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Five-Minute The Day the Earth Stood Still

by Marc Richard

Australian Military Officer: Crikey, mate! What have you picked up on your radar?
Radar Operator: I don't know, sir, but by Jove, it's traveling at four thousand miles an hour!
Officer: A speed of four thousand? That's ludicrous!

French Radio Announcer: L'objet non-identifié voyage à une vitesse ludicreuse!
French Listener: C'est inoui! Je n'ai jamais entendu parler d'une telle vélocité!

American Radio Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, this isn't one of those silly flying saucer scares! The mysterious object reported by the military is absolutely real and it's headed for a landing right here in Washington, D.C. I can see it coming in now! It appears to be... uh, a flying saucer.

Klaatu: We come in peace!
Soldier's Handgun: (BANG!)
Klaatu: URK!
Soldier: And you can rest in the same way, you th-th-thing from another world you!

Soldier: Look, sir! An eight-foot-tall metal robot just came out of the saucer!
Army Captain: Open fire, men!
Gort: (ZAP! ZAP! ZAP!)
Soldier: What with, sir?
Captain: Okay, forget the guns and the tanks. Move in for hand-to-hand combat!
Soldier: Rank has its privileges, sir. You go first.

General: What's going on here?
Captain: We shot the man from Mars, sir. I was going to have him sent to a military hospital.
General: Hold on just a minute! Does he have insurance?

First Doctor: Klaatu's bullet wound from yesterday has already healed.
Second Doctor: I know. He says that on his world, medical science is so advanced that life expectancy is a hundred and thirty years.
Third Doctor: I'd love to know how they achieved such perfect health.
Second Doctor: Me too. Want another smoke?
First Doctor: Thanks. (cough, cough)

Secretary Harley: The President wishes to know why you're here.
Klaatu: I will only explain that to an assembly of all your heads of state.
Harley: They'll never agree to sit under the same roof.
Klaatu: Don't you have a body called the "United Federation of Countries"?
Harley: It's "Nations," not "Countries," and it's not a federation.
Klaatu: What about the "United" part?
Harley: Just attend one of their meetings and you'll see.

Radio Announcer: Police report that the alien Klaatu has escaped from Walter Reed Hospital!
Mrs. Crockett: Oh dear, oh dear!
Radio Announcer: ...According to rumours, the Martian is a hundred feet tall, bright green and has dozens of tentacles....
Bobby Benson: Gosh! Did you hear that, Mom?
Mr. Barley: Well it's nonsense if you ask me! I'm sure this guy is from Venus, not Mars! Right, Mrs. Benson?
Helen Benson: I don't quite know. If he was a she, I might agree with you.

Klaatu: My name is Carpenter.
Mrs. Crockett: Welcome to my boarding house. Are you looking for a room?
Klaatu: Yes, I was attracted by your sign -- "Special rate for out-of-town visitors; payment by cash, cheque or faceted diamonds welcome."

Tom Stevens: Hi sugarplum. Want to go for a nice Sunday drive while the Army, the police and the FBI track down the evil invading alien monster like the wild animal that he is?
Helen: I'd love to, but everyone here has plans today, so there's no one to look after Bobby.
Klaatu: I don't have any plans. Perhaps your son could show me around town.
Helen: Well, I don't know....
Tom: Oh come on, Helen, trust him! He looks like a fine, upstanding citizen to me.
Helen: That's what I love about you, Tom -- you're always willing to give a stranger the benefit of the doubt.

Bobby: This is Arlington Cemetery. My Dad's buried here, with thousands of other soldiers like him.
Klaatu: It saddens me to see so many war graves.
Bobby: Yeah, me too. People should find a better way to solve their problems.
Klaatu: I quite agree. Tell me, is there some great and wise man here in Washington to whom I could talk about how to bring peace to the world?
Bobby: Sure, there's Professor Barnhardt. He's the most famous scientist in the world. And he's really smart -- he invented the formula for the atomic bomb!

Klaatu: I've tried to persuade the world's leaders to meet with me but they refuse to listen. That's why I need your help.
Professor Barnhardt: We could arrange an international conference of intellectuals. I suggest that we invite the planet's finest minds in the most prestigious disciplines -- mathematicians, microbiologists, computer programmers, chemists, librarians....
Klaatu: Librarians?
Barnhardt: Preferably cataloguers.

Klaatu: The world has to realize the importance of my message. I'd like to arrange a little demonstration a day before the conference.
Barnhardt: All right... just as long as you don't destroy anything.
Klaatu: I promise. And I assure you that no intelligent life will be harmed.
Barnhardt: You mustn't take action against any politicians either.
Klaatu: Oh. Then this could be more difficult than I'd anticipated.

Klaatu: Bobby, do you have a flashlight I could borrow?
Bobby: Sure. What do you need it for?
Klaatu: Uh... I, um, dropped my car keys under a broken streetlight near where the spaceship landed and it's too dark there for me to find them.

