I, Effing Feline, wish I was a sloth. (Hey, you in the back row — I heard that crack about me sleeping all day like a lazy sloth! You’ll regret that!)
The sloths I refer to aren’t the large, slow-moving beasts from South America, but the large, slow-moving creatures from planet Jones. They’re most everything I aspire to, and I’ll tell you why after this word from our sponsor, TSGA (pronounced tuh sugga), aka The Solid Gold Aliens.
Naive shepherd Tresky Buffrum meets beautiful Ebbril and marries her, but she takes his money and abandons him at The Happy Louse Inn. He defies taboo and common sense by sitting with a sloth, the mute natives of the planet. NOBODY approaches a sloth. Except Tresky
Last week, we saw Ebbril’s unapologetic return. There was a hint of why she married him (“The moment we married, your money became mine, legally and morally”), but she informs him she’s leaving again — already. Tresky assumes he’s going with her.
“I’m going to the Midas Crater; you can come or not, as you wish.”
“The place where the golden Sloths were discovered? But it’s so far, and dangerous, too.”
When she didn’t react, he reached out defiantly and placed his hand on the Sloth’s fingers. And when he leaned back and rested his cheek against the Sloth’s head, Ebbril’s eyes went wide. Market Square erupted in gasps and cheers and coins flew — half-silvers and one heavy copper pelted his head and littered his trousers, though most fell to the ground.
Ebbril claimed to be ethical, and he had to believe her because she was his wife, but her moral code mystified him. By his code, however, letting his bride take a long, treacherous journey alone would be wrong.
“I wanted to see the wide world, so I’ll go with you.” He waved his hand grandly, as though the idea had been his all along; “To the Midas Crater!”
Effing Feline here again. Here’s why I admire these sloths:
- They’re sentient and very intelligent, as shown by the fact that they do little work. That’s not laziness, that’s smarts!
- They’re devious. People who mess with them mysteriously vanish in the middle of the night. Yeah!
- They’re tough. Nobody messes with a Sloth. Nobody!
- They read people’s minds. If you’ve ever wondered why your cat stares at you, here’s your answer!
The Solid Gold Aliens
For 500 years, the aliens were no threat. But they were just waiting . . .
All Tresky Buffrum wants is a taste of adventure before resigning himself to the life of a shepherd. What he gets instead is a mysterious wife, fiercely chaste, who drags him to the Midas Crater, where hundreds of the planet’s intelligent natives have been transformed into gold.
Everyone on the caravan has an ulterior motive — except Tresky, who just wants to make love to his wife. Spies are everywhere. An Offworlder hero runs mad and murders people. A grim policewoman becomes attracted to Tresky while struggling to capture the psychotic sniper.
Observing this bizarre trek across the desert is an old, mute, lion-like alien. After befriending Tresky despite stern taboos, Virtrillica seeks a reason for her people to spare humans from a blast of extinction. Can the two of them save humankind and defeat the interplanetary conspirators who seek to destroy the Midas Crater and its sinister yet liberating secret?