It wasn’t the odd request at midnight that alerted Wang to the situation. Nor was it the going out in a hitherto unseen white van. It wasn’t the boss wearing all black (including a beanie) or handing Wang a pair of gloves to wear (in peak summer, no less). And it wasn’t even when the boss struggled with the back gate in the way a stranger fumbles with the unfamiliar.
The bureaucracy of ‘responsible service of alcohol’ was a perplexing manifestation of government intervention and hypocrisy that Wang simple couldn’t process effectively.
Wang stood admiring his work. The beer was good enough to use in an advertising campaign. The froth was thick yet sat mostly atop the glass. The condensation had only just begun to form as the amber fluid sparkled in the bar’s lighting.
He took a long drink of his dark beverage and exhaled with satisfaction. The ice clinked against the now half-emptied glass as it settled on the counter. The smell of cigarette smoke wafted over the bar into Wang’s face. The curious behaviour of inhaling and ingesting poisons was a, what was the expression he’d just heard? ‘A hard nut to crack’.
It began to occur to Wang, that the life of an Extra Terrestrial sent to investigate human behaviour could be a difficult one. Especially so if the mission was based in a regional town in Australia