Page Three
WHAT IS......
Editor's note: "WHAT IS....?" is a semi-regular feature of the New Primate Nooz which is aimed at some of our younger readers and in which we ask important people in the field of primatology difficult "What is" questions just to see if we can make them squirm.  In this issue we are extremely fortunate to have with us Dr. Basil Smith of the Chudleigh-Lilydale Royal Tasmanian Primatological Observatory, who along with his respected colleague Dr. Mawbanna Waddamana, has been observing the giant space primate heading toward Earth.  Dr. Smith knows a lot about primates and space, so you better listen carefully, and take notes.
by Dr. Basil Smith
Royal Tasmanian Primatological Observatory
What is the planet Zarkon?  Yes, that's the question before us today.  It's a question that has puzzled me ever since I was little.  I remember wondering about the planet Zarkon when I was just a boy.  Could such a place really exist?  Would they know about seniority?  Would they have primates and primate plummeting? Could the famous hydrogen laser spotlight invented by Sir Horton Measely illuminate a place so hopelessly far away?  In my Astrology 101 class at Mole Creek Aussie High School, my professor would talk about Zarkon, but I thought it was just some imaginary place.
      Now that we have indisputable proof that Zarkon does exist, that Zarkonese aliens have walked among us, that they have come right here to Hellmouth and abducted one of our very own, our Reporter from the Field, Eric Scotmeister Fleiglehaus, we are forced once again back to that question we started with.  What is the planet Zarkon?
      To put it in astronomical terms, Zarkon is a small planet in the Agoraea cluster, hard by the Spirathes Nebula, orbiting a paltry, class-IV blue dwarf.  The noon magnetic tides are very strong around Zarkon and this has prevented space travel until recently.  The atmosphere is much like our own but we surmise that it may smell better. The plane of the eccliptic is only 67°, thus preempting sidereal rotation, and the density of the planet is relatively low, so that creatures without tails were less likely to evolve.  Many of us here at the Royal Tasmanian Primatological Observatory, who have been observing this curious little planet for some time, believe in fact that our own ancestral background may indeed lie on the planet Zarkon, and that the primates who came down from Mt. Mpika were actually dropped off there by Zarkonese spaceships. While we can't say that this is generally accepted, it does seem more likely now that we have confronted confirmed alien visitors.  There is even the possibility that the giant space-dwelling primate heading toward Earth may have originated on Zarkon, though we may never know that for sure.
By Bill Measely, son of Sir Horton Measely
Editor's note: We had a pretty good outing the last  time, but that was back in 1993, and the spotlight  has been in storage since then.  So we can only hope that nothing untoward will happen when we  press the On button and swing the spotlight around  to focus on the heavens, where the planet Zarkon is hopefully waiting.  This will be an unprecedented  attempt to observe another planet, and we don't  know what's going to happen, so put your visors  on and for God's sakes don't say anything!

[Focusing adjustments....]
[Focusing adjustments....]
[Focusing adjustments....]
      Something is coming into focus now.  It's big!  It might be, yes.... it's a planet!  There's a blue dwarf in the background.  I think it's the planet Zarkon, never before seen by erstwhile humanity.  Uh oh, now it's drifting off.
[Focusing adjustments....]
      Here it comes again!  It's really round.  It's really big.  It's really.... [BANG!]  Watch out.  It's too hot!  [KRANG!]  Shut it down, shut it down!  OK, now turn on the cooling spray....  That was sure a close one there.  I guess the spotlight just doesn't have enough power to illuminate something that far away. Oh well, better luck next time.
[Intercepted by Dr. Mawbanna Waddamana of the Chudleigh-Lilydale Royal Tasmanian Primatological Observatory and translated by Dr. Basil Smith]

