The alien parked its car across the street from the shop and came and sat down in the waiting room. The mechanic must have seen this happen, peripherally. But he was busy settling the bill with a smartly dressed middle-aged woman, to whom he’d taken an irrational dislike. Those who deal with Joe Punter, day in and day out, especially Joe car-owning Punter, are prone to such allergies. He saw her start of concealed surprise, looked up, and there was the alien.