“That’s not helpful. And you might not have noticed, but I don’t seem to be on the
same scale as you. There’s me up here and there’s you down there at my feet.” Feet
again ! Perhaps I’m developing a feet fixation. “Do you think you could explain in
words of half a syllable or less. WHERE THE HELL AM I ?”
“In Nascomland of course. We live here, and you arrived out of the blue as it were.
And as to scale, you really should be more careful. I hear you did a severe damage to
poor 7432. What had he done to hurt you ?”
“I’m sorry about 7432, I didn’t know. I hope any damage I’ve done can be mended.”
“Oh I dare say.”, said Z80, “I can’t talk to my esseyeoe any more, but he was boring
anyway, so I can’t say I’m too upset about it. But you’d better keep it quiet, if some of
the others get to hear of it, they won’t be too pleased. Could get nasty.”
I looked about, still nothing but shuffling in the darkness, but the shuffling took on
a new menace. Are feet menacing ? “Tell me, Z80, where is Nascomland ?”, I asked
as politely as I could.
“Here.” said Z80 glibly. “We’ve been watching you for years. You entered our galaxy
as a speck some time ago, and for a while we thought you’d miss us entirely, but here
you are and you’ve landed. Don’t you know where you came from ?”
“I confess I don’t know.”, I said, “I don’t seem to remember anything before I arrived
here, although some of the things I’ve seen and heard seem familiar. Can I ask you a
“Seems to me you haven’t stopped asking questions, but go ahead anyway.”
This was going to be a major intellectual exercise, even before I asked, I knew it
would upset him. “I see you’re well endowed with boots.” Why did I ask that, feet
again. I didn’t mean to say that.
“What of it.”
This was bad. Why boots, if he’s got legs, it follows he’s got boots. There I go again
– no stop, “Tell me, how do you tie up all those boot laces ?” Oh hell, this isn’t going
right, I’ve upset him, he’s changing colour.
“I am shocked. Truly shocked.” From the tone, I could see he was having difficulty
keeping control. “You come here uninvited. You tread on a valued friend and
colleague. You – you behave like an imbecile – and – and now you insult my boots.
What’s wrong with you. Is all you think about is boots, why boots, what’s wrong with
my boots, there lovely boots. I’m not staying here to be insulted.” By now he was
glowing a dull red. With a sudden scurrying movement, he shot off into the darkness.