Humor Satire Science Fiction alien abduction alien invasion Alien etiquette manners tourism

Mimicking Human Behavior: A field guide for extraterrestrial visitors

By Phillip T. Stephens
May 5, 2019 · 1,337 words · 5 minutes

Aiien ettiquette

Story art by Phillip T. Stephens.  

From the author: A compilation of etiquette tips for alien species to follow on their first visit to the planet. A new installment in the series “I Was Abducted by Aliens in a Former Life”

Readers may recall that I recently discovered a book of writing tips for extraterrestrial authors. I found the tome in an alien library when I escaped a routine probe session.

When they abducted me last Christmas, I slipped my restraints once more to peruse the volumes.[1] I discovered several surprising tidbits about alien culture.

An example of the wide variety of alien languages I work with.

Did you know aliens don’t speak the same language? Neither did I. They don’t even like each other.

The cute gray aliens are even more unpopular in the galaxy than Americans are abroad. They’re rude, pushy and tell the other species how they should run their planets. They abduct and probe other species more often than they abduct humans.

The aliens call their hobby “extraordinary rendition.” The practice might explain why I found books in so many languages. Our aliens don’t collect books to read; their library is their recycling bin.

I swallowed several books because aliens never probe our stomachs.[2] We’ve only translated a few pages of one book, but I wanted to share what we produced.

Handbook of Human Behavior: A pointless manual of etiquette and courtesy towards species who will soon remove themselves from the universal equation

A publication of Mandalor’s Extraterrestrial Resources Bureau.

Humans do everything with their mouths:

  • They eat with their mouths
  • Drink with their mouths
  • Talk with their mouths
  • Mate with their mouths[3]

As long as you use your mouth you can:

  • Eat with them
  • Drink with them
  • Talk with them

Never mate with them! Humans insert disgusting objects in their mouths — dried nasal mucus, fingers, toes, finger and toenails, smoking leaves, string, hair, sticks, penises, vaginas, and anuses. Yet armor-plated tentacles repel them.

Go figure.

Eating Tips

Humans think it’s rude to stick your face in food and eat by osmosis. Always eat with your blowhole.

Don’t eat everything humans put in front of you. Humans pick from the items on the table. Nor will they eat the delicacies you offer them (e.g., intestines and genitalia). This rule is twice as important when eating with humans at the same table.

Believe it or not, humans use many items on the table as tools to eat other items. Eat only what you see humans eat first. However, as a general rule of nostril picking:

  • Eat nothing that touches the table.

Only eat something on top of something that touches the table. (Occasionally they will serve a food item on top of something that’s on top of something that touches the table. To add to the difficulty, they also serve inside items that touch the table, but that takes an entire chapter to explain.)[4]

Aliens have difficulty determining what is polite to eat and what is off limits

  • Eat nothing your teeth can’t bend, and

Don’t eat what your teeth can’t bend.

  • Whatever you do, don’t eat humans while other humans watch. Unless you plan to eat everyone at the table.
Whatever you do, don’t eat humans while other humans watch. Unless you plan to eat everyone at the table.

Humans speak aloud. They speak aloud to hide their true intentions from others in the room.

Humans don’t like you if you listen to the conversation in their heads. Speak aloud too.

Only address their words when you speak. Humans hate you when you respond to the real conversation in their minds.


Human and alien gestures send different messages. For instance, the “thumbs up,” (or, in our language, the tail wag) doesn’t invite you to mount and penetrate their blowholes.[5] In fact (as a general point of reference), they eat with their blowholes.

The extended hand signifies friendship. When they extend their open hand toward you, grasp with your own appendage and shake. People think you rude when you eat their hand.

The extended middle finger signifies sexual activity, but it’s not an invitation to mate. They’re suggesting you mount your blowhole. Under no circumstances, however, should you follow their suggestion.

The extended middle is not an invitation to mate. They’re suggesting that you mount your own blowhole. Under no circumstances, however, should you follow their suggestion.

Humans have a unique way of talking called “lying.” We have no such concept. The best we can do to explain is provide examples:

  • “The white meat substance with the brown coating filled with lard, flour and carcinogenic substances was delicious.”[6]
  • “The dress which shows more of your bosom than I wanted to see is lovely.”
  • “We have no intention of rounding you up like cattle for food.”
Things to never ask humans

Humans volunteer the most intimate information. For instance, what role the overseers assigned them,[7] or vessel that spawns their offspring. However, if you ask one about a mole on its forehead, they treat it like a personal insult.

You may ask the following questions without insulting them:

  • How’s it going?
  • How’s the weather?
  • What’s happening?
Believe it or not:

These utterances function as questions linguistically but mean nothing. Nor do humans expect an answer. Humans spew out language like excrement.

In fact, human language is little more than mind excrement, which they generate faster than earth plants generate oxygen

Humans answer the three acceptable questions with the same three answers:

  • Okay
  • Fine
  • What’s it to you?

If you choose the last answer, you may also refer to them as someone who enjoys carnal relations with their spawn donor.

Under no circumstances should you ask:
  • What is that excess flesh around your midriff?
  • I’m intrigued by the texture of your tongue. May I taste?
  • Do you have a penis? Or a vagina?[8]
  • Could you explain what the phrase “Eat it raw” means?
  • Is that a melanoma on your forehead or are you happy to see me?

Don’t assume you mastered your training in human behavior. Humans change the rules of social engagement more often than they breed. With enough practice, however, you can convince humans you’re from California and not from another galaxy altogether.[9]

[1]: for which I paid by carrying three alien fetuses to term.

[2]: Alien books aren’t books but holograms which they plug into their anuses, which contain their brains. This might explain their fascination with human anuses. They can’t understand our brains are missing.

[3]: In fact, they mate with every protrusion and orifice even though we can’t explain the mechanics.

[4]: Yes, human organs are inside humans and, yes, humans also touch the table. No, you may not eat them.

[5]: In fact (as a general point of reference), they eat with their blowholes.

[6]: They call this “fried chicken,” which tastes like excrement.

[7]: Humans call their appointments “jobs” and choose which appointment they want, even though their assignments are even more menial and demeaning than ours.

[8]: With practice and time you’ll learn to discern this on your own.

[9]: Provided you wear the proper disguise.

This story originally appeared in Medium.

Phillip T. Stephens

Living metaphor.