Fermi Paradox: Named after Enrico Fermi, it’s the question of – given the age of the universe and the probability of extra-terrestrial life – why haven’t we been visited by an intelligent alien species yet?
Little Jane is playing by the pond. Mum has a close eye on her as the rest of the adults engage in superficial banter at the family barbecue. Jane is ten years old and she has no other kids to play with. She’s either too old to play with her nieces and nephews, or too young to drink with her cousins. She’s okay though, because she’s found friendship in a pair of scruffy ducks.
Mum calls Jane to have a serving of potato salad. “What were you up to Jane?” Asks mum, even though she already knows the answer. Jane’s uncle Clark overhears the response. “Did I just hear your kid mention the Fermi Paradox?” He exclaims. “What are you talking about Jane?” He asks.
“I’m talking about my friends.”
“Oh really. And what are your friends’ names sweetie?”
“They don’t have names silly! They’re not humans.”
“Hey Jim, your daughter might be a genius!” Shouts uncle Clark over the packed picnic area. “She’s educating us on the Fermi Paradox.” All the uncles shuffle over and their wives prick their ears.
“Jane, are you saying there are other living things ‘out there?’ “ Inquires uncle Stanley.
“There are living things everywhere!” Shouts Jane, loving her new-found attention. She waves her arm out towards the pond and the nature around them.
“Little Jane, sweetheart” begins aunty Louise. The bedazzled men are entranced by the little physicist come philosopher. “Where did you learn about the Fermi Paradox?”
Jane scrunches her face at the complexity of the alien word. “The furmy parra-docks?”
“Yes, the Fermi Paradox. It’s what you were talking about, wasn’t it?”
“No!” She laughs. “I was talking about the ‘funny pair of ducks!’ “
Uncle Ben raises a glass to the air. “Here’s to the funny pair of ducks!”
The men cheer.
Sensing that their cover was blown, the ducks set their heading for Proxima Centauri and warp at light speed to their home planet.