“Nice place you got here,” the man said to the bartender.
“Thanks, we like it. What’ll you have today?” the bartender replied.
“Well, I’ve heard good things about some of your local brews. What’s local and on tap?”
The bartender leaned in and asked the man, “What have you heard? Might help me narrow down your selection.”
“Oh, I’ve been told your local ales, for instance, contain very interesting levels of Chlorostopin-2. Believe me, I couldn’t find those anywhere else. And I’ve really, really looked,” the man confessed.
Wiping the bar with his rag and putting down a coaster, the bartender wondered, “So, you one of those, eh?”
The man chuckled and asked, “Is it that obvious?”
Smiling, and drawing a pint from the nearest tap, the bartender put the man at ease by saying, “Nah, but we know when your planet is closest to Earth. We keep tabs on that sort of thing and adjust our brewing schedule accordingly. See that guy in the corner booth, by the way?”
The man glanced over his shoulder and could just barely see a small, misshapen creature sitting in the booth, an empty glass in front of it with four empty pitchers on the table. Turning back to the bartender, the man said, “Looks like just another intergalactic drunk to me. What’s so special about that one?”
The bartender motioned the man closer as he explained, “You mentioned Chlorostopin-2. Well, we just introduced a double-hopped, Chlorostopin-2 infused microbrew in anticipation of you guys showing up. It’s got a hint of spicy deviled egg and nachos and sports a wet potter’s clay, waxy flax, and sesame chocolate candy finish. Oh, and a hint of quince jam and honey toasted spice fruitcake in its aroma. But that one in the corner booth got here about seven hours ago and has been ordering non-stop pitchers of the stuff.”
“So?” the man asked.
“Well, he didn’t look like that when he started!” the bartender responded. “He looked just like you! I mean exactly like you.”
The man took another look at the creature in the corner booth and realized who it must be. “Fruitcake, you say?” the man asked.
“Yeah, just a hint, though,” the bartender replied.
The man sighed and lowered his head a bit as he whispered to the bartender, “Look, don’t ever tell anybody this, but we’re allergic to fruitcake, okay? It’s like frigging kryptonite. That’s what it does to us.”
The bartender took the pint of ale off the bar, poured it out, and asked the man, “So, what’ll it be?”
“Make it a Budweiser. Better safe than sorry, right?” the man answered, looking over his shoulder at the creature in the corner booth.