measure.
 “Y’know,” stammered Dave, “I’ll let that little...incident be on the house.”
 “Good.” Andy holstered his gun, increasing his body weight 10%.
 “Can I have a shot to go?” asked Jack, from his seat on the ground.
 “No, we’re getting coffee.”
 “Castration with barbed wire.”
 “Coffee sounds good.”

At the diner...

 Jack was halfway through a pecan pie. Not a slice, but a pie.
 “Y’know, Jack, you disgust me,” said Andy, lighting a cigarette.
 “You really shouldn’t smoke. ‘Sbad for you.”
 “Says he whose heart is more full of cholesterol than a vat of Crisco.” Andy then
proceeded to inhale half his cigarette and blow it directly into Jack’s face.
 Jack inhaled all the smoke and continued eating.
 “Ok, time to talk,” said Andy.
 “Bout what?”
 “Guess. Let’s see, could it possibly be about you risking our jobs, and quite
possibly our lives by revealing long-hidden government secrets every time you even smell
alcohol?” Andy said  in one long breath. He then fumbled to light a cigarette to get his
wind back.
 “Hey, I’ll quit endangering our jobs. I need the money. Our lives are optional,”
said Jack. “I need the money or I will lose my life.”
 “You’ve been betting on the horses with King Guido again, haven’t you?”

***A side note***
King Guido is the crime lord of DC. He is an asshole, cheat, liar, and one rotten
sonofabitch. Andy had a beer with him at least once a week. It always pays to be friends
with the enemy, especially if the enemy pays.

 “A little.”
 “How little?”
 Jack mumbled something unintelligible.
 Andy cupped a hand around his ear.
 “Speak up.”
 “Five grand.”
 “FIVE GRAND!!! Jesus, Jack, how in the hell are you going to be able to pay that
 “Oh, I don’t have to. It’s just that if I show my, wait. Dammit, this is
why I write shit down. Ok, here we go: If-I-show-my-face-anywhere-near-Guido’s-part-of-town-ever-again-he-will-kill-me-slowl
 “Um, Jack? I see a slight problem.” Andy had a feeling this wasn’t going to be a
very good day. It was only 1 AM and he had to deal with a death threat. Those usually
didn’t happen until after lunch.
 “What problem?”
 “You live two floors up from the King. He owns your building, remember?”
 “Not anymore. I moved into a new apartment.” Jack was grinning. He looked just
a little too happy for Andy.
 “Oh, really. Where?”
 Not my building, not my building, thought Andy.
 “Your building. Apartment 3A.”
 DAMMIT, thought Andy. That freakin’ SOB of a landlord is going to die a slow,
painful, death by listening to John Tesh sing David Hasselhoff. That’ll learn- Wait a
 “That’s my apartment!”
 “Yeah, cool, huh?” Jack was still a bit tipsy and was finding everything just a bit
funnier than it actually was.
 “So we’ll be...roomies?” Inside, Andy was crying like a little child. Outside, he
was crying like a grown man.
 At that point, Andy got over his sorrow about his only refuge from his insane, Mel
Gibson-like partner, and moved on to violent anger. He was about to pour the pot of
coffee in Jack’s lap when he noticed a nervous-looking man in overalls and a feed cap
walk into the diner.
 Now, Andy was used to seeing guys in country attire. he grew up there. But as this
was downtown DC, it was a little bizarre. Pushers and pimps, sure. Transvestites, hell yes.
Dwarves, even. But this was weird.
 The man looked about the diner until his gaze came to rest on the G-men. He
started walking towards them.
 “Why is he walking towards us?” asked Jack.
 “Why do all the weirdoes walk to our table?” Andy asked in reply. “Because
you’re the weird, Spooky Mulder type.”
 “Oh, yeah. Y’mean like the time we aged in reverse, or like that time when I
nearly got killed by giant weasels in the furnace ducts of that drug lab in Cancun. Or that
life-size Barbie doll with the sexual appetite of a succubus?”
 “Yeah. Man, that was my favorite case ever.” Andy leaned smiled as his eyes
glazed over.
 “The weasels? Well, that was nice, but-”
 “Shut up and never mind! Here comes that guy.” Andy turned around and looked
at the man in overalls (not to ruin a surprise or anything, but it was Bob. Like you hadn’t
guessed that already).
 “Hi,” said Bob with a wave and sheepish grin.
 “Hi,’ said Jack and Andy simultaneously. “What can I,, um...we, do ya
 “Perverts,” said Bob, as he turned and started to walk away.
 “Nononono!” Andy said. “How can we help you?”
 “Well, I’ve been abducted by aliens. I think I need to talk to the FBI.”
 “Oh, boy. More alien abductees. Can’t we for once just get a nymphomaniac
vampire?” complained Jack. “And anyway, what makes you think we’re the FBI?”
 “Well, I saw your car,” Bob replied as he pointed out the window.
 Parked in front of the diner was a tan sedan with a large FBI logo.
 “Yeah, but it’s not supposed to be used for unofficial business, so to help you
we’d have to go back to headquarters and switch cars. But we can’t do that, because
we’re on duty at the moment, so we have to use an official FBI vehicle. Officially, we’re
also not supposed to drink on duty, not to mention not drive, but unofficially it’s okay to
have a few beers. But all that officiality is an official load of horse-”
 “Whoa, sorry there. Didn’t know that it would be such a problem,” interrupted
Bob, with his hands raised in the universal sign of, “Please, don’t rip off my ‘nads.”
 “That’s okay. My partner gets a bit touchy sometimes,” apologized Andy.
 “Really? When, so I can avoid doing anything like that.”
 “Well, heavy breathing, light breathing, being alive- basically whatever your
existence causes.”
 “Oh.” Bob was a bit taken aback. “Okay.”
 “Okay, all right,” said Jack. “Fine, tell me your story and I’ll try to figure out
whether than you’re worth my time.”
 “Thank you?” said Bob, a bit confused. he then proceeded to relate his story.
2 hours, 53 minutes, 24 seconds, and 69 nanoseconds later...

