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|When I put up the sign at my shop, I had no idea it would cause a galaxy-wide political incident. I was just trying to avoid wasting my time and not frustrate the aliens from Gloxzinc. I literally did not know how to repair their spacecraft. Ever try to read an owner’s manual written in a language from another planet? My screwdrivers and wrenches do not fit their screws and bolts. My gauges do not read Gloxzian instruments.
Turns out my sign got used as a political football on Gloxzinc. Half of the Gloxzites wanted to interact and trade with Earth. The other half were terrified of us and wanted nothing to do with humans. They’d seen our TV shows and read our history books.
So the faction who didn’t like us made up a story. They claimed one of them showed up at my shop and I chased him off with a shotgun. Nothing like that ever happened. I had been polite to the alien. I just said no when the odd looking creature asked if I would work on his spaceship.
Next thing I know, all sorts of people wearing suits are scouring my property and interviewing me. I answered ridiculous questions over and over. Same thing with my staff. It was a sideshow. We got zero work done the entire time they were here.
Then the head guy shook my hand, thanked me, and said, “We’re done.” They left with no explanation. I found out later. Interplanetary diplomacy and the prospect of profits to be made had won out. The so-called incident at my shop had been forgotten.
Forgotten by just about everyone on both planets, but not me. The incident changed my life. When an Gloxzite named Saizrik-Chesenye-Tseitzen showed up at my shop. He wanted to apply for a job. He said he could fix any spacecraft from his neck of the galaxy, and I could call him Saiz.
He had his own tools. And if I’d let him build a cocoon in a corner of the shop, he’d work for half what I pay my human mechanics. He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. The next day, I was in the alien spacecraft repair business. I took down the sign and put up a new one: We Repair All Spacecraft!
Did I mention that the aliens have four arms? They are taller than humans and very skinny. And as pale as white paint.
It was obvious from the start. Saiz had told the truth. He is a first-rate mechanic. And with four long, flexible arms, he can work faster than any human.
My business grew quickly. I bought out the arts and crafts store next to the shop and expanded. I offered Saiz a raise. He was responsible for my increased profits and deserved it. He told me money didn’t matter to him. That was when the real reason he wanted to work for me came out.
I pay the bills by repairing spacecraft and modern land-based vehicles. But if I had my druthers, I’d spend my time working on American muscle cars from the 1960s and 70s. Not many people are interested in one hundred year old automobiles. I am. So is Saiz. Turns out he is a freak for Plymouth Roadrunners and Dodge Chargers.
And don’t get him started about the sky blue 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle SS I keep parked in front of the shop. He said he would work an entire year for no pay if I would let him have the Chevelle. I’m still thinking about it.
I close the shop at noon on Saturdays. When it’s nice outside, my automobile club meets in the parking lot. We show off our cars, and lie to each other about torque, horsepower, and how much money we’ve spent.
The first meeting Saiz attended we had an embarrassing moment. I turned my back, and the next thing I know, he is underneath Freddie Smith’s 1967 Pontiac GTO, adjusting the suspension. He didn’t realize you had to have permission. Freddie was kind of mad at first. Now he won’t let anyone but Saiz work on the car.
It’s not always easy, having a Gloxzite living in a cocoon in your shop. Like yesterday, when he came to me looking for advice. He has a crush on Jennelle, a waitress at the Waffle House down the street. He wants to ask her out, and was expecting me to be able to tell him what to do.
I told him, “Dang it Saiz, what makes you think I understand women? I wouldn’t be able to explain them to another human. Much less some four-armed guy from the other side of the galaxy.”
I could tell by the way he looked at me with his third eye, he didn’t believe me.