Updated: 26th September 2017

Has Nasa found aliens? Theyre already here | Chibundu Onuzo

My first alien encounter came at a gathering for the great and the good. And if you look at the state of the planet its clear creatures from outer space are running things

The hacking group Anonymous believes that Nasa is on the verge of announcing proof of alien life. For years, the space agency has been trawling through the universe, probing galaxies and solar systems, sifting through cosmic dust, spending millions if not billions searching for beings that did not originate on planet Earth.

Really, they neednt have bothered. I could have told them about my first alien encounter for free. It happened three years ago at a gala, where the great and good of London were gathered. Towards the end of the evening, a prominent politician gave a speech. He moved the crowd to laughter and cheers with his textbook public-school delivery and his cultivated, dishevelled charm. When he descended from the stage, a swarm of fans surrounded him.

I too drew closer to gawp at the embodiment of power and celebrity. And that was when I saw it. The waxy pallor of his face: a close approximation but not quite accurate simulacrum of human skin. The jerky movements that added comedy on stage but now seemed out of place in the personal conversations he was having. And lastly the eyes: dead and lifeless. The alien inside had fallen asleep and put his body suit onautopilot.

Since then, Ive observed that alien life forms seem to drift towards politics. From Washington to New Delhi to Nairobi, the aliens are on the rise and plotting world domination every night in their secret Twitter language of covfefe. One only has to look at the state of the planet climate change out of control, never-ending wars, refugee crises to agree that extra-terrestrials determined to destroy it must be running things.

And they are getting bolder. The Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, has been missing for over a month on sick leave. Nothing has been heard from him, except an audio clip. Perhaps Anonymous will soon confirm my suspicions that there has been analien abduction.

Granny for hire

People
Last year we had the Danish art of hygge, a lifestyle that had something to do with spending the winter months in cosy indoor spaces, eating and drinking with friends and knitting. Photograph: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Before space exploration and Arthur C Clarke, the word alien just meant foreign. So when you read in the Bible, Be kind to the alien in your midst, the translator meant be nice to migrants, not look out for ET.

Alien people like myself may not be too popular in the UK these days but alien lifestyles are certainly trending. Last year we had the Danish art of hygge, a lifestyle that nobody could pronounce but which had something to do with spending the winter months in cosy indoor spaces, eating and drinking with friends and knitting.

Now, hygge has a Japanese challenger called ikigai, which means a reason for living. Its a bit more complicated than hygge because you need a Venn diagram to work it out, but its supposed to be far more rewarding.

May I suggest a third contender for the lifestyle Olympics: African home training. AHT is a mixture of discipline, respect for elders, strict attention to personal hygiene and even stricter attention to educationalexcellence.

Once on the Tube, I saw two boys chewing up wads of newspaper and spitting them at a carriage full of adults. Not one person said a word, including me. But what I thought was that these young lads needed a good dose of AHT.

African home training is administered from childhood by parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and anyone at least two years older than you. Never fear if you missed out: you can hire a live-in African grandma to set you straight. Mine is going for a reasonable rate.

Pooh-pooh the nappy

Woman
If only my parents had known about elimination communication training a baby to use a toilet from birth. Photograph: Kenneth Saunders

One skill AHT failed to impart to me, however, was early potty training. I wore nappies until I was old enough to read. If only my parents had known about elimination communication training a baby to use a toilet from birth.

A new article has been published on the benefits of going nappy-free. These include an end to nappy rash and a cleaner environment. Its practitioners point out that, in the developing world, babies are potty-trained without nappies. Its a shame my Nigerian parents, born and bred in the developing world, did not get the memo. Good thing I have nieces and nephews to test on.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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