 “Sounds interesting. But we can’t help you- what’s your name anyway?” asked
 “Bob. Bob Zanier. It’s French.” Bob turned and started to walk away. He walked
about five feet, and then turned around and dove at Jack’s feet. He began to beg and sob.
 “Please help me! My life’s all screwed up and the police don’t believe me. I really
need your he-” Bob stopped suddenly.
 You would’ve stopped, too, if two guys had just shoved guns in your face.
 “Y’know, when you jump at an FBI agent, this generally happens. You’re just
damn lucky jack hasn’t completely sobered up yet or your head would b a stain on the
floor right now,” said Andy as he shouldered his weapon.
 Bob attempted to remove his hands from each other where they had clamped
incredibly tightly together in frantic prayer. He decided against it and prayed for another
couple of seconds, thanking every god he could think of, and apologizing for any he may
have left out. He wasn’t about to take any chance. He then rose, albeit shakily, to his feet.
 Jack glowered in his generally direction for a few seconds, and then holstered his
 “Dammit, fine, sure, we’ll help you! Why the hell not?” Jack shouted.
 “Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthanky-” Bob stopped when he
saw Jack’s hand inching towards his holster.
 “So- anyway. How’d you find out about us anyway?” Andy asked.
 “Well, I’m a big Internet junkie, because out in the boonies, we don’t have much
to do but drink and watch satellite TV. Well, there’s the occasional trip to the opera-”
Bob was about to go on, when he was cut off by Jack.
 “Scuse me? Opera? In- where the hell do you live?”
 “West Virginia. What, you think all we do is tip cows and fuck our sisters?” Bob
was a bit indignant.
 “Sorry. Please continue with the Internet explanation. I’m a bit curious,” said
 “Well, some friends of mine at the compound down the road told me about a
newsgroup that was full of people who had been screwed over by the government. Well,
that turned out to be the alt.evil.irs.major.bitching group, so I went over to the group. Those guys were a big help. They gave me all sorts
of info about how to get attention from the government. Unfortunately, almost all of it
involved explosives or firearms and the guys in the compound told me some friends of
theirs had learned the hard way that it was a bad idea to use explosives.” Bob paused and
took a big gulp of air.
 “So, how’d you find out about us, though? That’s what I want to know.” jack was
on the edge of his eat.
 “Well, I said almost all of it was dangerous/useless. The other .001 percent of it
was stories from people who said you two were a big help There were rumors about you
guys being FBI agents- which I guess is true- private investigators, secret agents, or just
plain myths. You’ve got quite a little cult following out there. Not a lot of people, but
those that are there, are really interested in you guys.” Bob sighed and leaned back. He
started to reach into the front pocket of his overalls, and paused when he saw the agents
eyeing him. “Don’t worry, don’t worry. Just getting my smokes. You fellas mind?”
 “Light up and I’ll break your fucking thumbs,” said jack in a voice that would’ve
made Bobby De Niro proud.
 “I wouldn’t advise it, man. He barely tolerates me, and I’m his fucking partner.
He was done over bad by an ex-girlfriend a while back and he hasn’t been quite the
same,” Andy advised.
 “She was a smoker, huh? Okay, I can deal with that. So, I guess this was fairly
recently, huh?”
 “Not really. It was ten years ago.”
 “Damn. Ten years. How old is he, man?” Bob asked.
 “Jesus Christ! What the fuck was she, a high school sweetheart?” Bob was a bit
 But before Bob could hear Andy’s response, Jack waved his hands over his head.
 “Hello? Jack’s still here. Not a non-entity. Not a part of the booth.”
 “Sorry,” chorused Bob and Andy simultaneously (not to be redundant).
 “Not a problem. Just don’t let it happen again. I’m going to the can. That coffee
wen through me like a Teflon-coated cop-killer bullet through a pimp’s bloated,
evil-thought ridden skull in a whore-filled crack house. You can talk about me while I’m
gone.” Jack got up and left, presumably to drain the weasel.
 “Yipes. he’s a mite violent,” grimaced Bob.
 “Yeah, you might say that. Now, if we’re gonna help you. here’s some advice
about Jack: when he says something like, ‘easy as taking candy from a baby,’ it’s ‘cause
he knows. In other words, a stone-cold mutha is he. He will kill you if you piss him off.
