A moral dilemma for you, Alistair. A spaceship filled with genocidal aliens has visited my home. They were fairly friendly, but explained that it is their destiny to kill every human being in existence. They then demonstrated their ability to do so by using one of their ship’s impressive array of weapons to liquefy a cow. This particular shipload of aliens is merely the scouting party so they’ve gone off to establish communication with the mothership and let their leaders know that they found some humans to kill. Two important pieces of  information: 1. These aliens are tiny – they are less than an inch tall and their spaceship is the size of a big chicken. 2. They just parked their spaceship in my oven, mistaking it for a docking bay. Question: How morally reprehensible would it be for me to shut the oven door  and turn on the self-clean function? 

Thumb in the Dike in Barcelona 


 Incredibly morally dubious, and also profoundly wasteful. Cook small aliens on 350 degrees Fahrenheit with basil and mint for two hours until crispy. 


Crystal Clear


After a recent UFO sighting and abduction, some men wearing black suits came by and tried to erase my memory. I think they forgot to change the batteries or something, because it didn’t take. I felt bad about it and played along, but I think that it maybe wasn’t the right move now that I think about it later. What would have been the right move then? Honesty or a little white lie?

Crystal Clear in Puyallup

Crystal Clear,

Sometimes I receive letters that make me think I should call the most relevant authorities instead of responding.

This is not one of those letters.

What you did was kind in a short-sighted sort of way. You did it to be considerate, but chances are that those men would rather know when their equipment fails. But you know what? Who cares. Those guys need to take their work less seriously. Clearly you’re not particularly traumatized by what you witnessed, and it’s not like you’re about to unravel the fabric of the universe with your new understanding of aliens.
Just know that if you tell too many people about that equipment failure, you might get a second visit from the same guys. Their second visit won’t be as painless, because the portable memory-wipe devices they use only apply to recently absorbed memories. You’ve been warned.