Saturday, 6 October 2012

Clock’s Pageant - The Dead Monkey’s Revenge.

   “Time wounds all heels,” quoted the Archangel of the Proconsulidae, scratching his ear with an imperfectly adapted hind leg. Sitting amid throngs of spirits belonging to the Circle of Fallen Primates, the AoP gazed down at the Earth: still green; still full of life and promise; still full of Homo sapiens sapiens. Still empty of Proconsuls and a whole host of opposable-thumb types who just didn’t make the cut for The Disney Channel, the Moon landings and sub-prime mortgage bundling.

   “Nuts to dat,” growled  an orange-grey Afrotarsius whose dorsal tiger stripes and buff thorassic fur-patch the exact shape of the KFC logo no paleontologist had been able to infer from the lower jaw and handful of teeth that had so far been the sole evidence of his people in the remote, terrestrial here and now of the Twenty-first Century Earth. Gollum-like eyes resembling sulky grapes stared down at Hollywood Boulevard moodily; dreaming of dating J-Lo and cruising The Strip in a Ferrari or running bamboolike fingers through Emma Thompson’s hair, for some reason. Maybe the British accent works even in the Evolutionary Cul-de-sac neighbourhood of the Afterlife. Or maybe that should be ‘perhaps,’ dontcher know old boy? “Look at all dose stoopid Progenitor-mating biped types screwin’ it all up. I mean, seriously? Friends goes ter ten seasons an’ De Howlin’ gets six sequels an’ still dose dopes down dere expect ter colonize Outer Space fer Goodallssakes? Gimme a break! De Biohaz musta reached deir evolutional zenith wid de original series Star Trek. It’s gotta be all downhill from now, right? Am I right, guys?” 
   “ I don’t know ‘bout that, Marley,” muttered a Gigantopithecus in the back row; dividing his attention between pitching a baseball upward toward the starry firmament and popping fortune cookies between his huge, square jaws. “The reptiles must of thought they was finished back in the Permian–Triassic extinction event. Rise Of The Mammals an’ all that but then, bingo! Along comes Coelophysis a-swingin’ those dinky little hips an’ all of a sudden it’s back into the burrows for the uppity mammals for the best part of another quarter billion years. You can’t extrapolate Mankind’s imminent extinction just because Battleship followed Alien. Things can go backward for a while without it being the end for a line of evolution; look at the ‘prequel’ Star Wars movies, for example, or Alien 3 or Terminator 3. Sheesh! But then came The Matrix. Awesome. And remember when we all thought that sliced bread was the best thing since, well, unsliced bread and believed baking could never get any better but then they came up with Twinkies? How cool was that!  Not all apparent evolutionary degenerations are dead-ends; some can be loops, kind of:  are in fact just stages to something better. take Bruce Willis. Are you seriously saying that David Addison was cooler than the later, self-referential John McClane or the Special Forces guy in The Fifth Element? No way it turned out to be true, but looking at that hairline over the years you might guess he was on his way out.”
  “The point is,” put in a rather camp Homo heidelbergensis drinking soda and watching The Eocene Channel through a laptop Time Portal where a pair of so-far undiscovered and unclassified saber toothed caribou were sparring over the sad-looking corpse of an equally unclassified giant tree badger, “you can’t just say it’s lights out for ole Double Sap just because they elected, well, you know. They can still bounce back from their lows, and if you don’t believe me, all I’m gonna say to you is walk upstream in time from Bewitched to Pushing Daisies and just accept that a species can survive one helluva lot of lot of Golden Girls and Dukes of Hazard on the TV pageant to Buffy and South Park.
  “You Tea Party Mammoth guys always mention South Park, don’tcha? Never reference M*A*S*H or Taxi, do yez?” sulked the Afrotarsius, tossing an ectoplasmic peanut at the big hominid’s head. “You Red Ochre Cave types had it easy up in the Ice Ages. Us so-called ‘lower primates’ did all the heavy lifting long before yez came on da scene an’ took da world away from us. We scampered up into da trees once da dinosaurs was gone. We did da whole nocturnal-to-color-vision change thing. We suffered and starved and bred and survived and developed da opposable thumbs millions of years before you from da Giant Elk’s Club came along and stole all our achievements.”
  “That’s ‘Log-cabin Mammoth guys,’ if you please, Mister Occupy Madagascar” retorted heidelbergensis, mincing away to mince a ghostly cave bear.

  “Hey, why the long faces?” asked the returning Archangel of the Proconsulidae, carrying a rather batter football. “Just because you folks no longer rule the Earth, and never did in some cases, it doesn’t mean that the Creator doesn’t have a Plan for you. And the Plan is to be happy. This is supposed to be Heaven for crying out loud, so get happy. And even Mankind won’t last forever. Touch football, people? Furs versus skins this time. C’mon guys, the clock's ticking, let’s go.”

   After a while, even the resentful proto-tarsier ghost Marley the Afrotarsius cheered up. Football really was the best - especially with this particular ball. Even though the long beard was ragged by now and the frock coat torn and stained from being used in a thousand touchdowns, Marley just loved to kick and punt this very special ball. This really was Evolutionary Dead-End Heaven, he mused, kicking Charles Darwin as hard as he could for a field goal.


Shiri said...

Loved it! Amazing.

Shiri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shiri said...

Oops. Sorry. The comment posted twice. Tried to remove one and it didn't quite work...

AB Singer said...

Why, thank You Shiri. It's instructive what ideas whacky titles will dredge up from one's unconscious, isn't it?