Alien calls God ‘evil” at Clow UFO Base’s COVID-19 Memorial service (Fiction)

By Reporter X

During a COVID-19  memorial service at Clow UFO Base, alien atheist activist Ja Locas accused Earth’s religions of promoting evil:

“Some human religious leaders say they must hold crowded services during a pandemic,” said Locas.  “If your God requires risking His followers’ lives for rote rituals of praise, then your God is evil!”

Locas, who is the leader of the Interstellar Alliance for the Advancement of Non-belief, also said that he had a dim view of humanity’s future:

“Your secret societies tell me that humanity is ready to become an interstellar species.  But I look around and see protesters confusing reasonable stay at home policies with genocide.  I see anti-vaccination activists already working to derail mass immunization campaigns.  I hear Melania Trump selling Enceladus cheese from her factory as a cure for COVID-19.  I do not see a species ready for the stars.  I see a species about to be caught in the Great Filter.”

The speech was met with mixed reactions.  Oknak, a representative from the Universal Catholic Church, called for Locas’s execution:

“The real evil people are atheists who question our unquestionable God!”

Rabbi Ruth from the Interstellar Tribes of Israel, clad in a full biohazard suit, offered a different perspective during her speech: 

“Yes, God has unleashed a plague upon the Earth, just as He did to the lands of Pharaoh.  Like he did in Egypt, he will pass over people who leave a mark.  This time, the mark is not the blood of lambs.  It is the mark of science, medicine, and social distancing.  These are gifts from God, and humans who accept them will be passed over!”

Juanita Z. Patterson, the supervisor of the Clow staff members sequestered inside Clow, urged attendees not to focus on religious debates:

“On behalf of the Doomsday Crew, we are saddened by the deaths and suffering caused by the Pandemic.  We are angered by the politicians who cry ‘open the economy’ but really just want to deny poor people unemployment benefits and force sick people to work.  We look outside and see people who are numbed by the numbers:  Over 4000 dead in Illinois; 89,000 nationwide; and over 315,000 globally.  These were not actors.  They were not participants in a hoax.  They were human beings with families and loved ones. They had stories to tell, and now their stories have been truncated.  We are holding this memorial not to debate religion, but to mourn the loss of so many lives.  We may have lost not just so many souls, but the world we knew before we sealed ourselves inside Clow.”

After the speech, Patterson was heard saying that they should have had a teleconference with atheist PZ Myers instead of Locas.

When reached for comment, a receptionist for Claar said he was busy counting to fifty:

“This pandemic is so stressful that counting to ten doesn’t work anymore.”

In the background, a man who sounded like Claar said:

“Dear God.  I found out that Children aren’t immune to the Coronavirus, and some sailors may have been reinfected.  I’m being forced to choose between saving businesses and saving taxpayers—I mean residents.  I don’t know how much more I can take.  Please give me a sign.  Any kind of sign to prove that you’re not giving me the Job treatment.”

In the background, someone yelled: “Murder Hornet!”

After several gunshots, another person yelled:  “Officer down!  Pistols don’t work!  Unlock the shotguns!”

“Now you’re just (expletive deleted) with me,” said Claar. 

Also in the Babbler:

Mayor Claar and sentient coronavirus trade insults
Russian special forces spread anti-vaccination propaganda in Naperville
Edgar County Board denies dumping their COVID-19 patients in Will County
God to smite Bolingbrook on 5/20/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Bolingbrook residents see apparitions of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Fiction)

File photo of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. MacLean Center / CC BY (

Many Bolingbrook residents have encountered ghostlike appearances of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

“It’s was horrifying!” said Liz, who asked that we not use her last name.  “First I saw one of her memes, then I saw her floating outside my window!  I’m never stepping outside again!”

Ellen, who did not say her last name, claims she saw an apparition of Lightfoot as she was leaving to go shopping:

“I opened the garage door and saw her floating in front of my car.  She demanded to know where my mask was.  I said I hate wearing masks and (Mayor Roger Claar) said I wouldn’t be arrested if I didn’t wear one to the store.  I told her it was none of her business because I’m a Bolingbrook resident.  Then her eyes glowed red, and I suddenly started floating in the air.  She said because Chicago and Bolingbrook are in the same recovery region, it was her business to make sure every Bolingbrook resident practiced social distancing. Now I will wear a mask every time leave my house.  I don’t want to see her ghost again!”

