Thursday, October 25, 2007

Trial and errorgghh! (Or why having UC is kind of like being a caveman)

You’re a sort of early primitive man; a heavy set, hairy backed, lowbrow kind of creature. Not quite the full shilling in the brain department, but it’s early days and you’re slowly evolving in your own time. Well, you’re sitting there in your cave entrance minding your own business, picking at a toenail and thinking how best to cover your naked body to keep out the cold. You’re thinking something along the lines of a skirt – but not a skirt – kind of like a skirt but longer and sewn up down the middle – trousers you could call them. You’re just wondering whether leghuggies might be a catchier name than trousers when you hear one of the elders wheezing up the beaten track towards you. At the great age of 24 the elder is known all around for his wisdom. Personally you think he’s a bit full of himself, but who’s going to listen to you, a mere chimplet of 11? Oh-oh, what’s this the elder is carrying? Not more berries surely. The elder does this from time to time. He finds stuff out in the forest and then he brings it back and makes you eat a bit to see if it’s alright. He’ll give you one berry, then he’ll sit and look at you with those beady, wizened eyes, waiting to see if you change colour or you’re sick or have to run off to the lavatory bush for a runny poo. If you don’t suffer any ill effects, he’ll give you two or three berries. The elder repeats this over and over, increasing the amount of berries each time, until you either die or he decides the berries are edible. He uses the youngsters as guinea pigs because they’re usually more resilient. That and they’re less likely to tell him to eff off. As luck would have it, everything he’s given you so far has turned out to be okay. Cousin Carl wasn’t so fortunate. The elder gave him a mushroom, which made his lips swell up like sausages. It would have been fine, but sadly when Carl invented fire he sat to close to it and his lips burst. If only he had pricked them first. The elder is now kneeling before you motioning for you to open wide. No sense in stalling, so you flash him your tonsils and he pops a berry on your tongue. Here goes then. You start to chew, the sour juice hits your taste buds and you feel your cheeks pinch…one…two…three…swallow. Now all you have to do is wait and see what happens.

Now lets take a Kubrick style leap into the future. The date is 25th October, 2007. A man sits at a table staring at a tin of sweetcorn. He opens the tin and with a fork digs out a tiny mound of the plump yellow kernels. He empties the fork into his mouth. He begins to chew. It tastes good. One…two…three…he swallows. Now all he has to do is wait and see what happens.