OAKDALE -- Charles Venzlaff has a 6-foot alien living in his garage.
It has a long tail and sharp teeth, perfect for tearing the flesh of any humanoid foolish enough to challenge its domain.
"I read in the paper where people say there are no aliens here, but they're obviously mistaken," Venzlaff said.
The alien actually is a pretty clever piece of art -- a free-standing statue fabricated entirely from used motorcycle parts.
Venzlaff, 76, who retired to Oakdale from the Bay Area 15 years ago, doesn't know the artist. He acquired the alien about a year ago when he bought three storage units from the son of a friend who died. The alien was in one of the units.
"I've showed it to a lot of people and no one has seen anything like it," Venzlaff said. "Whoever did it did a great job with it to balance it the way he did. Everyone wants me to put it on eBay, saying that I would get a good price. But I want to keep it."
Since owning the statue, Venzlaff has noticed no strange lights hovering over his garage or weird noises coming across his television, and has yet to feel a powerful urge to sculpt mountains from mashed potatoes.
In fact, Venzlaff said he's not even a huge fan of the alien movie genre, but thinks there might be something nonhuman lurking out there.
"Because of all the things that have happened in the world, I think there's something out there besides us," he said. "Either that or the government is hiding a lot of things from us."
He is certain about one thing. Having an alien in his garage has not brought good luck. In fact, he said, it hasn't brought any luck at all.
"I haven't noticed any difference," he said. "But I did go to Jackson Rancheria this morning and lost all the money I brought up there."
Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2300.