Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Second Greatest Discovery In The History Of Man

I've posted some landmark stuff here before but this is truly the landmarkiest. It's unbelievable, incredible, amazing. My hands are literally shaking as I type. I'm not overselling this, either: when you're done reading I think you'll agree I made one of the most stupendous discoveries in history.

It's been a million years since someone made a discovery as groundbreaking, when a caveman's odd, arbitrary actions changed history. Maybe he rubbed his nose with a rock and nothing happened. He scratched the ground with a stick and nothing happened. But then he smashed two rocks together, producing sparks that just happened to shoot into a bed of sticks. And suddenly there was fire.

He must have thought he was hallucinating. I mean, one minor, arbitrary action discovers a life-changing chemical process. A hither-to unknown substance -- with seemingly no weight or substance -- runs and leaps and sprints across the earth, leaving everything in its path black and burnt. It's like the opposite of air, all orange flames and destruction. It must have seemed like some horrific demon that consumed everything in its path, and when it finally ran out of food it died. Why is it orange? Why does it give off heat? It's all so bizarre and capricious it must have seemed like a dream.

My discovery was also arbitrary. My Maltese, Chutney, waddled up to me and started barking while I was making dinner. She was so cute I just had to pick her up. While I was giving her a hug, though, she bumped into a butternut squash, and then all hell broke loose. Seriously. It was unbelievable: yet another nondescript action somehow initiated an unstoppable, indescribable force.

The closest comparison I can come up with is fire, but instead of orange flames it burbled up in iridescent fuchsia bubbles. It spread really quickly, because like regular bubbles these arbitrarily took flight and landed on nearby surfaces, setting off further chain reactions. Instead of leaving things burnt and filling my apartment with smoke, though, it left a shiny trail, and its smell was reminiscent of popcorn.

I put Chutney down and grabbed a towel and chased it through the room, finally managing to smother every bit. I don't want to scare you too much: it wasn't hot and it didn't burn stuff so I wasn't in any danger. In fact, putting it out was something like shampooing a two-year-old: if it hadn't left me damp and out of breath I'd have said it was kind of fun.

When I regained my bearing I ran to Google. I typed in everything I'd observed -- fuchsia bubbles, popcorn, Maltese, butternut squash -- but for the first time ever it came up blank. And then it hit me.

I'd discovered an incredible new phenomena.

Like I say, I was trembling at this point. I immediately knew it wasn't quite as great as the discovery of fire: I mean, fire has all sorts of applied uses, from heating food to powering cars. I'm not sure what good fuchsia bubbles are, or who wants to smell like popcorn. But singlehandedly I'd opened up a whole new field to investigate, and unwittingly found myself on the forefront.

I grabbed my notebook and wrote down two definitions:

GRONK: [noun, guh-RONK] the fuchsia bubbles that appear when a dog touches squash

SPELCHING: [verb, SPELL-chung] the arbitrary encroachment of gronk throughout an area, turning everything shiny and smelling of popcorn

Now that I'd named my new world, I'd have to define it. What prompts it? What fuels it? What purposes could it serve? And naturally, as someone with nearly a degree from a major university, I'd need to re-enact the experiment in controlled conditions.

UPDATE 1: When neighborhood dogs touch a butternut squash, nothing happens. No gronk and definitely no spelching. Bad news, not to mention the rather insulting posters blaring BEWARE OF THIS MAN!!! that were recently taped up on my street.

UPDATE 2: When Chutney comes into contact with a pumpkin, nothing happens. Similarly acorn and spaghetti squash. I'm a bit embarrassed that what I tell friends will be the Entertainment Event of the Century actually turns into three rather boring side dishes touched by a dog.

UPDATE 3: I decide to start from scratch. I make Chutney touch a butternut squash again. To my horror there are no fuchsia bubbles, and it doesn't smell like popcorn.

UPDATE 4: I take another hit of LSD. Twelve hours later I realize this must have been the catalyst, since my notebook is mostly unintelligible except for the words RUNAWAY SCRELB and PLATCHING.

Anyway, I guess that's it. It appears the whole thing was an illusion. I hope you don't see this as a massive waste of time, because I certainly don't. I believe we made headway in describing how we encounter our world, though I should probably give a shout-out to my neighbor for pointing out that my beloved Maltese Chutney is actually a striped sweatsock.

1 comment:

Yet Another Steve said...

What do you mean, who wants to smell like popcorn? Have you never walked past a movie theater and nearly been dragged in by your nose just from that smell? I tell you, sonny, if some smart company would come out with popcorn-scented cologne every woman who wore it would start having matched nostril-hickeys on her neck in no time at all.

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