Copyright 2011, Stephen Wytrysowski
Published by Whiskey Creek Press LLC

Reviews For HELP WANTED HUMAN: NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY by Stephen Wytrysowski

“Stephen Wytrysowski has a relaxing, easy style and mixes humor very well. He certainly has a mastery of his writing tools. This is an entertaining book, if you like twisted symbolism, and worth reading. Stephen should definitely consider writing another book, but perhaps something more serious.” Readersfavorite.com


“ Cynthia Echterling’s first novel, Help Wanted, Human: No Experience Necessary, a science-fiction exploration of the complexities of inter- and even intrapersonal (nevermind interspecies) communication, with overtones of Zen surreality, is served up as the autobiography of one Stephen Wytrysowski. Alien speech-recognition software preserves the dialect of Hammond, Indiana, as well as the stylistic idiosyncracies of Mr. Wytrysowski. Help Wanted, Human is an odd, brave book and, like so many odd, brave books, a hard one to categorize. If you’ve read them, it might remind you of the surrealist novels (if we’ve decided to call them that) of Richard Brautigan. Or maybe Kurt Vonnegut. Someone else has already compared it to Huckleberry Finn, and I second the notion.

It’s an odd, brave book, I said, but a breeze of a read. Wytrysowski’s as disarming as he is discerning, and the trouble he has with big concepts is as reassuring as the covers of those Total Moron’s Guides to Just About Everything. Humor is a tricky thing to pull off in a novel, but Echterling manages to coax from us, if not outright laughter, an occasional smile of recognition that, yes, in fact, this is how we humans would behave in front of intergalactic company.”
~ Ien Nivens, The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog


Sample Chapter For HELP WANTED HUMAN: NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY by Stephen Wytrysowski

ENG-NAMSTAN/ROMA/ARA

Sta.127/Opr.127

10-17-20:37 EST

Namcol/namcol-autodict.

Subj: Private Journal — Stephen Wytrysowski

Text:

Uh, how does this thing work? Wait a... Oh, I don’t believe this! The computer is typin’ everything I say. Aw man! It even mispronounces stuff! I’m sittin’ here watchin’...watching the computer write down everything ev-er-y-thing I’m sayin’. Sayin’g! Stop It! Computer, stop! Halt! Quit! I can’t do this! They kin fire me if they want! This is just too weird!

End Entry



Chapter 2

ENG-NAMSTAN/ROMA/ARA

Sta.127/Opr.127

10-18-21:28 EST

Namcol/namcol-autodict

Subj: Private Journal — Stephen Wytrysowski

Text

I just looked at what I said, uh, wrote yesterday. I sure do come across like some kinda dork! Course I was just messin’ around. We’ve been ordered to keep journals in case people might wanna know what it was like makin’ contact an all. And we’re supposed to be ourselves when we write. They got scientists and jounalist to write official papers. They want us to be like the human interest side. Course when they see this, it might make ’em change their minds. I can’t believe anybody’d wanna read something I recorded on a computer. I guess I should take it serious because it is historical. I have a hard time believin’ I’m involved in anything well, that’s a major turnin’ point in human history. I can’t hardly wrap my brain around that, but I’m tryin’.

I guess I should start with introducin’ myself and tell about my experience with first contact. My name is Stephen Anthony Wytrysowski. I guess this is kinda like when I was a freshman in high school and I hadta write an autobiography for English class. Like a freshman in high school has something autobiographic to write about. Which reminds me, that’s wit tris ow ski, not Steve the why try Pollack like my high school algebra teacher called me. So I didn’t like algebra, so what?

I’m twenty-one and I guess I’m pretty average. Brown hair, brown eyes. I’ve put on weight cuz we don’t get much exercise, but I’ve never been the kinda guy that sits at a desk all day and a bar all night gettin’ a gut and a butt. I’m from Hammond, Indiana. That’s kinda between Chicago and Gary. Mostly what people used to do there is make steel. Mostly what they do now is collect unemployment. It’s what my Dad does.

Before I came to the base, I was livin’ with my parents and my two sisters and my brother. My seventeen-year-old sister is Cathy. She’s pretty dumb. My thirteen-year-old sister is Mary Ellen. She tries to get people to call her Eliana, but no body does. Mike is my eleven-year-old brother. Mostly I call him shithead, cuz he’s always gettin’ in my stuff. I had to share a room with the little toad.

Oh and we’ve got a little mutt named Peanut and mostly what he does is piss on my mom’s attempt to grow a rose bush and pisses her off. He likes to hump people’s legs too and bark a lot. Other than that, he’s okay. I kinda miss havin’ a dog around.

Our house is one of those frame ranch jobs with a one-car garage and a gravel driveway that’s mostly mud and the garage door’s busted cuz my stupid sister, Cathy, tried to back out of the driveway in first. I’ve lived in this house all my life and the farthest I’ve been from home before was Indianapolis on a school trip and Chicago to the museums. A coupla times I went to Michigan to go campin’. But that’s about it.

My best friend is a guy named Jeff. We’ve been friends since grade school. Jeff is an assistant peddler. He helps this guy who sells stuff outa the back of his van. Stuff like velvet paintings of Elvis and cheap ceramic animals. He’s tryin’ to get something goin’ on Ebay. He considers that like gettin’ a promotion. When we’d go out, Jeff’d tell chicks he’s an art dealer.

After high school, I wanted to go to college, but Dad didn’t want to pay for it. He has a hard time understandin’ you gotta have a degree to sell shoes practically, let alone make the kind of money he used to make at the mill. Well, I started goin’ to Purdue here in Hammond part time. I even completed my first semester with B’s no less. Then Dad got laid off and I had to drop out. See, Dad was a crane operator and there ain’t too many places you can do that except a steel mill. So Dad got me a job with this Greek guy he knows, George, so I could help support the family while him and his union buddies could sit around tryin’ to figure out how to get the mill to take ’em back.

