Author: Alan J Wahnefried

Shurkarr was excited and little scared. He was waiting for the results of his driving test. Finally, the Examiner called his name.
The Examiner offered Shurkarr a seat. Shurkarr could barely keep himself in the chair.
“In cases like this I find it best to give the result before we analyze your driving. You failed.”, the Examiner began.
Shurkarr was stunned. He thought he had nailed. “How can that be?”, he stammered.
The Examiner sighed. “You did a good job with the maneuvers. You missed something bigger. Let’s take it a step at a time. The first step on the test gave you a heading and you were to follow it at a set speed. Right?”. Shurkarr concurred. The Examiner queried, “What did you do?”
Shurkarr gulped. “I went slower. I was trying to show I was not a reckless driver.”
The Examiner must have heard that before. He sighed and continued, “What was the second step on the test?”
“When I reached Luna, I was to turn to my right.” Shurkarr answered.
“The instructions were based on the speed you were given. If you had driven at the specified speed, a right would have turned you outside Luna’s orbit. Luna is not stationary. By the time you reached Luna, a right turned you inside Luna’s orbit. What was the first thing you were taught in driver’s education?”, the Examiner intoned.
“If you are inside Luna’s orbit, get outside Luna’s orbit immediately!”
“Correct. Why didn’t you do that?”, queried the Examiner.
“I was just trying to follow the test directions.”, Shurkarr said sheepishly.
“Not good enough! You always must follow the instructions concerning Luna’s orbit. You could have asked for help and still passed. Continuing with your test. The next step was to stop and turn on your emergency beacon. You realize starting the beacon turns off your stealth shield?”
Shurkarr wanted into crawl under the woodwork. “Yes.”, he whispered.
“Due to your wrong turn. Your beacon was clearly visible on Earth. If we are to keep our base here on Venus secret, we can’t have mistakes like that! Fortunately, the balance of the maneuvers on the test got you behind Luna and out of sight. You fail. You can try again in 2 vesuvian days.”
Shurkarr was crushed. He made a mistake. What was the big deal? It was night on Earth. He doubted anyone even noticed.
Meanwhile on planet Earth. The lead story in the Maple Stump Idaho’s morning paper was “Red Flashing Orb Buzzes Maple Stump”. The story related the police and newspapers phones were deluged by panicky people….
On television, the first story on Idaho Today was “Police Work to Clear Numerous Vehicle Accidents”. Over 300 vehicles stopped on I-80 south of Boise. People were mesmerized by a flashing red orb in the sky. Multiple collisions were reported. Fortunately, no one was killed or seriously injured…
The US Space Force issued a statement om the orb seen over Idaho. The orb had been tracked until it went behind the moon. The investigation is continuing ….
Dr. Thurston Stahlschiff called his agent. He wanted his publisher to know his book the Imminent Alien Invasion would be postponed another month. He had to investigate the orb that was sighted over Idaho.
Several radio preachers tried to have a field day on the orb, with varying results.
UFO tourists started flocking to Maple Stump, Idaho. The motel owners were happy.
Shurkarr was right. Nobody noticed. The Examiner had a no reason to be upset.