Thursday 16 February 2012

The Stupidity of Man

I spent some time today wondering just how some of the things we take for granted, came to be. I also spent some time looking under all of the debris around the house looking for a year old lottery ticket. This particular lottery ticket is an unclaimed lotto max ticket from last February 25th that was/is worth $1,000,000. I will grant you that the odds of my having misplaced a winning lottery ticket or that I was the person that had purchased the ticket in the first place is pretty remote. The way I figure it though, is that I buy lottery tickets and my chances of winning can’t be any worse than the chance that I won and misplaced the ticket. The good thing about this search is that the ticket is already a winner and all I have to do is find it. Wish me luck!
I was washing the dishes and started to think about soap. Louise and I were telling the kids on the weekend that we could remember how painful it was when as a kid your mom would get shampoo in your eyes. They either didn’t have baby shampoo or my parents figured the crying wasn’t such a bad trade off if they could save fifty cents. I can hear the conversation now, “Mommy! My eyes hurt! STOP!” I am pretty sure my mom would have come back with something like “You think this hurts? When I was a kid, my mom washed my hair with lye soap! Not only would it hurt, but if you didn’t rinse it right away the acid would blind you.” 
How can you argue with that? I suppose they had to walk uphill (both ways) through thigh deep snow to the store to buy it. Parents are full of shit! Not me, but all of the others.

So in the dim recesses of time, someone had to have come up with the idea. They had to mix wood ash, water and animal fat in the right concentration. The wrong concentration just wouldn’t work. Too strong and it would blister your skin; too weak and it wouldn’t do anything. We have to remember that this person had no idea what soap was or that he was getting close. How anal do you have to be to keep mixing fat and ashes? Unless you got it right the first time you wouldn’t even know what it would do. I can just picture some person ten thousand years ago telling the lead hunter that “Yeah, I am going to stay back with the women and see what happens when I mix fat and ashes. You guys have a good time hunting that mammoth. Oh, watch out for the tigers and wolves!”

That actually sounds like something I would do.
How about the guy that came up with cooking the Puffer fish? This is so dangerous that only chefs that have had rigorous training and licenses are allowed to cook it. The poison is in the organs and skin and it causes paralysis of the respiratory system. There is no known antidote. Perhaps it is just me, but there is nothing in this world or quite probably the next that could entice me to take a chance that the chef has had the correct training or that he isn’t having an off day. How good could it be? It is fish! It’s an ugly fish at that. Who, back in the dark reaches of feudal Japan decided to keep trying? “Sure, the last couple of people I fed this to died, but I have a hunch that if you survive, it will be pretty tasty.” Just how hungry would you have to be to say “Ahhh…what the hell? Slice me off a slab of that baby!”

There are many more examples and I am sure that if I keep writing this blog I will get to them all eventually. There are no limits to the stupidity of man.

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