I was workin’ as a cashier at a truck stop named Captain Hook’s Travel Island. Stupid name. After a while I got promoted to assistant night manager and I was makin’ eight-fifty an hour. With me workin’ fifty to sixty hours a week and Dad’s unemployment, we were gettin’ by.

Really bizarre things started happenin’ about that time. I noticed it before most people cuz we have those tabloid papers right by the register and I’d read ’em just for laughs. I had to be careful not to laugh too loud cuz George believes that stuff. He also believes that professional wrestling is a sport and Elvis is still alive. I don’t see what people see in Elvis. If you ask me, his music sucks dinosaur eggs.

Anyway, I started noticin’ that every week the main story was about alien spaceships bein’ sighted. I know they’re always reportin’ that stuff, but the weird part was that was all they were reportin’. No bigfoots or bigfeet whichever. No ninety-year-old grannies givin’ birth to super genius babies who pick lottery numbers. Just aliens. Then I started hearin’ stories from the drivers, but it was always, somebody on the CB said they saw a UFO. Never a first hand account. So I thought it was like those rumors about dead mice in pop bottles. Or those drivers were readin’ too many of those tabloids we sell.

Then they just showed up everywhere and everybody knew about ’em, unless you were like a guy from Borneo with a bone in your nose. There was no chance for a cover-up. They were about as obvious as a three hundred pound broad in pink stretch pants. And even when you couldn’t see ’em, you could feel ’em, like a deep vibration in the pit of your stomach. People in my neighborhood are used to sleepin’ through jets and trains, but this was like havin’ a jet fighter buzz your house.

The first time I saw one close, I was on my way to work, drivin’ down the Boreman Expressway and one a those suckers just dropped down over the traffic. It must’ve been five hundred feet across and so bright the street lights went off. Well, some jerk up ahead slammed on his brakes and we ended up in a forty-car fender bender in each lane. Then the space ship shot straight up and disappeared. Scared the shit outa me! Well, not actually.

The worst part was nobody’s insurance would pay off. They said it was either an act of war or an act of God and they didn’t have to pay on neither. So then, I was drivin’ around in a car that looked like it had a harelip in front and I had to wire the trunk shut. I had a ’95 Chevy. The quarter panels were pretty much rusted out, but it was a pretty good car. I gave it to my sister Cathy when I left and, last time I talked to her, she hadn’t put it through the garage door yet.

Anyway, they had all these experts on TV reassurin’ us: the president, astronomers, physicists, even science fiction writers. Like if you make up aliens, you know a lot about real ones. Yeah, right! And they all said the same thing. They weren’t radioactive and nobody’s been killed by one yet. And, the ever popular, any civilization capable of such advanced technology would be socially advanced as well and therefore beyond any desire for hostile invasion. I think what that meant was that if the aliens were gonna blow our shit away they’d a done it by now.

Well they did sort of. From what got leaked out, the government tried to communicate, but when the aliens didn’t answer right, the military decided they were bein’ snubbed and tried to shoot ’em down. A whole lot of jet fighters ended up disappearin’. I mean poof! Gone! Then the crews would show up unharmed some place like hangin’ from the flagpole at the White House, or the President’s bathroom, or the head of the joint chief of staff’s bedroom. They landed a chartered jet full of Japanese tourists at Area 51. Or so the rumors went. They didn’t put stuff like that on the regular news. One of the drivers told me they had a pilot show up on the baboon island at Brookfield Zoo, but I don’t know for sure. That’s not too far from us, so it was kinda creepy and it probably really upset the baboons. All that shut everybody up. No more government reports or TV news bulletins. It was like they never existed. Oh, once in awhile somebody’d get to where they couldn’t take it any more and try to shoot a UFO down with a twenty-two, but nobody even thought that was funny anymore.

Maybe people thought that if we just ignored them, they’d go away, but they just kept flyin’ over. They had a regular routine. In our area, there was a medium sized one with blue lights that went over at ten-forty-two p.m. and a little gray one that went by at one-eighteen in the afternoon. You’d get that feelin’ in your guts, the sky would light up and all the pictures on the walls would go crooked. Nobody’d say anything, but people would be settin’ their watches by ’em. You just put up with ’em like bad neighbors and zits, cuz there wasn’t a damn thing you could do about it. But down deep we were all feelin’ pretty helpless and scared.

At our house, at about ten forty-five and one fifteen we’d all be lined up at the bathroom door. We only have one bathroom. It wasn’t always that you had to go. Sometimes you just decided you absolutely had to wash your hands or comb your hair. Course with the way UFOs vibrate your guts, if you had a full bladder at saucer time, you’d better go! At work it was the same thing. I’d decide I had to check to see if we needed paper in the johns and you’d think all the customers had the runs. Course if they ate in our restaurant, they probably did. But there were no windows in the bathrooms. So like I guess we were pretendin’ if we didn’t look at ’em, everything would be all right. We were tryin’ to pretend things were normal and we were playin’ right into their hands—if they had hands. They do, but I didn’t know it at the time.

After I realized this, I had trouble sleepin’. Actually, I always had trouble sleepin’ cuz I mostly worked nights and my stupid brother had no consideration. But I’d lay awake thinkin’ about aliens and I decided we were bein’ tamed. That’d give me the shivers and then I really couldn’t sleep. I guess we were all just a little paranoid back then.

I have to stop now. I have to fall asleep before Smash comes around to check our breathin’ rhythms or read our auras, or whatever it does. ’Night.

End Entry

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