I love the idea of aliens. I love the idea of Area 51 even more. (In fact, the Hell’s Belle’s Blood Ops base is at Area 51. The aliens are just a cover story to hide the paranormal entities.)
I love that the Nevada airport is filled with alien keychains and giant blow up alien heads. I even loved that 90s teen soap Roswell!
So, yes, I love aliens. And there’s a book series for that!
Escape from Area 51 is the third book in The X+Y Files series by Wayne A.D. Kerr. This middle grade adventure is billed as X-Files for kids, with characters Xander and Yzzie the kid-friendly version of Mulder and Scully.
And I have an excerpt!
But let's start with the description.
A trip to the top secret military testing base, commonly known as Area 51, was a dream come true for UFO obsessed Xander Bookman - until a strange voice invaded his thoughts. Could the voice really be coming from a joke telling alien, named I-pod, who desperately needs help to escape from the most secure site on the planet?And now, for all you knock-knock joke lovers, meet Escape from Area 51!
Of the many who tried, only one man had ever successfully breached the heavily guarded facility. A brilliant Soviet spy managed to the impossible, but he never made it home. One got in; zero got out.
Join Xander and Yzzie on their most daring adventure yet.
“I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be human,” I-pod said. “All your emotions, especially love and hate - these concepts are very confusing to my kind. For several years, as I scanned those minds that I could get into, I believed that emotions distracted humans from reaching their potential. So much time and effort is spent on pair bonding, finding someone to love, seemed so inefficient to me. But then something strange happened. Every morning one of the guards would come to work and tell everyone that he came into contact with, what he called the joke of the day. I was amazed at how much joy they got from this. They’d laugh and so would he each and every time he told it. But to me they were just words strung together. He told a hundred dumb blonde jokes and stories about people or animals that walked into a bar, but I just didn’t understand the humor, until one morning.”
“He repeated a knock knock joke, that his son had learned in school the day before.”
‘I like knock knock jokes…’
“Here’s the joke that taught me the meaning of funny,” I-pod said. “Knock knock..”
‘Who’s there?’ Xander responded.
“Bless you. I’ll come back when you’re feeling better,” I-pod said.
‘Good one,’ Xander chuckled. ‘A bit of a groaner, but funny.’
“I know,” I-pod told him, “but it awoke a part of my brain that I didn’t know was there. At first, like all the other jokes I didn’t get it. Then a few days later, one of the other guards sneezed, and it clicked. Atch who, achew, Atch who, achew repeated over and over in my head. I laughed for the first time. The rest of that day I replayed every joke he’d told in my mind. That was one of the most enjoyable days of my life. Once I understood humor, the other emotions began to make sense to me.”
‘I sometimes mess up the punch line when I tell a joke,’ Xander admitted.
“I know 4,091 jokes,” I-pod said, “including over a hundred ‘why did the chicken cross the road’ jokes.”
‘To get to the other side…’ Xander couldn’t help but think of old the punch line.
“’Egg’xactly,” I-pod responded. “But, do you know why the duck crossed the road?”
‘I don’t know. Why did the duck cross the road?’
“Because it was the chicken’s day off,” I-pod laughed.
‘Chicken’s day off. I get it.’
“Why did the turtle cross the road?”
‘I don’t know,’ Xander said. ‘Was he racing the chicken or a rabbit, maybe?’
“Good guess, but no cigar. The turtle crossed the road to get to the shell station,” I-pod laughed again.
Xander giggled out loud. ‘I know one you may not have heard. Do you know why the one-armed man crossed the road?’
“No, why did the one-armed man cross the road?”
‘To get to the second-hand shop.’
“Second-hand shop,” I-pod repeated. “To get a second hand!”
I-pod’s laughter rang through Xander’s mind.
“Thank you Xander, now I know 4,092 jokes,” I-pod told him.