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Two Aliens Review Bull Run Coffee House

Report by Neftarious,

Boopn and I will visit Earth, a mostly blue and green and grey and boring planet. Tasked, as we are, to find staging points for an invasion, we are forced to roam into various shops. We have chosen Minnesota, for some reason, as the slightly cold destination for Oddn’s glorious takeover of this new planet. Why are we here? why do we care about Earth? We don’t! Well, we do care about one thing… One glorious thing humans have which we Oddn cherish beyond anything else we have found in our galactic, far-reaching quests into the mysteries of limitless space: coffee.

We desire secrecy, and are looking for the the most un-loved coffee shop in Minnesota. If no Earthling loves it, it will be unnoticed when we invade.

Use Front

I shuddered with what you—no, we, the Great Oddn—call Conquerer’s Foretaste as Boopn and I gazed at Bull Run’s minusculity. Not many humans, I thought, would notice if we wore their coffee slaves’ skin, hair, and extra eye as disguises and took over this tiny, pathetic shop.

A human customer exited Bull Run just as my data beam exploded into light ten times brighter than this planet’s brightest day. Do not worry. We explained ourselves to the human who was exiting: “Camera-Time!” Boopn said, raising his arms to accentuate the presumed happiness of the situation. The human stumbled, holding his eyes in Minnesota-land’s symbol of “hello.”

We entered the shop—leaving the human to squirm on the ground in his joy—and, oohhh, how wonderfully small the inside was too. Humans were packed like Dubee Seeds in a tight, tight pod with two or three strangers sitting together at a single table, and more simply standing around. But why would they mingle together? Were they family? Perhaps… Or, perhaps this is yet another display of what Boopn refers to as humans’ “affection for strangers” (blegh!)

A smell permeated the air like noxious gas. A… a delicious smell, I am ashamed to admit, of coffee. An unforgivable mission blunder from my mostly useless partner, Boopn, occurred, then, when the smell reached us.

I may later write a short entry on the horrid power this human coffee drink has over us, the Mighty Oddn. It is distracting to see the robot fish (the ones which clean inside our transparent bodies) fight battles over the swallowed coffee-liquid. Quite distracting. We Oddn are no better, of course. Hence, my partner’s reaction.

I lunged after Boopn with my human claw hand as he danced and pranced his way to the front counter after saying he smelled “coffee rainbows.” I hissed; my voice became higher than intended. “‘Coffee rainbows’ not only do not exist, but could not be smelled if they did!” To no avail. The exquisite smell drew Boopn to its alluring embrace like an Oddn droplet to his family puddle.

“Hey Dude,” the human addressed me after I made my normally-paced way to the counter. “Dude” is not my human code name, of course. Today I am “Darth Vader,” a name with many results on Earth’s electronic communication system. So it is, rest assured, a good one. I bit back a scathing retort at this Earthling’s too-friendly attitude. Boopn ordered “the coffee that smells of colorful dreams,” and the coffee slave responded with a surprisingly hearty laugh to him, then turned and showed me his sharp teeth. Many of them. Too many. Having no bones myself, this terrifying experience led me to order a latte and turn to address the rest of the shop as quickly as possible.

While ordering, I was nervous, and not just from the Earthling’s animal-like incisors. If the delicious-smelling coffee turned out to be too good, it would drive more humans here. A fact which would render Bull Run “not good for invasion”… I must find more problems with Bull Run, I thought. The overly-casual barista was dampening my hopes as well (because the humans were not cursing his name in affronted anguish, as I had expected). Boopn, though, presented me with some happy data.

“There’s nowhere to sit, Mr. Darth,” He pipped to me, and I turned.

He was right. All the tables were occupied. There was nowhere to sit. Oh, happy, happy news! This would surely drive business away, and make Bull Run a suitable invasion site in Uptown-land. Would Earthlings bother to frequent a shop where they are not able to rest their spindly leg bones? No. Of course not.

Then, however, something happened I shudder to report. Yes, there were, indeed, no places to sit in this art-encrusted, wild-music-blasting garage, but the humans here were…different. Different, even from the normal patronage we’ve researched before in Uptown-land.  Here, a group of Earthings, who were obviously not family, were sitting together laughing, talking, and showing affection for each other (for non-family members! I hope this behavior will not become a common human trait), and there was a general feeling of—here is the unique part—affection for strangers to a point I have never seen. Bull Run’s Earthlings all seemed like…family. Scandalously comfortable with one another, they conversed and fritted away their time like Spring flowers unaware Fall is coming soon…soon.

