After years of waiting patiently for a message, some sign of life from space, that day finally arrived. But first, they had to accept the long distance charges, which were substantial.
"We don't mind picking up the toll," says one scientist, "though after learning the cost of the call, we're taking a second look at our federal budget request. We're glad to hear from them, but we hope they don't call too often."
When asked about the content of the message, scientists were hesitant to go into details. The official word from S.E.T.I. is that communication was "a mix of alpha and numeric code, which their scientists were quickly able to decode."
We at Wacky Times dug a little further and, using our own decryption system, were able to decipher the message, which began: "Who do you use for long distance?" Following that introductory inquiry was a long, irritating sales pitch. S.E.T.I. officials even tried to hang up, but the intergalactic telemarketer was persistent–and eventually succeeded in switching the entire research operation from AT&T to Sprint.