Andrew Z. Stiller claims Lightfoot appeared when he was about to post in the Bolingbrook Politics Facebook group:

“She asked me why I was about to share a video.  I said I liked what the video had to say, so I wanted to share it.  She said the video was filled with lies, and posting the video would only put more Bolingbrook residents at risk of infection.  I said I have a First Amendment right to post whatever I want in Bolingbrook Politics.  She pointed at my computer and it shorted out.  Then she said she had a Second Amendment right to protect the residents of the Northeast region.  The weird part is my computer works again, so I can’t sue her.  Chicago politicians are so evil!”

Not all the encounters were described as horrifying.  Paula, who asked that we not use her last name, claims Lightfoot complimented her:

“I was working remotely from home when she appeared.  I was startled, but she said not to be afraid.  She just wanted to thank me for not commuting to Chicago for my job.  She said I was saving lives.  Then she added that even people who don’t die from COVID-19 can suffer long term consequences from the virus.  I thanked her and she disappeared.  Maybe this is a sign that the suburbs and the City of Chicago can work together.  After all, the virus can’t tell the difference between Chicago and Bolingbrook.”

When reached for comment, Lightfoot laughed and said: “Stay home.  Save Lives.  Stop calling me.”

A receptionist for Claar said he was on a conference call and could not be disturbed:

“I guess some residents have moved up from Coronavirus nightmares to Coronavirus hallucinations.”   

In the background, a man who sounded like Claar said: “Governor, maybe you should reconsider your regions.  We’re not the same as Chicago.”

“Exactly,” said a man who sounded like Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico.  “We’re Naperville.  We have a reputation to uphold.  Quarantining with Chicago and Bolingbrook is not part of that reputation.”

“You just had to phrase it that way, didn’t you?”

Also in the Babbler:

Babbler mourns the loss of Krist Angielen Castro Guzman
Bolingbrook to hold zombie drill in July
Mayor Claar defies Trump order to reopen Clow UFO Base
God to smite Bolingbrook on 5/13/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Satire during a pandemic (Non-fiction)

Fake Tweet

Not a real tweet from President Trump.

One of my friends, who is very active in the skeptical movement, recently shared this alleged tweet from President Trump:

“American shops want to open! Hair needs cutting. Demokraps don’t want to bite the bullet but that’s the price we have to pay. Some oldies will have to die. We’re in God’s hands, folks! Liberate America!”

The image she shared made it look like an actual tweet from the President, and it reads like something he would write.  My friend believed it, and while we’ve had our disagreements, her judgment is usually sound when it comes to sharing articles on Facebook.

In this case, however, the tweet wasn’t real.  It came from a blog post on the Laughing in Disbelief blog.  Now there were clues that the article was satire— like the slogan “Liberte, Egalite, Absurdite;” the cartoonish religious figures in the sidebar; and a link to the about page saying that it is a satirical blog.  But to someone casually skimming the post, and the blog in general, it looks real.

Now, as I mentioned, my friend is normally careful about what she shares on her Facebook page, and she has a firm understanding of skepticism.  Yet she didn’t initially see that this post wasn’t real.  Based on the comments to the post, she wasn’t alone.

While the writer might have felt the satire was obvious, the truth is that it’s not always obvious. Most people skim posts and don’t take the time to check all the links in a post.  So it is possible that anyone can miss that an article is satirical and take it literally.

Over the years, I’ve experienced people who thought a Babbler article could be real.  Eight years ago, I wrote about the Lost Tribes of Israel returning to Earth, and a commenter asked if it was real, adding: “Either way, I’m amazed that this is truly happening. Why hasn’t this received more media time, if any?”

Today, the World Health Organization says there’s a “pandemic of misinformation” around the COVID-19 outbreak.  Judging from the posts in the community Facebook groups I follow, I can believe it. Even people, like my friend, can end up unintentionally spreading misinformation.  I don’t fault her for it, as she did acknowledge her mistake, which is a very good thing.

Knowing about this human tendency, whenever I write one of my fictional articles, I have to ask myself if the article has the potential to be believed.  Even when I’ve put the word “fiction” in the title, some will miss that.  I can’t stop everyone from believing a work of fiction, but I do make an effort to minimize the risk.

“Satire” is not an excuse to post anything you want and laugh at anyone who mistakes it for reality.  Writers, myself included, should do their best not to contribute to the misinformation that is already running rampant on the Internet.  I may not always succeed, but I will make the effort.

I hope the author of Laughing in Disbelief will make the effort moving forward as well.

Note:  All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Village of Bolingbrook slashes covert budget (Fiction)

Bolingbrook, IL Mayor Roger Claar

File photo of Bolingbrook Mayor Roger C. Claar. (Image from the Village of Bolingbrook web page.)

