I was walking my dog in the local park when, across the grass, there was an almighty whoosh accompanied by lots of smoke. As the air cleared, I saw a spaceship had landed, a flying saucer, an oldish model in metallic silver. It hadn’t happened before, not in this park. A hatch opened upwards and a set of steps dropped to the ground. Somewhat clumsily, a figure emerged from the craft. Being a cautious type, I hid behind a tree. Not so my dog, who began to bark. The strange being made straight for us, upright but overweight, like a Dr Who baddie devised in a hurry. It stopped before the tree, and looked down to Tinkler (my dog). In a deep gravelly voice, it spoke. “Take me to your leader”. Tinkler’s barking was getting out of control. I revealed myself. “Er, maybe I should, you know…” The visitor redirected to me. No expression on the rubbery visage. “Take me to your leader”, it repeated. Not menacingly, you understand, but I didn’t what to mess the fellow about. “Well, em, you see, that would be - ha! - a little difficult at the moment.” Aside, “Quiet, Tinkler!” The barking subsided. From the creature, “Elucidate”. Oh, dear. How best to put this? “We - have a leader, but she doesn’t lead. Nobody takes any notice. So we’re going to have another one. Soon.” I tend to talk too much when in a situation. And being asked like this, literally out of the blue, about our leader is a situation. “Yes, we get to choose between a buffoon and a chap who always looks surprised. It’s exciting, really.” The creature said nothing and made no movement. I went on. “We think the upper-class chump is going to win.” Still no reaction. Was I being sufficiently informative? Then, from the gravel depth: “Who the ‘we’?” Tinkler had lost interest in the exchange and sniffed around at the foot of the tree. I prayed he wasn’t about to do a do. “Well, when I say ‘we’, it’s not us - not all of us, anyway. It’s actually a quarter of one per cent of us. Point-two-five. Of a hundredth. And mostly well-heeled, I’d say.” I was starting to sound nerdish, so I turned up the beat. “We call it democracy,” I chirped. “That’s how we do things, here in these parts.” “De-mo-cra-cy,” the latex traveller enunciated. “Will of the ma-jor-it-y.” In truth, I was warming to him. “Yes, that’s right. We swear by it. Hold it to our bosom. Defend it to the end.” Was I overdoing it? The creature possibly emitted a sigh. “Tell of other leaders.” Toughie. “Mm. Let’s see. There’s the frog prince, forever leaping about, won’t go away.” It flitted across my mind there was a passing neck-up resemblance. “And there’s also a rather grumpy type with a beard who doesn’t seem to know what he wants. Plus someone else who I can’t quite…” Tinkler pulled at the leash. The being too showed signs of wanting to move on. He turned to go. “Er - nice talking to you,” I offered. “What’s your name, by the way? Where are you from?” Whatever the reply, I failed to catch it. The nameless wanderer returned ponderously to his craft. Could I detect a slow shaking of the head? With a noisy whoosh accompanied by a cloud of smoke, he was gone.