Diane Hine

(25 July 1956)

Sightseeing on Earth - Etiquette for Extra-terrestrials (extract)


When choosing to impersonate a human
a middle-aged appearance may be best.
This age group will more likely be excused
incriminating faults in modes of dress.

To blend without arousing deep suspicions
it's crucial to adopt a proper mien.
You must observe the Earthlings' odd traditions
regarding how, when, where and whom to greet.

For instance, if you walk on scenic trails
the custom is to murmur something bland
like ‘hi', ‘hello', good morning' or ‘g'day'
adjusted to the language of the land.

Eye contact span of time and width of smile
depend upon the frequency of junctures.
For form's sake, if there's roughly one per mile
two seconds with a grin would fit most cultures.

To match increasing frequency of meetings
the warmth of salutations should decrease.
At more than one per minute, smiles are fleeting
until at three per minute, greetings cease.

This guide is not applicable to cities
where humans always avoid each other's eyes.
Take care, some Aliens have been committed
from over-zealous contact we surmise.

Exceptions to these rules must be expected;
take cues and always aim to be discreet.
Next chapter has advice for when you're peckish
regarding how, when, where and whom to eat.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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Comments about this poem (Sightseeing on Earth - Etiquette for Extra-terrestrials (extract) by Diane Hine )

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  • Ken E Hall (9/23/2013 3:48:00 PM)

    A funny and clinical look at alien visitors seen thru a master of the pen and the last line eats it all up, I wonder if aliens use salt...thanks for this clever etiquette...regards (Report) Reply

  • Captain Cur (4/6/2013 6:57:00 AM)

    Salutations brushed aside, salt the meat, tan the hides.
    City folk are tough and raw, hardened centers, tender claws.
    Country folk are sweeter still, whole grain goodness from the mill.
    From: Alien Cookbook, Chapter 11
    How to prepare humans by geographic location. (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (3/26/2013 10:51:00 PM)

    Sensibility with an over running sense of humour makes it a unique write as ever! ! Enjoyed this brilliant piece! ! (Report) Reply

  • Lyn Paul (3/24/2013 8:50:00 AM)

    What a great write. So there really are Aliens out there. Thanks for confirming. And so many great sights for them to see in Australia (Report) Reply

  • Anthony Di''anno (3/22/2013 5:16:00 AM)

    Very witty and well observed Diane. Your poems always make me wonder, mainly at how one person could be so fiendishly clever. (Report) Reply

  • Danny Draper (3/21/2013 5:52:00 AM)

    Funny and informative. Where I come from we always say g'day, but our eyes are large and dark and our skin a mid tone grey and we'd never pull your leg, save for lunch on Saturday. Thank you Diane. Frequency and saggy clothes are key. (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (3/21/2013 5:36:00 AM)

    Brilliant Diane, you really are very clever. This is so imaginative, and humorous too. Sums up us earthlings to some extent as well. (Report) Reply

  • Thomas A Robinson (3/21/2013 5:04:00 AM)

    What comes to my mind is the movie, A Sightseers Guide To The Universe. But no one was eaten but all destroyed though.
    Sometimes I think you Diane are an alien to this world.You always have a unique way of looking at something
    that amazes me over and over, time after time.
    Thanks for the mien word. (Report) Reply

  • Douglas Scotney (3/20/2013 7:50:00 PM)

    Middle age, drawing great sympathy, is the best from which to intrigue as well as to mathematize rural-greeting-duration.
    In Fiji they say 'bula'. Drivers in western NSW raise a finger at the wheel. Fools raise 2. The middle aged can fan all 10. (Report) Reply

Read all 10 comments »

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