Prompt 105: An Extra-Terrestrial
105. The highest grossing film of the 1980s was E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, which was released in 1982. What would you do if you came upon a small, friendly alien in your house? Would you protect it from the government like in the movie or keep out of trouble? Why would you choose that route?
Hmm... Could I pull off an Elliott?
Were I a kid, I would definitely try. I remember seeing the original film in the theater as a kid. It was a big deal, and in the lobby of the cinema they had a big diorama arranged to feature E.T. and how cool of a movie it was. At the time, the most thrilling thing for me was the image of the lead scientist in his decon suit, with his face lit with that sickly greenish fluorescence.
I saw the film literally decades later (maybe it was even last year...), and I completely forgot about how E.T. had died and come back to life in the film. There's a strong parallel to the stories in the New Testament and this film... Eh, I don't want to over-analyze it. It's frickin' Spielberg from the early '80s.
Anyhow, as a kid I'm certain I would have done the same thing. The house I lived in at the time had this scrubby, dark basement. My sister and I used to have roller-skating races on the asbestos-tiled floor. The water heater and furnace were situated away from the walls, so we could actually skate loops round the entire basement. Between the wall and the utilities was a narrow pathway that we could skate through, and I'm sure an alien the size of E.T. could have hung out back there.
Another cool feature of that house was that, in the attic, there was a removable wall panel where my dad would keep the Christmas decorations and stuff. Who knows what else was back there? Again, that would be a perfect place to shelter a wandering, lost extraterrestrial. It would even have better communications reception when it dismantled our phone and Speak n' Spell.
Damn... I remember having an E.T. "action figure." It had an extendable neck, a pointing finger, and had arms that were more articulated than those on the Masters of the Universe figures I had. More like the ability of G.I. Joe figures from around the same time and later. I remember bringing that E.T. figure into "show and tell" for two weeks straight, probably because I kept it in my bookbag. I also remember my classmates being nowhere near as impressed the second time I displayed it.
Hiding an alien in the house would be totally cool, and totally possible. It would likely play out similarly to the film, and there would even be a greater-than-50% chance of me flying through the air on a bicycle.
Now what if I were a grown-ass man and trying to harbor an extraterrestrial life form? Is it actually against the law to do so? Would it be a violation against national safety were I to hide such a being where I lived/worked?
I think it would work much better to attempt hiding such a life form at my place of work. Particularly right now during pandemic times, there are long stretches of times where certain rooms aren't even visited, or visited by staff other than me and perhaps the cleaning staff. There's at least one room where I could harbor the alien throughout the day, and no one would investigate. I'd stick around after work (it's normal for staff members to stay late when necessary) to socialize, communicate with, and assist the alien in returning home.
I'd be concerned about it eventually being traced by the authorities or whatever, as it was in the film. To assist with that, I think I would work with my immediate supervisor at my day job. He and I are tight, he has a wealth of life experience, and has a wealth of connections in town.
Speaking of which, there are enough vacant buildings and properties in the city where I work that we'd be bound to find a place a bit more comfortable and ignored to shelter the alien until it was able to find a way to communicate with its own kind. Today's level of technology exceeds that of the early 80's rather handily, in particular power generation and communications. I suppose were I completely altruistic and wanted nothing more than the life form to return to its home planet/spaceship, that it would have been a lot quicker to return than how it played out in the film.
So what I would lack in terms of youthful innocence and naivete, I would make up for with agency and a worthwhile personal network. I could totally do this. E.T., if you're listening: I got ya back.