SPEELBERGH, CALIFORNIA — For decades, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, or SETI, has scoured space for a sign — any sign — of life somewhere else in the cosmos. Last night, researchers and technicians received just such a communique, but missed it because everyone was too busy watching the final season premiere of “Game of Thrones.”
“I told Billy that we should probably just watch the premiere tomorrow at my place, since we both work the graveyard shift here,” SETI technician Jasper McGee told us. “But Billy swore up and down we could put the premiere on the computer in the corner and just keep an eye on the monitoring software.”
McGee says that his coworker Billy convinced him that taking an hour to watch the premiere of HBO’s runaway hit’s final season “wouldn’t be that big a deal” and that they wouldn’t miss anything.
“Billy says to me that people have been using these machines for a long ass time and they ain’t never heard a blip, bloop, blop, or bleep that meant someone out there was saying ‘Wazzup’ to us,” McGee told us. “He’s never steered me wrong, not since third grade when he convinced me to show Susan Hefflemyer my schmingy, but that’s all water on the bridge now.”
Jasper decided he didn’t want to be one of the only people at SETI who didn’t watch the premiere.
“Everyone all over the world was watching, and tons of people here were for sure. Things are real cliquey around here,” Jasper said, “and if I was the one guy who hadn’t seen it, I’d be left out in the cold. Shunned.”
About fifteen minutes into the premiere, SETI’s various monitoring computers started picking up a faint, but growing signal from the outer reaches of space. Billy and Jasper, however, were far too engrossed in what was on screen to notice. Even as the alarms started popping up on their workstation monitors, McGee says he and Billy were just simply not paying attention to them.
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“If we had been at our desks, we would’ve seen the alerts, and we would have started sending emails to all the higher-ups,” Jasper told us. “But instead, we were in Westeros. At least our hearts and minds and eyes most certainly were.”
The message, sent from 45 million light years away, was encrypted, but with an algorithm that SETI techs were able to analyze and breakdown easily enough.
“They were not stoked that we had missed the alarms, but they were most interested in translating the message,” Jasper reported. “They took our computers into the lab and downloaded everything off of them. I’d say it was about, oh, a two hour process, and the next thing you know, Rod and Jeff come out with a piece of paper, and on it they’d written down what the aliens were trying to tell us.”
As it turns out, Jasper, Billy, and the aliens trying to communicate with them were all wrapped in “Games of Thrones.” The message, beamed across space and time, was quite simple.
“No spoilers. They repeated that about fifteen times,” Jasper told us. “Then, they explained that they weren’t going to be able to actually watch the season premiere for another 45 million light years or so, which means they’re still way back on Season Two. They’re apparently staying spoiler free, and the aliens were worried they’d hear us talking about the premiere.”
SETI says they will reiterate to all their technicians the importance of keeping their eyes on their workstations during their shifts. They will also make sure no one posts any spoilers to the “Game of Thrones” message board on SETI’s internal company website.
“We’re going to respect the aliens’ wishes,” Jasper tells us. “After all, we have no idea if they’re the E.T. kind or the Aliens kind, or what. We spoil something, they scream ‘Ack! Ack!’ at us, and then disintegrate us? No thanks. We’ll keep our GoT chatter off the web, thank you very much.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.
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