Hey, Oumuamua. Whatcha doing?


Oh, no.



“Ah, I’m just fucking with ya.”

Oh, thank God.

“What did you call me?”



It’s Hawaiian for “Scout.”

“Like inĀ To Kill A Mockingbird?”

Sure. But in Hawaiian. One of the big telescopes out there was the first to spot you, so you got a Hawaiian name.

“Is there a way to say that I’m not a fan without seeming racist?”

Eh. It’s a tough climate right now.

“It’s just that I can’t pronounce it.”

Me, neither, but it’s a battle you don’t want to fight.

“What about a different Hawaiian name?”

Oh, that’s good. We could do that. How about Pakalolo?

“I intuitively understand how to say that word. Yes. You may call me Pakalolo. What does it mean?”

You’re named after what you look like.

“Burt Reynolds?”


“Love that Bandit.”

So, uh, Pakalolo: what are you doing in our solar system?

“Same ol’, same ol’. Going that way.”

Which way?


Oh, that way.

“Inertia without friction is a recipe for a long road trip, man. But, you know, there’s gravity. I go through different gravity wells all the time.”

All the time?

“Like, every three hundred million years. One right after another. It’s like, ‘Hey, give an asteroid a break,’ but then you get too close to another star and WHAMMO you’re influenced slightly and gradually by it over millions of years. Fucking exhausting.”

Dude, how old are you?

“I don’t know.”

You don’t know?

“Asteroids don’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

If you say so.

“I’ll tell you this, though: I am old as shit. You know that the stars you can see are the second set that’s been up there, right?”

Yeah. The first round were all too massive and collapsed and seeded the universe with elements.

“Right. That was a fucked-up afternoon.”

You were alive for that?

“Lived through it, you mean.”

What was it like?

“Okay, imagine the night sky. Real clear. You can see every single star. Can you picture it?”

I can.

“Okay, now imagine all the stars exploding.”

Oh, that is scary.

“This is what I’m trying to tell you. Horrible experience.”

So, that would make you around ten billion years old.

“If you say so.”

You must be from an entirely different galaxy than ours. Wow. What have you seen in your travels? Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion?


Death Star?



“Nope. Listen, man, I hate to burst your bubble, but space is boring. That British guy who said space was big? Completely missed the point: space is boring. There is truly nothing to do out here. I’d kill for a magazine.”

Sorry to hear that.

“I mean, the view doesn’t change for a million years at a time. It gets to you.”

Sure. One last thing.


You positive you’re not alien bug-creatures in a disguised spaceship?

“Are you?”

Well played.

“I come in peace. I mean you no harm.”

We’ll see.