ask you about the alien experience, we would like to establish who you
are and where you're from; what do you do, Mr House?"
"I am a quality controller in a leading biscuit factory. It is
my job to, er, um test biscuits for comestibility and I, er, do this
by biting into them, tasting them for texture and flavour, and if the
biscuit is satisfactory, I allow another four million to go by. I haven't
tested this one by the way."
"I think our readers will take that one on trust," we replied.
"So, Mr House, where do you do this biscuit testing; where do you
"Er, the Ipswich area; the environs of Ipswich. It's very quiet;
it nestles in a little valley where we live. We're surrounded by um,
countryside and we, um have a small garage."
"I'm sure our readers will find that fascinating."
"Yes, it's a very fascinating area, Ipswich, because it's where,
the Romans first put down their um — their roman baths were first
put down in Ipswich, you know," continued the Biscuit taster.
"Did they really? Well, fascinating as the history of the Ipswich
area may be, I think our readers would like to hear about your astonishing
experience of being abducted by aliens. Where were you when this happened?"
"I was out, er — with my wife Wendy— who also lives
in the Ipswich area," replied Mr House," helping himself to
another chocolate hob nob.
"Just above the garage we have a little flatlet, and we were out
of an evening — I was out metal detecting."
"Is that a hobby?"
"Yes, I like to, er, I've got this, well, actually I found this
metal detector years ago. I was very lucky because I borrowed a friend's
metal detector and I was out detecting and suddenly I had a strong feeling
that there was something metallic under the ground, and sure enough
I dug away, and lo and behold there was this metal detector; all nice
and as brand new."
"Metal detectors are made of metal aren't they?" we asked.
"They are made of metal and one of the problems with a bad metal
detector is that if it's really poorly made it will start detecting
"You don't say?"
"I do. A friend of mine had a detector which detected itself and
started just curling up and trying to eat the handle."
"But this is a good one?" we asked.
"This is a good one, and we were out in the car, and, er, I got
out of the car and started detecting —"
"And suddenly I saw this strange, glowing object hovering about
one and half feet above the ground."
"It wasn't your cars headlamps, or anything like that, was it?"
"No, no, it was an unearthly object — non-metallic —
otherwise the detector would have, er, detected it, and, er, I felt
strangely calm, but at the same time, horribly terrified. I didn't know
what to do. It just stayed there, glowing eerily. It was just hovering
there and I felt something beckoning at me; a mental beckoning more
than a physical beckoning and I suddenly saw a creature get out of the
orb and begin slowly to suck me into it's orbit — mentally."
suck you?" we asked.
"Mentally suck me into the orbit and I fell into a trance and the
next thing I knew I was elsewhere."
"What did these creatures look like?"
"Well, they're rather like, um otter-like in shape and sort of..blobby.
The one on the right is the one who took me."
"You could tell them apart, could you?" we asked, "we
don't think our readers will be able to."
"Er, em, mentally speaking, yes."
"So how long did you spend on this planet?"
"I was there for approximately four years, or it seemed to be about
four years, but in fact it was only three minutes of our time."
"We see.. Which planet were you on; was it Mars or Venus, or —"
"— Ikea. They were people who arrived millions of years ago
in cardboard boxes and were forced to assemble themselves."
"We see," we replied. "That probably accounts for the
strange shapes you've drawn."
"Well yes, they had no instructions, you see," explained Mr
"Why were they interested in you in particular, or us at all?"
"I think they shared my love of metal but it was mainly because
they have a museum up there devoted to rock and roll.."
"Our rock and roll?" we asked.
"Our rock and roll," repeated Mr House flatly. "The only
rock and roll they've ever heard was Manfred Mann but they were unsure
about the lyrics of one of his hits which was 'there I was a-walking
down the street going doo wa diddy diddy dum diddy—', and
that bit of the lyric was missing; so they only got up to 'doo wa
diddy diddy dum diddy—' and they wanted to know what came
"And were you able to tell them?" we asked.
"No, I didn't know that lyric at all. So they were most dissatisfied
with me. They are dissatisfied with everything, really, up there."
"So how did you communicate with them? Could they speak English?"
"No, they, er, they think they can speak and they communicate through
thought waves; through vibrations, timeless aeon vibrations."
"And you could pick this up, could you?"
"I could tell that they didn't like what they'd got," replied
Mr House sheepishly.
"What's the atmosphere like on the planet?" we asked.
"Well, it's, er, very thin; a very thin atmosphere. If I hadn't
had some air in my jumper and my socks with me I would probably have
been stifled because it's just what I imagine being in Mexico City is
"So what do they do for air or for food; do they eat?" we
"They, er..no. They've been on a diet for two million years because
they, er, don't eat. They have no stomachs or mouths; they just have,
er — well I showed you the drawing — they just have, er,
the shape of an otter and two slit eyes. It's a good thing they don't
eat because there's really no where for them to put the food."
"Has this experience changed you in any way?"
"Yes..it's.. An experience like that — in fact that experience
— made me realise just how insignificant they were."
"Thank you, Mr House. I'm sure our readers can empathise with that."
"Can I tell you about my small garage now?"
We are indebted to the late Mr Peter
Cook for this story, which is based on one of the last television
interviews he gave in 1993 on the 'Clive Anderson Talks Back'
show on British Television. If any reader knows who owns the copyright
of the script upon which our version is based please contact us and
we will gladly acknowledge it.