My friends and I are fresh out of the sixth grade. We’ve just seen an amazing movie, one unlike any we’ve seen before: Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
One hill over from our semi-rural suburban neighborhood, there’s a sand quarry. And over near one side of the quarry is a big hill that, to our 12-year-old eyes, looks vaguely like Devil’s Tower, the landmark featured in CE3K.
We decide to have a campout at the base of our tower, to watch the skies all night for any signs of alien activity. We set out before sunset with sleeping bags, a tiny camp stove, and a generous supply of Lipton Cup-a-Soup. We set up camp and wait. No alien craft in sight. Perhaps, we feel, the aliens are on the other side of the quarry. And so, scouting expeditions are organized to patrol periodically.
Around 10, my friends Craig, Ben and I head out on our first patrol. We scramble over the shallow hills and ravines, making our way by the light of a full moon.
And then, as we climb over a small hill, we see it.
A huge, perfectly triangular shadow sitting directly in the middle of the quarry road. We freeze. It makes no sound. It doesn’t move. It just sits there, ominous, seemingly ten feet high. We are about 40 yards away from this dark – pitch black – alien craft.
“What should we do?”
Silence as our 12-year-old minds try to think of an appropriate way to make first contact with an alien species.
“Let’s shoot it.”
Fortunately, Ben has recently purchased a very nice pellet gun. It even has a scope on it. Now it’s time to put it to the ultimate test.
Ben, being the owner, takes the first shot. He aims, shoots… nothing. No sound. No movement.
Craig takes the next shot. Still nothing. All is silent.
I take the third shot. I look through the scope and line up the sights right in the middle of the huge triangular craft. I squeeze the trigger.
The pellet bounces off the ship’s hull! Terrified, we run screaming in the other direction, sure that we’ve upset the visitors.
After catching our breath, we decide on a new course of action. We will circle around the quarry and come up on it from the opposite direction. We’ll get a better shot from there, anyway.
After a long walk, we finally come to the edge of a small group of trees, beyond which is the section of road where the craft was sitting. Nervously, we sneak a look at the road.
Nothing. No ship. It’s gone!
We walk out and survey the area. For one brief moment, we consider that the huge triangular shadow had been cast by a large piece of unused, overturned equipment by the side of the road, and that the shadow was now gone because the moon had moved in the sky, and that the reason we had heard a “ping” was because I was such a bad shot I’d hit the equipment on the side of the road instead of the soft sand in the middle, as Ben and Craig had.
We quickly dispense with this theory. It’s quite obvious that I have managed to scare off the aliens with one shot from a pellet gun.
And that is how I saved Earth from an alien invasion.
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