Graffiti, crop circles and the cure for cancer

WHERE does graffiti come from?

I need to know. This morning there is a squiggle painted on my gate. It is not unattractive and some people might welcome it on the wall of their lounge room. If you hang it upside down the four-letter word that accompanies looks like a signature.

But hey, I’m a grown up. I’ve heard words like that before. And I’m all for a bit of creative self‑expression.

When I catch the little bastard who did it I’m going to self-express myself on his head with a length of two by two.

Assuming, that is, that we are talking about something human.

I mean, have you ever actually seen anyone spraying graffiti?

I am reminded of crop circles, which are big news in Europe. Overnight, complex patterns appear in wheat fields. They’re made by selectively flattening the crop. Sometimes they’re a 100 metres across and intricate as snowflakes.

The weird thing is no-one ever sees them being created. There are no signs of anyone driving in and they’re too big to be made in one night by one or two people.

The even weirder thing is that lots of people think these creations are the work of organisms with three heads and their brains in their backsides who live several trillion light years away on a planet made of ectoplasm.

Farmers who have lost half a crop don’t march down to them local pub and rip the nose studs from pimply youths who have drunk too much cider.

They take furtive glances at the sky and cross themselves.

My case rests.

I know graffiti like that. Too big and too clever to have been made in one night by a life form that probably can’t even spell graffiti.

My theory is that it’s being lasered on to the side of buildings by higher life forms that are beaming it to us from the far reaches of space.

I can show you how a reasonable interpretation of the one on my gate suggests we have been given the formula for perpetual motion by a superior race that is trying to introduce us to intergalactic space travel.

I can’t explain the four letter word, unless it’s someone’s name.

But they’ve been beaming us these messages for years now and all we do is paint over them. They’re probably just frustrated.

There are worse aspects to consider. Have you ever thought about the areas that get hit hardest by graffiti? Generally they’re the run down ones; the seedy, badly lit areas where you probably wouldn’t want to be on a dark night.

So now we know how they think of us in places that are a trillion light years down the galactic highway: “Hey, let’s cruise on down to that tatty little planet the other side of Sirius and tell them the cure for cancer.”

“Nah… too dumb. Bad neighbourhood.”

“Well yeah, but it’ll brighten the place up a bit.”

“Watch out for the bloke in Townsville. With the gate. I don’t think he understands…”