But I digress. All around Boopn and I this feeling of familiarity, of affection—like we were all swimming in our own family puddles back on Oddn—reminded me of videos I watched on chemical warfare. It infected the air around us like poisonous gas. I fought the urge to run. To leave this shop as fast as my two skinny limbs would scuttle. But an Earthling female asked Boopn if we would like to share her table … … Oddn do not show affection for strangers! I nearly lost the physical consistency I was carefully maintaining.

Though, to avoid a scene, we accepted and sat while she stood to use the humans’ mysterious room of waste management. And there we were—entrenched. Breathing in the noxious (and hopefully not contagious) air of friendliness with an interloper whose hair Boopn tried to touch. I grabbed his arm as she passed.

After a brief moment of panic, I, to avoid a strange feeling coming over me, gathered my fleeing wits. Determined to clear my thoughts, I laid out Bull Run’s negative aspects in organized, usable simplicity. I intoned its tiny size to Boopn; its packed tables, its cold floor, and its music which was not part of any popular database I recognized. It was too far from the city, I urged, and does not have the normally large amount of sugary bread’s and meat-between-bread’s humans so love. Few humans would notice, I finished, if this place was invaded. I must have looked somewhat mad, though, for the tiny Oddn’s human lips quivered like a droplet fresh from the egg sac. While saying all this—in a restrained quiet because the tables were so close private conversation was impossible—I felt the power of my argument begin to wash over us, and I prepared for agreement.

Boopn listened and then spoke. “They seem nice here, and everyone is friendly, like a big puddle family. Won’t…won’t that mean we shouldn’t invade Bull Run, cause it’s like a big family where everyone enjoys coming back again and again?”

I did not know what to say to this. I was speechless and considered his words, looking around. A few more customers came in and were greeted by name, with much showing of teeth. True, Bull Run was small and cramped; its music and adornments seemed to be chosen by those not in charge of decorating the rest of the planet. But I saw that humans would come to this “home” again and again because all who entered were treated, ridiculously, as family—with kindness and familiarity. Even us.

Then I sampled Boopn’s coffee, which was delicious, and the robot fish inside me staged a rather ruckus battle in competition for it. I sighed. If, for nothing else, many humans would come to Bull Run for the coffee alone.

To conclude my mission log for Bull Run Coffee Shop, I advise we do not invade.

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Two Aliens Review Spyhouse Coffee (on Nicollet)

“We are here!” Boopn waves expansively, “at the very first Spyhouse Coffee House…house of ALL the Spyhouses!”

“There are just three! We would do better to visit the first Starbucks.”

Boopn looks astonished at Neftarious.

“We will travel to Seattle!? BoopBeBooop! I am happier now than a few brief Earth seconds ago.”

“No! I mean… Never mind, fool!”

USE Outside

They enter. The interior is large, well lit, with the baristas stationed in an island coffee bar in the center of the room. Surrounding them, an ocean of hip youngsters chat away and work on laptops.

“Ahhh! The smell of the Mac laptops fills my senses with electric happiness…” Boopn breaths in deep, eyes wide with pleasure.

“Indeed.” Neftarious looks nervous at the ocean of humming life around him, “This coffee house seems to be owned by the late Steve Jobs’ Macintosh Company.”

Neftarious looks over at Boopn’s eyes, which have begun shaking; Boopn bursts into tears.

“What!? Stop your emotion! Stop! You are re-affirming my opinion of you!”

“I…” inhumanly-large and green tears bubble from Boopn’s hidden, alien eyes and he, looking at the laptops, whispers in a tiny voice, “I want to join their club… their club of happiness…”

Neftarious rubs his human-mask temple vigorously, and distracts himself with his surroundings. He takes out a notepad and talks as he writes. “Landing here would offer fabulous outlet accessibility…as long as we don’t sit at the bar…”

Boopn, no longer crying, is still gaping at the customers, and begins thinking of new ways to fit in and make friends. “We should have adorned ourselves with tattoos, maybe.” Boopn points at a girl. “The side of her head is shaved, and she is surrounded by friends…” Boopn sighs longingly, “FRIENDS, Neftarious!”

