‘We gave beetroot to them.’
‘Is that a fact.’
‘Yes, they love beetroot.’
‘Well, there ya go.’
‘I never thought I’d meet aliens.’
‘You’re not listening, are you?’
‘I’m gonna hang up. Get some sleep, you’ve been on that rock for too long. You’re starting to sound like Terry.’
I don’t blame my wife for not listening, If somebody had told me that story three hours ago I’d have thought it nonsense. But that was before I knew it was true.
My heart sank when I was posted to Ailnasearcagh lighthouse with Terry ‘tall tales’ Doherty.
After two months I developed a knack of ignoring his wittering, and giving three stock responses.
‘God when I think of it myself and the rat used to have great craic. We’d go wild on shore leave. I could drink thirty pints and fight any man back then.’
‘Is that a fact.’ (response one)
‘D’ya know why they called him the rat? Because he ate anything. He once ate a box of fishing bait.’
‘Well, there ya go.’ (response two)
‘He was there the first time I spoke to Zomboonians. It was a night like this. I think the fog signal attracts them, the vibrating column of air from the diaphone probably resonates with something in their dimension.’
‘Uh, huh.’ (response three)
If I had been listening properly then I would’ve been less surprised answering the door to nine blue humanoid lizards. Who asked if Terry was about, and if I had any beetroot. Terry must’ve been listening because he arrived out with a bag of roots, much to the gratitude of our visitors.
‘We need to report this.’ I said.
‘I wouldn’t bother -trust me, nobody’s gonna pay any heed to ya.’
Terry was right.
A story’s a story.