In an early afternoon, a spaceship dropped from the sky and landed on the fifty yard line on the 49ers stadium in San Francisco. The ship was invisible to humans (except for Glen Coffee, who immediately retired from football), and so the 49ers kept playing, running headlong into the invisible ship and collapsing with concussions. Most of the spectators thought the 49ers were playing better than they normally did.
During the halftime show, a black door opened in the side of the ship and four, grotesque aliens stepped out. They were squat, bipedal, and entirely covered in skin-tight suits except for their giant ears and small, piggy eyes. On top of each of their heads, sprouted an antenna. If you asked them why they had antennas, they would explain that they helped them tune their prodigious psychic powers.
And then they’d kill you.
The aliens looked around at the new world that surrounded them, the blue sky, the delicate birds, the young woman on stage performing with hula hoops, and they hated it. They hated everything about our planet, which isn’t that surprising because their only emotion was hatred. They had three hundred and eighty-six kinds of hatred, ranging from an intense, all-consuming hatred (similar to a blind rage), to a hatred of things you couldn’t live without, similar to (love, only angrier). Their hatred of the Earth could be best described as “A hatred like you feel towards your toe when you stub it and think your toe should have been stronger instead of blaming your own clumsiness.”
The four aliens conferred for a moment, and then the largest one took out a small box with a long, metal antenna. It adjusted dials, and then set off across the field, following the directions the box gave it. They left their invisible space ship in the middle of the football field. And that is why, to this day, the San Francisco 49ers fall down in the middle of the game for no good reason.
As they crossed Market Street, the smallest one was hit by a car. The driver, unable to see the dead alien, continued to drive around the city, dripping slippery ichor wherever it went. The ichor sank into the roads, only to resurface in the rain. And that is why, to this day, San Franciscans lose control of their cars when it rains.
As they walked past Moscone Center, one of them stole a piece of sourdough bread from a sidewalk vendor. The taste was so repellant, it immediately activated its suit’s suicide device, causing it to turn into urine-smelling a yellow mist. And that is why, to this day, the back of Moscone Center smells like urine.
As they walked through Golden Gate Park, one of the last two began to sprout leaves. He ripped the leaves off but they grew more and more quickly until he was engulfed and he turned into a plant. A while later, a man pulled off leaves from this strange weed and smoked them. And that is why, to this day, hundreds of people hang around Golden Gate Park, smoking weed.
Finally, the last alien reached where the device was indicating: a large, round building, filled with wooden horses impaled on poles. The alien walked up to a horse with a long horn; it was a unicorn.
“We have heard your challenge from across space,” the alien said to the carousel unicorn. “A psychic battle to see which of us is the strongest. Winner takes control of the galaxy. Let us begin.”
Before the alien could attack, before it could even begin to marshal its power, it was struck by a powerful psychic force. It tried to shield its mind, but couldn’t begin to defend itself. Within a second, the alien had lost. It exploded with such force that the Loma Prieta fault line was destabilized. And that is why, to this day, there are earthquakes in San Francisco.
After a moment, a small, black insect emerged from a hole in the wooden unicorn’s horn. It was followed by another and another. The cockroaches looked around in the dimming light and wiggled their antennae at each other.
“Well,” one said, “that was easy.”
“Yeah,” another said. “Is it lunchtime?”
The cockroaches wiggled their antennae at a man walking by. He threw his hot dog at a garbage can and missed, reached down to pick it up, then changed his mind. He walked off as the cockroaches swarmed down to eat the food he had left them.
And that is why, to this day, people litter.