Everyone was seated anxiously around the soundbox to hear how the situation had progressed. The small radio system spurted to life, and with a few minor adjustments, the words soon became clear.
There was a familiar voice at the other end.
“Good Evening, everyone! And welcome to tonight’s episode of Human Observation where our experts study the strange ways of human beings.” The whole room let out a breath that they did not know they were holding. “I’m your host, Silnuth Ixek, and today we will be discussing the humans’ most recent change of behavior. Where we last left off, most humans in North America mysteriously disappeared off the face of the Earth, but upon closer inspection, we found out that they are just barricading themselves in their homes. From what? A monster? From each other? Our experts do not quite have the answer yet, but their behavior has shifted dramatically, leaving even our greatest minds baffled.”
Everyone began to unwind and get more comfortable as hot beverages were passed around.
“Of course, no humans were harmed during these studies, and all crew members remained at a safe, undetectable distance. Even though the humans wouldn’t’ve noticed them anyway,” Silnuth’s voice felt distant, as though that last comment wasn’t supposed to reach the audience.
She perked up, “We started noticing their new behaviorisms in March of Earth year 2020. The main source of education for their offspring no longer accepted any employees or students. This was swiftly followed by the closure of several food sources, entertainment sources, and other commonly visited structures. Although, it seemed that the humans expected this because some went out shopping in preparation for the grand event. They bought unprecedented amounts of food and several loads of white sheet paper. Our scientists predicted that they were preparing for a grand feast in celebration and the unholy amount of white sheet paper was for the aftermath of that feast. This theory proved to be untrue, however. Their calendar showed this to be no holiday worthy of such an occasion, so we all sit back to watch this mystery unfold and attempt to put the pieces together.”
She paused. You could hear the papers gliding across each other as she exchanged her notes.
“Due to their main structures being closed and off-limits, the humans had to find new ways of entertaining themselves.”
“With all the newly acquired food, humans began to create dishes, not out of necessity, but out of boredom. It comes as no surprise that humans would do this, seeing as most of their lives revolve around food. They used their heat box to create bread, pies, and desserts; they call this ‘baking.'”
“Boredom, too much free time, and excessive amounts of food combined into several humans obtaining mass,” Silnuth tried to remain professional but failed charmingly, “perhaps to showcase and flaunt their ability to consume constantly.” A chuckle ran from the studio to the homes of the audience.
“A surprising turn of events was the increase in infestations.” Audiences stopped laughing, and a hush fell over the homes as they leaned in to hear more. “Families all over North America experienced unbelievable canine and feline infestations. Almost all of the animals were still in their very early life; perhaps, all the freshly baked food lured them into the house. It seemed like humans were welcoming of the infestation, even though they had to dispose of the invader’s excrement and share their food supply with it. The young human offspring seemed especially overjoyed to have their home invaded by a mindless ball of fur with legs.”
“The most notable change in behavior was that they began to worship screens more than ever before. Humans have always had a special sacred relationship with their screens, but none more serious than what our experts observed. Now more than ever, humans can spend their entire day worshipping the screen, and it is now socially acceptable behavior that they do. They will place the largest screen they own in a central room so that all can marvel at its brilliance. They have made it more transportable and even wearable. The screens are now a status symbol among humans; the most impressive humans displaying screens on their wrists unnecessarily. At home, they like to place the screens on their lap or a desk to be even closer to the object of devotion. They will spend their time praying to screens asking them for specific things, and the screens will answer their prayers. It seems that the number of items gifted from the screens has a direct relationship with the amount of time devoted to the screen.”
“There are endless possibilities of the items they can receive — from small, interlocking brick systems to musical instruments that they will abandon in a month.”
One of the most common gifts from the screens was more screens,” the entire audience shared a collective eye roll, “specifically, the visual fake world simulations with a specific goal or quest for the human to complete. The humans would take much pleasure and pain from these simulations, often taking hours out of their day to worship their gift to thank the screens. Sometimes, the humans would rise out of their comfort stools in excitement or rage.”
“While the humans do nothing but worship their screens, their physical and mental health decline. Some humans are content with this change while some are disgusted with their new forms; those humans ask the screens for guidance. The screens will direct them to make themselves feel better or send them gifts to help them on their way.”
“The screens have also taken it upon themselves to educate the offspring of their followers. Experts say that this is not surprising, but it is more surprising that their parents of those offspring approve of this behavior. Most humans disapproved of offspring worshipping the screens so early in their life. Perhaps, the screens have persuaded them to be more open-minded.”
“After months of self-isolation, the humans rejoined the world once more, but the most shocking occurrence was their change in attire. The humans disguised themselves when they entered their structures and those who did not were looked down upon. We do not know why. Our most brilliant minds work tirelessly to discover the cause of this wild behavior, but until then, we will all have to watch in amazement as these sad little humans try to get along.”
“As always, thank you for listening. I’m your host Silnuth Ixek, have a great night, everyone.”
There was a small click when Silnuth stopped talking. No one moved. Everyone silently together. All wondering if the episodes will ever come to an end.