Flashlight Morse Code: G-O-R-T... B-E-R-M-A-N... B-R-A-G-A
Gort: (BASH!)
Military Guards: URK!
Klaatu: I'm glad to see that Gort's automatic trigger mechanisms are still functioning nicely.

Klaatu: Klaatu calling Headquarters. I request use of the Eludium Pew-36 Modulating Space Spammer tomorrow at noon.
Headquarters: (over the comm) Understood. What message shall we transmit to the Earth people?
Klaatu: A generic "default on electrical utility bill payment" notification.
Headquarters: Very well. And how many copies would you like us to send?
Klaatu: About four billion or so, give or take a few.

Tom: Look at this diamond.
Helen: I've already told you that I'm not ready to get married yet, Tom.
Tom: Helen, I found it in Carpenter's room. I knew there was something suspicious about him!
Helen: Maybe it's just a piece of glass costume jewelry.
Tom: No it isn't. I tried rubbing it against your engagement ring to see if it would scratch. Do you know what happened?
Helen: It didn't scratch?
Tom: Worse than that -- it scratched your diamond! Ripped it to shreds, in fact! Carpenter must be the Martian!
Helen: Either that or you're the cheapest guy who's ever proposed to me.

General Cutler: Everything that's electrically powered has gone dead -- phones, radios, cars, airplanes, my executive coffee percolator... everything! As far as we can tell, it's happened all over the world.
Colonel: Sir, if communications and travel are completely shut down, how do we know it's happened all over the world and not just here in Washington?
Cutler: Standard military operating procedure, Colonel. "When electronic communications are cut off, critical information shall be relayed through the use of foot messengers."

Klaatu: The power should come back any moment now.
Elevator: (click! hummmmm....)
Helen: Then it's true. You really are the alien visitor.
Klaatu: Yes. And now I'm going to tell you why I'm here. It's vitally important that you should know, just in case something happens to me.
Helen: Why would anything happen to you?
Klaatu: From what I've learned about your people, I've come to realize that men in positions of power react very badly when anything gets between them and their coffee.

Lieutenant: There he is! Fire!
Soldiers: (BANG! BANG! BANG!)
Klaatu: URK!
Helen: Oh my God! Are you badly hurt?
Klaatu: You must... take this... message to Gort. Klaatu... barada... nikto.... GAK!
Helen: "Klaatu barada nikto gak." Got it.

Helen: Gort. Klaatu... barada... nikto -- hey, wait a minute, I haven't gotten to the end of your partner's message yet! Put me down! I mean outside the spaceship! Come back here right now, you stupid....
Spaceship Doors: (CLANG!)
Helen: Sigh. I hope Klaatu was only kidding when he made that crack about how his death might cause Gort to destroy the Earth. If he was serious, I could be stuck in here for quite a while.

Lieutenant: General, the spaceman's body is gone! That big iron fellow just took him away!
Cutler: What! Didn't I order you to surround the walls of this entire building with heavily armed guards?
Lieutenant: Yes sir... but the trouble is that this building now has one less wall than it did three minutes ago.

Resuscitation Machine: BZZZZZ!
Klaatu: Hmm. I feel much better.
Helen: That's impossible. You're as dead as a Norwegian parrot!
Klaatu: Actually, I'm not quite dead.
Helen: Yes you are.
Klaatu: I think I'll go for a little walk.
Helen: You're not fooling anyone, you know.

Colonel: Professor, this conference is cancelled. Please ask your fellow scientists to move away from the flying saucer.
Barnhardt: But why?
Colonel: It's too dangerous. The robot is nowhere to be found and we don't know what he'll do now that the spaceman is dead.
Barnhardt: Pardon my contradicting you, but... aren't they both standing right behind you at the door of the saucer?
Colonel: Don't be silly Professor BarnhAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Klaatu: We of the other inhabited planets have found a way to live in peace. Our police robots, like Gort, patrol the solar system to make sure that we all behave nicely towards one another. At the first sign of interplanetary hostility, they automatically vaporize the offending world.
Helen: That's why Klaatu came here. To warn us that if our development of rockets and atomic power ever becomes a threat to other worlds, the Earth will itself be destroyed.
Colonel: That's preposterous! There are no inhabited planets in the solar system apart from ours.
Barnhardt: According to Klaatu, there are actually two others. In fact there used to be a dozen more, but most of them got... well, careless.
Klaatu: Serves them right. As one of our greatest philosophers once said, "Imray tari narawak axo degus."
Helen: What does that mean?
Klaatu: "Everyone is entitled to make one fatal mistake."
(The flying saucer returns to space at a Vitesse Ludicreuse)


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This fiver was originally published on January 1, 2003.

DISCLAIMER: Klaatu barata n... necktie? Nickel? It's an N word, it's definitely an N word....

All material © 2005, Marc Richard.