The Praxitans have been secretly watching Earth for a very long time.
No, it’s not because of the kaleidoscopic variety of lifeforms ensconced in her bosom; nor has it got anything to do with the uniqueness of the human psyche, or the amusing discrepancies of mind and emotion that people are prone to.
For the Praxitans, watching Earth is more like a moral concern. Or better yet, an insurance claim.
Let me explain.
Remember the dinosaurs? Of course you don’t. You weren’t around then.
You know who was around? Exactly.
It was the late Cretaceous by Earth reckoning. On Praxitus, it was Friday night. And, as is the habit for all Praxitans, Friday night is pizza night.
Now, pizza is fairly accessible when you’re on Praxitus, but when you’re a tired tenure-track researcher doing your obligatory stint on Earth during the late Cretaceous in the hope of proving your hypothesis that a subspecies of T-rexes actually have long arms, then pizza is nowhere to be found. Ferns – sure. Corythosauri – tons. Pizza – not so much.
But still, when you’re sitting there in the prehistoric mud fending off prehistoric mosquitoes and avoiding the amorous advances of prehistoric mammals that really shouldn’t exist yet, you miss home. And if it’s Friday night, you miss home Friday night. And if you miss home Friday night, you miss home Friday night pizza night.
So the researcher picked up his University-issued phone, called the black-hole extension code, reached Praxitus, connected to the Praxitan Popular Pizza Parlour, and ordered an extra-large, quadruple-everything-from-the-menu pizza, with extra everything-on-the-menu toppings.
Getting pizza delivered on time is a matter of national honour for Praxitans, and the Praxitan Popular Pizza Parlour is no exception. Normally, the Praxitan Popular Pizza Parlour would have deployed a Senior Delivery Associate for an off-planet mission like that, but, at the time, they were all busy.
So they decided to take a chance and send a Junior Delivery Associate to Earth. Except, they were all busy too.
Then they tried to find an intern to get the pizza to Earth, but guess what.
Then they tried to tie the pizza on the intern’s dog and send it to Earth, but it turned out that the dog had accidentally been included in an earlier pizza through an unfortunate combination of curiosity, a pastrami machine, and a less-than-watchful cook. But that is a story for another time.
So the Praxitan Popular Pizza Parlour manager closed her eyes for a second, sighed, opened her eyes and, with a heavy heart, dispatched the pizza with the newly-appointed sub-trainee apprentice intern, Clovenard.
Clovenard wasn’t busy. Clovenard was never busy.
Clovenard was actually working the pastrami machine that Friday night.
Friday night pizza night, Clovenard left for Earth.