Despite disaster relief funds from the Illuminati, the Bolingbrook Village Board approved a drastically reduced covert budget for the fiscal year 2021.

The vote was 5-1 with Trustee Robert Jaskiewicz, a member of the New World Order, objecting to the Illuminati’s aid terms:

“This bailout gives the Illuminati part ownership of Clow UFO Base for at least 100 years.  Even if the residents elect a New World order slate, the Illuminati will still have a stake in Clow.”

“That board could vote to remove the Illuminati’s ownership stake,” replied Mayor Roger Claar.  “And don’t call it a bailout.  Call it a disaster relief grant.”

“Then if the board voted to remove their ownership stake, their relief grant becomes a high-interest loan, and the interest payments alone would bankrupt both our budgets.”

“Not my problem, Dabrowski.”


“Close enough.”

The approved budget furloughs 99 percent of Clow UFO Base’s staff; cuts the Department of Paranormal Affairs’ funding by 50 percent; cuts the Department of Interstellar Affairs by 40 percent; and eliminates village funded pensions for covert employees.  Employees will have the option of signing up for an Illuminati managed pension.  Additionally, all android doubles of the village board members will be placed in storage for at least a year.

“Let’s face it,” said Claar.  “We’re probably going to be doing most of our meetings online for at least a year.  The whole point of having android doubles was to allow my trustees to spend time with their families while the androids voted with me.  Since we’re all at home now, It’s cheaper to put them in storage.”

Trustee Sheldon Watts replied, “I’m going to miss controlling my android, but we have to set a positive example.  This virus is more dangerous than the flu!  I don’t care what the bad Facebook groups say.”

“While they’re being negative,” added Trustee Michael Carpanzano,  “I’m secretly working on a plan to reopen every business in the village— Because we have to stay Bolingbrook strong!”

“You never pass up an opportunity to attach your name to something,” said Jaskiewicz.

Carpanzano held up a rubber carp to his webcam for a few seconds then set it down.

“Even Bob is silent when confronted with my positivity!”

“Wow.  You just carped me again.”

“Silence is bliss!”

Ghost hunting license fees will also be doubled.

“I promised not to raise taxes on residents,” said Claar.  “I didn’t say anything about not raising fees.”

Claar warned that there could be more cuts in the future, especially if the COVID-19 pandemic lasts two years:

“The Interstellar Commonwealth has banned abductions of humans.  That’s one of Clow’s major sources of revenue.  They’ve also banned transporting humans off-world.  That’s another source of income down the drain.  They won’t lift these restrictions until the virus morphs away, or there is a vaccine.  I told them they were hurting our economy.  They said there are more important things in the universe than Earth’s economy.  Amazing, I know.  Anyway, until they change their position, there’s simply no demand for our services.”

“And it’s all Bob’s fault,” said Trustee Mary Basta.

“How?” asked Jaskiewicz.

Basta looked at a sheet of paper on her desk and then said:  “Sorry.  That was last week.  This week the Illuminati wants us to blame the Chinese government while exempting Chinese Americans from the backlash.  They keep changing our orders.”

Before the budget vote, QAnon addressed the village board on behalf of the Illuminati:

“We didn’t create this virus, but we’re grateful for the opportunities for chaos it has presented us.  Last year, I couldn’t even imagine armed protesters storming the Michigan statehouse, or someone holding up an Auschwitz sign in Illinois.  However, I’m sure the Illinois militias will appreciate it if you accept our disaster aid.

“That sounds like a threat,” said Jaskiewicz.

“I’ll give you a clue, Bob.  The best sub sandwich isn’t in a sub.”


“Trust me.”

Also in the Babbler:

Bolingbrook to hold zombie drill in July
Governor bans fishing on Bolingbrook’s emergency command pontoon boat
Chicago ghosts help enforce stay at home order
God to smite Bolingbrook on 5/7/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Help me crash a poll (Non-fiction)

Jim Oberweis, a Republican who is running against IL014 Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, has a poll on his campaign Facebook page regarding the extension of Illinois’ stay at home order.  (Which currently applies to all residents but one.)

Do you agree with Governor Pritzker’s extension of the “Stay-At-Home” order through the end of May? Add your voice – use the comments section to say why you either agree or disagree.

I don’t live in the 14th District, but I’d rather have someone with public health expertise in congress than someone who referred to himself in a fundraising letter as “token white male.”  With Illinois’ peak not expected until mid-May, I don’t think it is wise to end restrictions before then.  Otherwise, Illinois will have the worst of both worlds:  Economic distress and increasing cases.  So maybe we can help Jim see the error of apparently relying on a Facebook poll to inform public health decisions?

