Things have been getting a little squirrely lately. If you, like I, have been wondering what in the wide wide world of sports is-a goin’ on here, the answer might be, well, other-worldly.

In a double-bylined story posted last week on the NBC News website, we were told that aliens may be toying with us — and you’ll be shocked (or not) as to who knows.

“A former Israeli space security chief has sent eyebrows shooting heavenward by saying that earthlings have been in contact with extraterrestrials from a ’galactic federation,’” the story starts.

“‘The Unidentified Flying Objects have asked not to publish that they are here, humanity is not ready yet,’ Haim Eshed, former head of Israel’s Defense Ministry’s space directorate, told Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper. The interview in Hebrew ran on Friday, and gained traction after parts were published in English by the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.”

OK, let’s stop for a second. I am TOTALLY ready for aliens. It is the only logical answer left in the barn when I look out on the state of the country right this minute.

“A respected professor and retired general, Eshed said the aliens were equally curious about humanity and were seeking to understand ‘the fabric of the universe.’

“Eshed said cooperation agreements had been signed between species, including an ‘underground base in the depths of Mars’ where there are American astronauts and alien representatives.

“‘There is an agreement between the U.S. government and the aliens. They signed a contract with us to do experiments here,’ he said.

“Eshed added that President Donald Trump was aware of the extraterrestrials’ existence and had been ‘on the verge of revealing’ information but was asked not to in order to prevent ‘mass hysteria.’”

As opposed to the mass hysteria currently gripping the nation. The president wouldn’t level with us last winter about the coronavirus because he feared mass hysteria, but he’s willing to spill the beans about aliens among us? Something doesn’t skew here.

We are living in times in which only authors specializing in dystopian fantasies once resided.

Look, we can’t all live in rooms with padded walls, so we need some coherent answer as to these far-fetched times. States are openly talking secession? Weird fringe gangs roam the cities in Mad Maxian style spoiling for trouble? The Cleveland Browns are good?

Aliens, people! Aliens are at work, trying to understand the “fabric of the universe.” Poor aliens. All they’re getting from us is tatters. Hey, maybe those aliens should spin a Rolling Stones record, and let ol’ Mick clue them in when he crows, “Pride and joy and greed and sex

That’s what makes our town the best. Pride and joy and dirty dreams and still surviving on the street And look at me, I’m in tatters, yeah.”

Yes, there is definitely otherworldly behavior going on now. Texas is not so subtly fomenting secession, and others think that might not be such a bad idea. Forget Puerto Rico becoming a 51st star on the flag. We might be doing some star subtraction soon.

Me, I’m torn. What kind of a country might I live in? I mean, I want to make sure I still have ready access to a New York Times and a good bagel, but I can’t do without my Southeastern Conference football and North Carolina barbecue. Will I need a passport to visit Chicago? For all those Northern transplants down in the South, “Remember the Wawa!” does not seem to have the same cache as “Remember the Alamo!”

Considering all this, it should come as no surprise that one of the most popular online games these days is one called “Among Us.” Here is its description:

“Join your crewmates in a multiplayer game of teamwork and betrayal!

“Play online or over local Wi-Fi with 4-10 players as you attempt to hold your spaceship together and return back to civilization. But beware ... as there may be an alien impostor aboard!

“One crewmate has been replaced by a parasitic shapeshifter. Their goal is to eliminate the rest of the crew before the ship reaches home. The impostor will sabotage the ship, sneak through vents, deceive, and frame others to remain anonymous and kill off the crew.”

Alien imposters, parasitic shapeshifters, infighting among the crew, sneaky double dealing — yup, sounds about right these days. But how to explain the Cleveland Browns ...

Contact editor John Nagy at (910) 693-2507 or john@thepilot.com.

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