So what would happen if aliens abducted a good ol' boy from Texas? Greg Henkel must have asked himself this very question when he sat down to write "The Wharton UFO." The sixth track on the Flying Fish Sailors' album Loch Ness Monster, this song is a thoroughly tongue-in-cheek story about the consequences of grabbing an average redneck for your scientific experiments. It is proof-positive that no subject is too silly, no line of inquiry too spurious, for the irreverent folk singers to tackle.
As I was driving on my way from Houston into Wharton
I saw something laying there and had to stop real sudden
A great big shiny pile-up laying smashed into the ground
I scratched my nose and opened my door and got out to look around
And there it was, the Wharton UFO
And what it was, well I can't claim to know
But there it was, it was a'calling me
Those aliens on a collecting spree
They poked at me and prodded me and then got out their probes
They weighed me, measured me, took my temperature and gave me a UPC code
They wrapped me up and strapped me down and then to my surprise
I lost my temper for those three foot bastards with the big black almond-shaped eyes
And there I was, in the Wharton UFO
And what to do, I really didn't know
Until I thought, "I've cut you plenty of slack,
You abducted me, now I'll abduct you back!"
And now I take my leisure sitting out on my front porch
And I can see across the way the great big blackened scorch
Where the Wharton UFO came crashing down so hard
Stranding those poor aliens now working in my yard
And there it sits, the Wharton UFO
It's growing rust out in the rain and snow
It's all in pieces, we used a cuttin' torch
To make some planters for my front porch
Hey Skinny, teleport me another beer over here
And hook up that reactor to my lawnmower
Gottdammit! Don't cross those wires, that's a two-stroke!
What's that? I don't care how you did it on Arcturus
Hey! I wear the implants in this family, slit-nose!
Don't make me make you stop levitating me!
The song is full of really great lines, but the last bit, italicized above, is my absolute favorite. Spoken rather than sung, the lines are called out in a Texas twang, truly filling out the image of a redneck "settin'" out on the porch while his newly acquired labor force does his lawn work for him. I often work these lines into regular conversation at my house, much to the exasperation of my family. And there's no topping the use of "slit-nose" as a pejorative.
Liner notes for Loch Ness Monster