We get letters: Pandemic Prose (Fiction)

By Doug Fields
The Reader’s Editor

Since Bolingbrook is locked down, many of our readers have decided to pass the time by writing letters to us.  Unfortunately, many of them aren’t very good.  Residents of the Brook need to try harder if they want to make the Babbler’s letters page.

Folks, that means not downloading templates and trying to pass them off as your own writing — Like this poor attempt at a letter:

To the Editor:

The media is (exaggerating, lying, making up, creating) the (Wuhan Virus, the China Virus, any name besides COVID-19) to (support Democrats, make the President look bad, destroy democracy, defy evolution)!

We need to open up the economy because (it’s more important than the lives of others, I want a haircut, my employees like working at home and saving money)  Democrats suck and should (die, go to another country, surrender to Trump)!

This (Facebook post, YouTube Video, Tweet, non-medical professional) proves I’m right.  If the mainstream media won’t cover it, it must be correct.  What about when the Democrats (make up an incident)?

(Triggering remark).  Fight for your liberty!  

City, State

Let me guess, you got that template from the Typhoid Mary Fan Club?

Speaking of the past, this infamous Bolingbrook resident talks about her family:

To the Editor:

During World War II, my great grandfather, William Spencer, defied the British Government and refused to turn off his outdoor lighting display.  He said the threatened Blitz was no excuse to take away his freedom.  The British people didn’t hide in the underground every time a gas main exploded.  Why should they hide from German bombs?  A bomb is just another type of explosive.

He believed that World War II was a Tory hoax, and the government was really kidnapping urban children and giving them to families living in rural manors.  Dunkirk was just an unfortunate naval accident made to look like a German attack.  France was pretending to be invaded by Germany.  After all, how could an impoverished nation suddenly become a major military power?

William was arrested and, allegedly, was killed during the Battle of Britain.  But his spirit still lives on in the people fighting stay at home orders today.  William didn’t let the fear of a few bombs stop him from lighting up his house.  You shouldn’t let a virus and risk of death and contagion stop you.  Freedom isn’t free!

Charlene Spencer
Bolingbrook, IL

I think someone confused selfishness with liberty.

Moving on, it seems another person in Edgar County has an interest in Bolingbrook:

To the Editor:

The DuPage Township refuses to buy hydroxychloroquine for their residents.  The President and four doctors I’ve read about on the Internet say it works.  That proves it works.  The DuPage Township Trustees must resign!

Johnny Redd
Paris, IL

The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”

Finally, we’ll conclude with this letter:

To the Editor:

Mayor Roger Claar seriously embarrassed himself on BCTV today.  Nearly 2000 people have died from the Coronavirus in Illinois, and Roger was upset because he didn’t like the new rules for opening golf courses.  

I’m sorry, but a pandemic is not the time to be upset over the ban on practice ranges and handshakes.  Nor is it a time to argue rules regulating how many people should be allowed on a pontoon boat.  Where in Bolingbrook can you launch a pontoon boat?

Then he topped it off by implying that most counties in Illinois don’t have any Covid cases.  The fact is only six counties in Illinois claim to not have any reported cases.  

We are in the middle of a pandemic, and we still don’t know all the ways it can kill or harm us.  People who don’t have symptoms can still spread this virus, and can endanger others around them.  Doctors are risking their lives to take care of patients.  Governor Pritzker is leading Illinois through a dark time, using science.  Roger is whining.  Trump is lying and endangering the public.  May I suggest some fine Costco cheese that will compliment our mayor’s whine, and an end to Trump’s daily (rally) briefings?

Becky R. Baker
Bolingbrook, IL

Stay Bolingbrook Strong, and someday we’ll tell our grandchildren that people used to touch each other before the great pandemic!

Also in the Babbler:

Bolingbrook man arrested for painting door with bat blood
Mayor Claar orders Clow UFO Base sealed until a vaccine is available
Naperville Mayor denies trying to bribe COVID-19 patients
God to smite Bolingbrook on 5/1/20

Video: No California doesn’t have ‘herd immunity’ to COVID-19 (Non-fiction)

Rebecca Watson, former co-host of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe and the founder of Skepchick, has a new video debunking the claim that California residents have herd immunity from COVID-19.

You can’t argue against it just because it may support some future conservative talking point, right?

