This I Believe

Dale - Ray, Michigan
Entered on April 30, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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Things I Used to Know

I used to know that there were lots of intelligent beings on other planets. Space travel was pretty easy, and fast, too. People could go to other planets and not worry about finding the right food when they got there, or air to breathe, or anything. Some of the people there were green, or had extra arms and hands, and stuff like that. I know, because I read all about it in comic books when I was in the first and second grade. Those comic books cost 10 cents apiece, and I would buy one every time I could save up enough money. You wouldn’t believe how many of them I had.

I used to know that we were going to the Moon, and we were going to beat the Russians in getting there. I knew that there might be a war there, because I read all about it in some science fiction books that I got from the library. They even had pictures of it. It was fiction only because it hadn’t happened yet. But I knew that it would before long. I also knew that we would win, because we were the good guys.

I used to know a lot about Mars, too. It had canals with water in them. An astronomer named Percival Lowell said so. He could see them through his telescope. We all knew about it. Not only that; when I was in the seventh grade, I studied Martians in class. My math teacher told us about a Martian named Alioop, and drew his picture on the blackboard using green chalk. Alioop only had two fingers on each hand, and no thumbs. He counted differently than we do. He used his fingers, and he counted one, two, three, ten! Then came eleven, twelve, thirteen, one hundred. Alioop must have been awfully confused, trying to count that way. It was bad enough having to learn to count like Martians; at least we didn’t have to learn to speak Martian.

I used to know that the Solar System had nine planets. One time I went and heard Clyde Tombaugh talk about how he discovered Pluto. Now they say that there are only eight planets, and Pluto isn’t on the list. I don’t understand. Maybe they can’t find Pluto anymore. Too bad Clyde died. Now we need him to find it again.

I learned a lot more about aliens and outer space when I found out that they had books about that stuff in the public library. Between reading them and watching The Twilight Zone on television, I found out a lot more about how many different kinds of aliens there were. Then I learned more from Star Trek and the X-Files. Now that I grew up some, I’m not quite so sure about all of those aliens. I still haven’t seen any, not even Alioop. Maybe if we send astronauts to Mars, we’ll find him. Just maybe.