A word about crop circles. Granpa Jack believes that crop circles are created by aliens and he is not alone in thinking this. You see what happens, according to Granpa Jack, is that the aliens come down in their spaceships and make interesting patterns in the nearest farmer's field. Nobody knows what the patterns mean. Maybe:
- 'Greetings, we come in peace' or
- 'Don't bother with this planet - they can't understand the interesting patterns we make in their fields' or
There are some really big patterns with loads of detail and actually the crop circles have become less like plain circles and more like some weird painting by Escher. It is like the aliens are trying to outdo one another in their crop circleness.
It strikes me that it would be easier if aliens used another way to talk to human beings, especially as making a crop circle can only be done when there is an actual crop; so communicating with the human race has to be done for about three weeks a year. It sounds a bit limiting. It is also probably a bit annoying to the farmer that half of his crop has gone into make a pretty pattern and he cannot actually sue the aliens can he?
So, Granpa Jack's crop circle needs probing. The next day I walk with him to the farmer's field.
'I am convinced of the existence of ailens, Wilfred,' says Grandpa Jack and he puffs at his pipe very fast. 'Crop circles, BOLS...'
'BOLS?' I ask.
'Balls Of Light, my boy, been seen since before time began.'
'Was there a time before time?' I ponder. 'Was that the dinosaurs or the stone age?'
'Never mind that! Your friend, Dexter has seen these phenomena - he's in the local newspaper!'
I am stunned. He never told me. 'What?! Dexter is in the newspaper? With BOLS?!'
'BOLS,' nods Grandpa Jack. He prods me with his walking stick. 'This is our big chance, young Wilfred. Soon we'll be able to call the local rag with the latest evidence of aliens amongst us.' I am not listening much because I am still trying not to think about Dexter and his phenomena. We finally stop in the middle of a grass field.
'Behold!' cries Grandpa Jack and he sweeps his stick around him.
I look. We are standing inside a flat grass circle. 'Are you sure this wasn't just the farmer turning his tractor round or something?' I ask. I actually think this is a rubbish crop circle.
'We must make camp!' says Grandpa Jack. 'Keep watch for the visitors and welcome them to our world!' He drags a bin liner out of his pocket and sits down on it. 'Got any whisky, Wilfred?'