I asked him: Who are They, and why are They coming?
“We got it all wrong,” he said from beneath the covers. “All these years, we’ve been playing right into their hands.”
I asked him again: What in the world was he talking about?
That’s when he told me about the army of highly trained bacteria from the planet Germanicus. It was only a matter of time until they began their all-out offensive against the human race. Thurston is the kind of person who is always onto something big.
“They’ve been softening us up for over a century now,” he said, sticking his head out just above the covers. “Appertization, pasteurization, antibiotics; it was all Their idea. Now, the final stage of their insidious plot: hand sanitizer. Once the human race has put enough distance between itself and the germs of this world, once the human body is no longer capable of producing antibodies on its own, that’s when the main assault begins. Before mankind even knows what hit it, the conquest of alien pathogens from planet Germanicus will be complete.”
I asked him: If hand sanitizer is the problem, then why was he soaking himself in it?
“It’s too late to be philosophical now,” said Thurston. “The damage is done. As long as I keep myself wet with the stuff, I’ll survive. I suggest you do likewise.”
I looked in the corner of the room and there were boxes upon boxes of hand sanitizer.
“They’re going to start pulling it from the shelves.” he said. “You’ll see. Any day now, the government—infiltrated by infectious agents from Germanicus itself—is going to initiate a total recall and pull all hand sanitizer off the shelves, the walls, the tables, everywhere. That’s how you’ll know the invasion has begun in earnest.”
I asked him: Why attack at all? What are they after?
“Our water, of course,” he said. “Don’t you know that? The whole galaxy is after our water. It’s the scarcest, most valuable commodity in the entire Universe, and we’ve got oodles of it.”
Before I left, he asked me to toss him another bottle of Purell, the bacteria-fighting, germ-annihilating, alien-pathogen-repelling, refreshing gel. The “bacteria-fighting, germ-annihilating, alien-pathogen-repelling, refreshing gel” was a catchphrase Thurston came up with that, needless to say, the advertising big-wigs over at Sterling Cooper did not find amusing. They did, however, keep the last part of the slogan. Nevertheless, Thurston did in fact have a point about the whole hand sanitizer thing. Antibiotics, too. Unfortunately, he was completely off his rocker.
That was the last time I ever saw Thurston. They carted him off to the loony bin soon after. His neighbor told me he was shouting the whole time how he’s a Cleithrophobe. Cleithrophobia is the fear of being locked up. Who isn’t afraid of being locked up? Like they need a clinical term for that.