GHGGF (hhoity 21-20):  [Steer clear of] large [groups of] gfhtdhgd.  [Stay by] yourself QrRst ab [as much as possible.]
LWIKNSS (jggh 21-22): [
The word for this period:] cellophane. [It will] bring [you a great deal of] greatt VXtgm vZZ ckvo.
QBLW (sdsppa 23-20):  
[Don't lose your] hpVW temper. [You will need it whenever you engage in] gfhfgfhg iintrf AgE ggi ja.7..
TUUIVC (mndhj 21-21):   [
Cellophane is your] destiny. [You must] remember [it always].
DFGJJK (laksjy 22-21):  
[Try to be more] generous. [You don't have to be the] staril. KJSDFGGF (qqyqy 22-20):   [Remember all of your] friends. [This is not a time to] gfhfghf.
QQY (gnngfkj 21-21):  
[You have a tendency to slip into] ways [of] thinking. [Watch out!]
H/JSXXX (mnamnaa 22-20):   [You can't save the] world, [so take a] vacati [and chill.] Yqg^@A (fgdf^^ 21-20):   [Zarkon is going to] explde [so make sure] affaiq [is in order.]
    By Eric Scotmeister Fleiglehaus
Greetings from Zarkon!  You probably don't even know where Zarkon is, but that doesn't matter since I do, and I'm here.  So sit back in your favorite chair, kick off your shoes, grab a Guinness and enjoy, because this is my.....“Report from the Field.”

        I arrived here on....  Actually I don't know when I arrived.  I appear to have some missing time.  Some of this is coming back to me right now while I'm talking to you.  At first, I couldn't remember too much. Anyway, it sure wasn't easy getting here I can tell you, because my car....  I mean, the trip from my bedroom or wherever I was to....  Well, I don't really know how I got here, but that doesn't matter.  What matters is that when I got here, I was met by....  Well, I don't precisely know who or what he was, but he seemed to be in charge, and he spoke passable English although with a thick accent.  His title is The Trime and his name is Murkel.   Oh, by the way, here is the planet -irkon, or as it has been translated to me, Zarkon.  I should have told you that right away.  My suitcases were all brought with me, and for the first several hours (some unspecified time units), I was forced to drink what I can only describe as large bags of a peculiar tasting liquid that they called Xunch which made me feel quite intoxicated.  Then I was carried in some kind of a conveyance called a railroad car to some windowless quarters with the strange sign Guest over an oval door.  They told me what it meant but I've forgotten.  They kept asking me questions, like “lshk Blhhdoe Chfj Fa Mhgjg?” which I think had something to do with gobo roots.  I told them I wanted to see their leader, but the one called Murkel just shook his head.
      I was left alone in the small resting cubicle for what seemed like a couple of days.  Every eight hours or so someone would bring some food.  The last time it was, I was told, some nice gfhd and ljlfj, served on a bed of DHeykl.  I was given what was clearly water, although they called it ljdhe.  The large silver-headed, cellophane-clothed creatures took turns questioning me, but my answers were never satisfactory.  Once, when I found myself alone in one of the “offices,” I looked out what appeared to be a tiny window and saw a small, blue sun going down toward a blue horizon.  I had a few scraps of paper and the stub of a chewed pencil in my pocket, and I worked on my “Report” off and on while trying to figure out the display dials and gauges that were labelled in their curious language.  Eventually, Murkel asked me if I wanted to go home and I said I did. I don't remember much about the trip back, but it seemed to take only a few minutes, and then I was back in my living room again.
      Well, that's about it for this issue.  I didn't find out too much about my Zarkonese abductors, but they didn't find out too much about me either, at least not when I was awake.  I guess we'll have to watch Thursday's TV program on the Eureka Channel about the planet Zarkon to find out where I was and what it was like there.  If there is a next time, I might be at the Mitsuo Ohhohoho Primate Language Institute right here in Hellmouth, or at the Blue Snowmonkey Reserve on Kyushu, or the Mongolian Simian Study Center in the Hangayn Mountains of Central Mongolia or Abominable Primates National Park in far-off rocky Rafikistan. You never know where I might be. But I'll be there. So until then, I'll just say “So long.”

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