He may just kill you, ‘cause you don’t piss him off and that pisses him off. You get that?”
Andy leaned back and let Bob process the information.
 “Yeah, that tends to be the response,” commented Andy.
 “No, it’s just that I have this twingeing, sorta-painful pain in my neck.”
 “Would you like a bit a cheese with your whine?” asked Andy.
 Bob did not respond, so much as scream in agony and drop to the ground
clutching his neck.
 “Hey, now. Don’t overreact.” Then, as Bob whirled around in agony, Andy
noticed a spider-like device.
  FUCK! thought Andy. Another goddamn alien transmitter. Those are never any
good- monitoring his thoughts, so now the aliens are gonna know everything he’s told us,
and we’ve told him. Then they’ll kill us all because we know the truth. I hate dying.
 The lights began to flash, then promptly went out. Then a discotheque from hell
motif took over outside. Colors of every sort flashed and pulsated to an eerie hypnotic
wailing that intrigued and repulsed simultaneously, much like the Spice Girls.
 All of a sudden, the doors flew open and two tiny figures walked in. They bore an
odd resemblance to the creature on “Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?” except they were
alive and not strewn over a table like the butcher’s special.
 They walked quickly, somewhat like Marvin the Martian, and it was all Andy
could do to keep from giggling. Bob had no problem not giggling, as he was cowering in
abject terror in the corner.
 One of the little men walked straight over to bob and placed a hand on his
forehead. Andy could but watch in fascination... and terror.
 Andy heard some voices in the back of his head, very subtly. He decided to listen
to the voices (for once).
 The other alien also placed his hand on Bob’s forehead. As the aliens’ foreheads
throbbed, one of them began to wobble. next, Andy heard a voice bellow in his noggin,
 Gripnek! Hold me steady. No embarrassment in front of the primates!
 The other alien, presumably Gripnek, ran over and steadied the toppling alien.
 You okay, Krelnor? queried a voice in his head, this time in another tone. Andy
assumed that this was the other alien talking.
 Brilliant. Just fucking brilliant. Let them know our names. Now shut the hell
up and let me get this over with. It was your idea anyway, Gripnek.
 The two aliens walked towards Bob. Krelnor stood in front of him. He then
placed his stubby little arms out and placed his hands on Bob’s head.
 Bob heard a voice in his head speak, as did Andy.
 Well, human, I apologize. Gripnek said that it would be the best thing to do
after what we did to you. I’m truly sorry. it seems that sometimes we go too far in the
name of sci-
 Suddenly, before Krelnor could finish, the bathroom door swung open and out
staggered Jack.
 His eyes were glazed and he waved a mostly-empty pint of Wild Turkey. Jack
summed up the situation and yelled, “What in the hell is going on here? Oh.”
 Jack glimpsed the aliens. He ripped open his jacket and pulled out his gun.
 “Die, you alien bastards! Go back where you came from!” Before Andy could
take a step or say a word to stop him, Jack proceeded to fill Gripnek and Krelnor full of
lead. When the clip was empty, he downed the remainder of the pint of Turkey and
collapsed on the floor.
 “Dammit, Jack,” bellowed Andy. “They weren’t trying to kill him! They were
 “Oh, gee, sorry. Call me silly, but if I see a big-headed creature grabbing a guy’s
head, I don’t think positively,” slurred Jack.
 “Yeah, but, y’know...” Andy was speechless. “Oh, well. Look at all of these
people. This is a major metropolitan city. There’s no way they can cover this up like
 As if the world wanted to prove Andy wrong, a large group of men in cleanup
suits came in, whipped out large handguns, M-16s, and what looked like a few Salad
Shooters (tm) and proceeded to shoot (and vegify) all of the people in the diner.
 “Wrong,” said a man in an army uniform. “We’ll just tell everyone that there was
a gangland shoot-out between two men in Halloween costumes.”
 “There’s no way anyone’s gonna believe that,” said Andy.
 Once more, to prove Andy absolutely wrong, in walked a man from the street.
 “Wow,” he said. “A gangland shoot-out between two guys in Halloween
costumes. That’s not something you see every day.”
 Andy simply sighed and lifted Jack off of the now-blood-soaked floor.
 “So much for the truth,” he said.
 “So much for my shoes,” Jack said, as he vomited on them.
 “You just can’t let me have the snappy closer without ruining it, can you?”