Sorry to keep you waiting.
You probably want to know what's happening with our extraterrestrial neighbors. I try to give quarterly reports on the news from outer space.
Strangely, this reports usually coincide with my inability to come up with anything else to write about. I have no explanation for this phenomenon.
And if a person lacks an explanation for something, it is always best to turn space aliens.
Many of you wonder why aliens bother to visit our planet. (The rest of you have jobs.)
Well, wonder no more. According to that fount of all wisdom, the Weekly World News, space aliens are here for our toothpaste.
Dr. Alan Prestwood (a real-sounding but completely fake British dentist) believes aliens lag behind the human race in terms of dental hygiene.
And when a British guy thinks you lag behind in dental hygiene, you know you have problems.
Prestwood is a pioneer in the ridiculous science know as "exo-odontology." Why can't aliens -- capable of interstellar space travel -- invent a toothpaste with a fresh, minty taste?
Simple. Dentistry is not rocket science. And vice versa.
"By the eighth century A.D., the Chinese already had gunpowder and rockets, yet for centuries to come they used chopsticks to eat because they hadn't invented the simple fork," Prestwood said.
What chopsticks have to do with dental hygiene, of course, is absolutely nothing. But it does help us Western idiots feel good about our forks.
Prestwood believes aliens abduct people and steal toothpaste to learn more about earthy dental hygiene. Helpful hint: They might learn more if they quit abducting people from rural trailer parks in Alabama.
"It's taken decades because their physiology is so different," Prestwood said.
Plus, the fact that aliens have no teeth could be a problem. Think of all the bulb-headed aliens you see on television. They never have any teeth.
"That only serves to prove my point," Prestwood said.
Some aliens have teeth. The guys in the movie "Aliens" had teeth. But dental hygiene in their case is a lost cause. They should stick to eating Sigourney Weaver.
Prestwood points to evidence from the now-famous (if fictional) crash of a UFO in Roswell, N.M. Fake autopsy photos clearly show dead aliens with blackened gumlines.
This could also be explained by the aliens being dead and/or made of paper mache.
And consider this eerie fact. When alien abductees are returned to Earth, their toothpaste is missing. So is their Visa card. A month later, they get a $10,000 bill from the Sharper Image.
When aliens lose interest in our teeth, they may turn their attention to our hair.
According to the Weekly World News, aliens have been carving a disturbing number of "crop circles" on the tops of people's heads.
You ask me, even one would be disturbing enough.
Investigators see a possible link between "cranial crop circles" and similar markings left on the White House lawn.
(I mean, aside from the fact that they're both fake.)
Aliens leave the elaborate designs while the victims are asleep.
Gee, ya think?
How many people would sit still if an alien barber swooped out of the sky and started doodling on their heads?
Victims say they wake from "an unusually restful sleep" to find a complex array of circles and lines shaved into their heads.
The fact that most of these victims belong to fraternities at the University of Oregon is completely coincidental.
"The cranial patterns are too intricate for the perpetrator of a hoax to have fashioned them without waking the recipients in the process," says Dr. Leonard Schlemiel, head of the largely hypothetical Alien Research Center in New Mexico.
"We've gathered over 200 reports of cranial crop circles from 12 different countries, which appear to rule out a hoax."
Aliens must be involved. Or worse...teenagers.
A Portland waitress found her red hair turned into a "mind-bending" matrix of complex designs. I sympathize. I bet she and my daughter went to the same salon on Hawthorne.
When they are done styling people's hair and stealing toothpaste, how do aliens like to relax?
With a nice, juicy steak!
Everyone knows aliens mutilate cattle. Now we know why, thanks again to the Weekly World News. Aliens love steaks, hamburgers and down-home backyard barbecue!
"They took my cows right off my farm," outraged farmer Clem Caruthers fumed. "I woke up one night, and saw the bright lights."
The lights weren't from a spaceship, but from a barbecue.
"There must have been a dozen of them, and when they saw me coming, they rushed into a huge saucerlike thing and shot into space like a bullet," said Caruthers.
"They left behind some of the best-tasting steaks I ever ate. They've got some kind of alien barbecue sauce that's out of this world. I wish I could get more of it."
To sum up, aliens have bad breath and rotten teeth. They do weird things with hair. And they eat entirely too much meat.
I think I saw them at the Portland Saturday Market.