Only, it’s not science. I am blown away by how misleading that article was. Remember the first Stanford researcher the article quoted, Victor Davis Hanson? He had nothing to do with the study. At all. He’s with the conservative think tank the Hoover Institution, while the actual scientists who did the study told Slate “Our research does not suggest that the virus was here that early.” Despite that, the KSBW mentioned Hanson early on, said he was with Stanford which would obviously cause people to assume he was one of the Stanford researchers who performed the study, gave him space for several quotes that are blatantly incorrect, and only later mention the “the study’s co-lead Eran Bendavid,” which by saying co-lead obviously people will assume the other co-lead is Hanson, since he had so much attention for the bulk of the article.

The full transcript is available here.

As she points out, there are problems with the current antibody tests and even so, the results don’t show that enough people have the antibody to provide immunity.  That’s also assuming that having the antibody means a person is immune, which researchers are still trying to determine.

It should also be noted that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker today mentioned the shortcomings of the antibody tests as a reason he’s not relying on them right now to determine policy.

Aliens killed by COVID-19 while protesting stay at home order (Fiction)

By Reporter X

Twenty aliens died from COVID-19 in Palatine while protesting Illinois’ stay at home order. 

An alien poses with a sign that reads, “Give me liberty and death.” The alien was on the way to a protest in Palatine.

The aliens, wearing human suits, started marching down Rand Rd, holding signs and chanting: “Give us Liberty!  Give us death!”  Minutes later, all the aliens started gasping for air and collapsed to the ground.  

Patricia Z. Numan, a Palatine resident, witnessed part of the protest:  “I thought their signs were great, so I slowed down and honked my horn.  One of the marchers staggered off the sidewalk towards me.  I was about to roll down my window when it sprayed this green liquid on my window.  Then it fell over.  The others started coughing too.  That’s when I sped off and called 911.”

According to Numan, she was detained for two hours while a hazmat team cleaned her car.

“I used to trust Fox News and distrust the government,” said Numan.  “After what I saw, I realized I was wrong.  Fox News works for the part of the Government that values businesses more than people. Governor Pritzker values me, even if I’m just a taxpayer to him.  I hate to say it, but I have to trust Pritzker over Fox News if I want to survive.  I’m all in for Illinois!”

When police officers from Palatine’s Special Affairs Division arrived, all the aliens were incapacitated.  Under orders from Village Manager Reid Ottesen, the officers burned the bodies before collecting them.

“We weren’t sure they were all dead,” said an officer, who asked to remain anonymous.  “But the Interstellar Commonwealth imposes fines if you’re responsible for letting an infection leave your planet.  So we couldn’t take any chances.”  The officer added:  “I might have heard one of them say, ‘Freedom.  We don’t want it.  We don’t need it.  Not!’  But that just could have been a death twitch.  I was just glad to finally be able to use our flamethrowers!”

Special Affairs and officials at Rob Sherman UFO Base are investigating the deaths.  While they have few leads, investigators doubt the protest was spontaneous.

“It’s odd that all the signs had the same two fonts,” said a Sherman official who wished to remain anonymous.  “It’s also odd that the same organizing message appeared on 12 different worlds at the same time.  We’re treating this as a case of Astroturf Manslaughter.”

A receptionist for Mayor Jim Schwantz said he wasn’t in Village Hall:

“He’s a part-time mayor, and he knows better than to risk infecting essential village staff.  Thank you for calling the Village of Palatine.  Yes, your request requires a permit.  Yes, you will have to pay a fee.”

In the background, a man who sounded like Schwantz said, “This message is for Mr. Hotel.  We got the Pez Dispensers!  Our blue men and red men love them.  Thank you for saving me from kissing an orange!”

Also in the Babbler:

Clow UFO Base to host Bolingbrook Pride Picnic
Mayor Claar begs Trump not to detonate a nuclear bomb over Bolingbrook
Bolingbrook residents report seeing an apparition of Mayor Lori Lightfoot
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/19/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Alex Gabriel needs our help (Non-fiction)

Alex Gabriel, who used to blog at Freethought Blogs and at the Orbit, has a personal emergency.  Alex does freelance editing and graphic design but now can’t work due to a broken laptop.  He’s set up a GoFundMe page so he can buy a replacement computer:

For the past five years, I’ve been gradually recovering from a crisis that involved becoming homeless, and because I’m disabled and stuck in underpaid work, sudden crises and financial emergencies are something I’m extremely vulnerable to. At the start of this week, my laptop of five years finally died for good after almost a year of declining function, leaving me without a reliable income or way to replace it. The longer I spend without a suitable replacement, the more overdrawn I become, so I’m setting up this crowdfund to help me cover the expense.

Alex has been helping work on my novel for the past seven years. (It will come out someday!)   I highly recommend his work, and I hope you’ll consider helping him get back on his feet.  I realize there will be many such requests now, but if you have the ability at some point, please consider helping him.