Neftarious is not paying attention.

“I will choose our disguises next time.” Boopn adjusts his top hat, then looks down at his attire with skepticism. They are both wearing horseback riding outfits from the 18th century. “I do not believe our clothing is even from the correct time period.” He says as he compares his riding cape with other customers’ attire.

Neftarious ignores him, and takes a step back to look at the menu hanging above. A slimy tentacle worms out of his human-disguise riding cloak and adds black-ops’ night vision goggles to his eyes.

They both take a second to read, Neftarious removes his goggles, and they approach the counter.

“What can I get for ya?” The barista taps the counter playfully and smiles.

Boopn’s eyes widen in response to the barista. “I am charmed by this barista’s charisma,” Boopn whispers, “Operation ‘make this man my friend’ begins now.”

Neftarious smacks his forehead—Boopn had whispered in a voice easily heard—and the barista was now giving them a look that questioned whether he was making a joke.

Neftarious quickly orders. “I will order your delicious Seasonal Cabin Fever, sir gentleman.”

There was a pause; the barista glances briefly at Boopn. “Ahh… is this together?”

“No, I wish to talk with you alone, human coffee man.” Boopn bleeps.

There is another awkward pause, to which Boopn adds “Because I want to make you my friend.”

This also does not seem to help; Neftarious intercedes.

“Forgive my Earthling companion, he is a not from your land, but from the distant land of… …” he thinks quickly. “Norway. They are different.”

Boopn follows along “Yes. I am from Norway. Hot… hot Norway… My home.”

Neftarious sighs, pays, and slinks off to find a booth.

The barista smiles and looks incredulous as Boopn approaches the counter.

“What can I get for yah?”

USE back

USE my spot 2

A minute later, Boopn sits at a two person table with Neftarious—a line of trendy art hangs above their humanly-disguised figures—and large, silent tears fall down Boopn’s face and into his steaming mug of hot coffee.

“That man did not want to be my friend.” He meeps under his breath to Neftarious.

“I would not want to be your friend either, you lack intelligence. Indeed, you seem to contain a bottomless cache of stupidity, deeper than the deepest caves in the galaxy; more obvious than the sun on a clear, very sunny day. I am often amazed.”

Boopn silently continues crying even harder then, and Neftarious continues talking about the coffee shop.

“Excellent space. Excellent! It is large and packed with humans—the perfect place for a massive invasion to blend in. Neftarious writes furiously in his pad.”

“But the barista’s—” Boopn chimes in.

“They would barely notice us! It is perfect! Do you not see?! You have unwittingly uncovered another valuable reason for us to invade here.”

Boopn’s human eyebrows raise.

“And the lighting…AMAZING! I have hardly seen better in this cursed city of Minneapolis” Neftarious spits out the name in disgust.

“I like these humans.” Boopn bleeps. “They are too cold to be mean.”

“And my Seasonal Cabin Fever is Excellent.” Neftarious pauses, making itsy bitsy smacks with his lips between drinks “…The drink has been made to the satisfaction of my taste…and my purse feels only slightly bereft of the extra coins to buy it.”

“But what of the lack of electricity at the counter…” Neftarious is talking with himself.

Boopn isn’t listening; talking to himself: “I should have worn some shade of grey, maybe” His eyes linger around the room’s art, longingly back at the barista counter, and then at the clientele.

“The music isn’t too loud.” Neftarious comments.

“My coffee is over-steeped…and it was TWO DOLLARS!! Theft!” Boopn comments, but Neftarious counters.

“You pay also for the atmosphere, the baristas, and MAGNIFICENT space!”

“But Starbucks’ black coffee is cheaper and better!”

“But…look around the room, Boopn… Do you not feel…cooler? There is something…” He adds at a bare whisper… “like a magic hip-ness,’ a ‘belongingy…ness.’ ” Neftarious frowns at his own poor grammar but continues looking at Boopn because his point is still being made.

Boopn’s eyes widen, and he, squinting, peers around the room at the hustling, bustling, attractive and happily conversing young humans.

Then, in a whisper, Boopn realizes “I am cooler.” His eyes erupt in a happy gleam.

“Yes…” Neftarious gazes at Boopn in cold appraisal and reluctant disbelief… “you ARE.”