Sipping From Utopia

This week’s post on “Not My Father’s Beer” came about thanks to a great little short story contest hosted by The topic is, “Extraterrestrial life arrives to Earth. They arrive somewhere in Spain. Wine plays an important role in the way their perception of Earth is shaped.”

If you get inspired to write your own story before April 30, click here for contest details on the website!

(Contest image courtesy of

Sipping From Utopia

To: Earth Wine Conquest Commission
From: Marco358
Subject: Paris Mission, Report #1

Meeph, esteemed and honorable superiors! The good news: I have arrived. The bad news: I missed Paris by 5540 mirishi (987 kilometers in Earthling measurements.) The better news: I landed in the hamlet of Nájera, La Rioja, Spain. The best news: These Spanish Earthlings also possess the wine nectar you have tasked me with finding—and it is far more wondrous than our alien brothers from Venus told us.

I touched down on a sunny afternoon, the kind we learned about in Earth Geography that Earthlings love, yet the town appeared deserted. I spied one Earthling hurry in a door. I slipped in behind him and went unnoticed because all the Spanish Earthlings watched a tiny screen where more Earthlings the size of ants chased after a miniscule ball. One kicked that poor little ball ferociously and the españoles went crazy hugging and shouting, “¡Ronaldo, Ronaldo!” and “¡Hala, Madrid!

They finally quieted and then—sat in chairs at tables, just like in the Earth Culture 101 photos! And, they drank from glasses with red wine—just like the parisiens I was supposed to observe!  Soon, the españoles began screaming against the Manchester ants on the screen. I grabbed a glass and hid under a table.

So many preparatory photos. So many lectures. What an exciting moment for Marco358! But would this rich ruby-colored Spanish wine be as marvelous as the fabled French wines? Would it be the nectar that, given our climate, we cannot produce? The one remaining thing we need to make Martian life perfect?

I swirled the glass the way the Venetians told us the parisiens do. It is harder than it looks! After I cleaned up the spilled wine, I stuck both my noses over the glass and inhaled as we learned the French do. Oh, Martian gods! As any Martian does when jubilant, I floated, hitting my head on the Earth table above me. I barely passed Martian Calculus, but I excelled at memorization. It was these words we learned about Earth wine—bold, oaky, smoky, divine!

I put the glass to the lips of my right mouth and took a small sip. The Venetian descriptions were inadequate. Never in my 108 Martian years have I known anything like this Spanish wine! Honorables, I have sipped from Utopia! (This flavor of Earth cherries and plums made me homesick for fresh Martian xoxx and nlup.) I fear my left mouth sip was a large one because the glass was empty afterwards and my heads were spinning. I now felt so happy among the españoles, even if they weren’t aware of Marco358.

His Majesty Martian Maximus will float 10 mirishi high upon his first sip! With it, brother aliens from as far away as Pluto will come to vacation on Mars and intergalactic peace will reign (except for those Earthlings who war among themselves).

Honorable superiors, search no further. ¡Hala Nájera y nada más!

Marco358 courtesy of Laura Patiño

Marco358 as envisioned by Laura Patiño



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