My E.T. LINEAGE
By H. David Morrow FuzzyGem@att.net
(Previously published in MISSING LINKS Vol. 8, No. 8, 23 February 2003) http://www.petuniapress.com/
So GW (geneaholic wife) says to me, "You'd have more appreciation of what I'm going through, if you did some research on your family!"
It's a valid point, but not in all cases. "I suppose you believe I'd appreciate children more if I gave birth to some?" I queried. She stared at me for a whole minute then abruptly turned around to her computer screen.
After 11+ years of marriage, she has decided she knows too little about my ancestors. That's intentional. Besides, don't you think she should have asked about this before we got married? Explaining the real story now would only seem like something I made up in order to escape involvement in yet another overwhelming habit.
I'll explain it, if you promise you won't tell her.
My grandparents appeared in the United States in 1916 as immigrants. They dressed, spoke, and acted like middle European refugees, so no one questioned them too carefully. The immigration agents on Ellis Island were focused on checking for diseases and didn't notice inconsistencies in their stories.
In truth, they came through the Bermuda Triangle. No one knows of any ship that ever made it through the famed Triangle. When asked their country of origin, they just picked a name off the map of Europe. They chose a ship name from the three that were in the harbor at the time.
For years, they lived in fear of being caught for the lies they gave the agents that day. Up until the day they gained citizenship, my grandparents always went pale when they heard the word "immigration" or saw a police uniform. They were the first 20th century illegal aliens, sort of.
And they were aliens. Who else could get through the Bermuda Triangle?
I only know these things because my grandfather used to tell me, his six-year-old grandson, stories when I visited him in his tailor shop. (He was altering a policeman's uniform at the time.) My grandfather didn't look like an alien. He had a human face without an eye in the middle of his forehead. He also had two arms, two legs, and no tail.
He would never tell me precisely where he came from. I have, however, been able to glean some hints from his behavior. For example, he always held on to the furniture whenever he went from place to place in his tailor shop. Years later I figured out that this was because he was used to being in a gravity-free environment.
My grandmother also possessed magical powers that could only be extra-terrestrial. She baked braided bread once a week. When I was five years old and watching her prepare the dough, I asked how the bread came out of the oven braided. Ever anxious to educate me, she took a small piece of the dough, put it into a three-inch loaf pan and set it on top of the oven so I could watch it.
I sat down in a kitchen chair and stared at the dough. Sure enough, I fell asleep watching the pan. When I woke up, the dough in my special loaf pan had baked into braided bread. Now that's magic I've never seen an earthly magician do.
Somehow my grandparents managed to give birth to terrestrial children who eventually became my father, aunts, and uncle. My father's original passport stated he was a citizen by derivative. (Derived from what?) He arrived at Ellis Island on a ship. More proof my grandparents had special powers. They lived in the U. S. but had children in middle Europe!
The alien genes in me probably account for some of the traits I have that baffle my wife. For example, I put ketchup on my "mac and cheese"; I sometimes eat chocolate cake for breakfast; and I always (almost) remember to put down the toilet seat when I'm done. These are not normal, earthly proclivities.
On the other hand, I can't sew or bake bread. In fact, if it weren't for microwaves and frozen dinners -- well, you know what I mean.
I have none of the genes that defy gravity nor am I able to read minds like extraterrestrials are said to do. Heck, most of the time I'd just be happy to really know what my dog wants. I'd like to be able to turn this gene back on so I could divine what my GW is saying when she tries to explain about one of her ancestors.
There are, of course, benefits to being able to trace your family. One of them is discovering what ailments run in the family. I do not know what diseases afflicted my great-grandparents, but I'm sure the maladies started with some sort of alien fever.
The benefit that comes with not being able to research forebears is that I cannot find out which relative was a horse thief, boozer, or liked ketchup on his mac and cheese. I remember once someone saying something about a great-uncle getting "lost in space." At the time, I thought they meant he could see that program on his TV.
Now you know why I can't give my geneaholic spouse any information to trace my family back beyond my mother and father. Heaven knows she already has enough frustration trying to find her own roots. I don't think I should let her begin research that must inevitably lead to another brick wall.
And I certainly can't do it myself without revealing my own alien genes. Hitting my own brick wall can't be healthy for a man trying to have a baby.
© H. DAVID MORROW