28 October, 2007

Wrestling Homo Sapiens

When my nephew was a young boy in the 80s, he was enamoured with wrestling. Not the Olympic sport of wrestling, but the North American bastardisation with all the prancing, dancing, posing, and name-calling. He watched wrestling matches on television, hung posters of the most popular wrestlers of that time on his bedroom walls (Hulk Hogan, "Macho Man" Savage, "The Hitman" Hart), and played with plastic figures of the wrestlers.

Once, when he was visiting his grandparents’ place Grenada, he left three such plastic figures behind at their pool. They were the ugliest, the fiercest looking figures imaginable. This was over twenty years ago now.
The wonderful thing about these figures is, all of the grandchildren learnt to dive and swim under water by fetching the figures from the bottom of the pool.

One of the figures got lost about ten years ago: it must have rolled down the cliff into the sea. The other two figures are still in the collection of toys that has gathered over the years: rejects from a generation of visiting grandchildren. Unlike all of the other toys, the wrestlers are still almost in pristine condition. The only difference is that their painted costumes, which look like diapers, have faded somewhat.

All the other toys in this poolside collection have a half-life of one or two years; the natural elements (and visitors) can be brutal. The wrestlers, on the other hand, are going to be discovered by some aliens in two billion years, still in pristine condition.

The aliens are undoubtedly going to wonder why our bodies were so disproportionately muscular, and why adult human beings wore wearing diapers. They might even ask how human beings managed to survive so long.

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