That’s very gratifying to me, because I have always endeavored to serve as a civilizing example to those of less taut moral fiber, and it’s nice to know my efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Fact is, while doing one’s civic duty can at times be tiresome, the burden of responsible behavior can be managed to a great extent by the imposition of a Code. “Brush my teeth,” would be a thoughtful personal mandate, for instance, or “Pay for things”, or “Don’t bother Steve.”
Being exceptional, of course, my own bar is set much, much higher. For one thing, my own Code strictly forbids me to commit crime unless there’s a chance that personal or financial advantage might be gained thereby.
Also, I will never engage in productive work if letting someone else do it for me might give them a sense of accomplishment, or perhaps a mild aerobic benefit.
By my scrupulous rule regarding personal property, upon finding somebody’s lost wallet I don’t waste precious time and energy attempting to locate the careless clod that is its rightful owner, but instead pump its contents directly into the economy through retail channels, helping to foster prosperity for all.
And, as a good citizen, whenever I perceive a threat to the public weal, I act swiftly to expose it. I do now, selflessly and without any thought of remuneration, sound the alarm on what I believe to be an insidious menace of such colossal proportions that, left unmitigated, it may very well spell catastrophe on a planetary scale.
If you keep rolling your eyes they could freeze that way. Would you like that?
I count myself among that number of uncritical thinkers who suppose the Ancients possessed important knowledge and advanced insights long since lost to Humankind. Take the Egyptians – although utterly lacking modern technologies, the ancient Egyptians were able to raise enormous stones to dizzying heights. Clearly, they were privy to amazing secrets that made it possible for Egyptians with swords to induce Egyptians without swords perform difficult and dangerous tasks.
Indeed, only arcane knowledge can explain ancient Egypt’s marvelous irrigation systems – great ditches, miraculously free of their original dirt and capable of directing moderate quantities of water in a single, downhill direction. And what long-buried scientific inspiration led that desert-dwelling people to discover that desiccated flesh liberally treated with naturally occurring salts would not immediately spoil?
Perhaps most remarkable, it was the ancient Egyptians who first divined that, after several hours under the broiling sun, women with melting cones of beeswax, honey and spices affixed to their heads tended to smell more fetchingly than women not so equipped.
And they invented beer.
So we see that the Pharoahs knew a thing or two about a thing or two. And it turns out that one of those things was biology. It has recently come to my attention that a particularly reflective sect of ancient Egyptian philosophers was the first to scold otherwise happy diners with the admonition “You are what you eat.”
It was the contention of those courageous scientist-priests that the flesh of all living creatures must
necessarily accrete from what stuff they consume. It was their further contention that all living creatures consume pretty much the same stuff, or at least stuff that’s already consumed pretty much the same stuff. Taken together, those two irrefutable principles tend to suggest that all creatures are composed of pretty much the same physical substance.
Except they’re obviously not.
Those canny contemplators were also perfectly aware that there exist good creatures and bad creatures, not to mention a whole lot of creatures exhibiting varying degrees of good and bad characteristics, which patent truth presented a knotty logical inconsistency. If we all eat the same stuff, why aren’t we all the same? Their answer to that philosophical question was both elegant and, I think, inescapable.
Because animals, good and bad, are material constructions of the food they eat, it was their belief that the general food supply must contain both good and bad components. If some creatures are better than others, it must be because they retain a greater portion of food’s positive elements and excrete most of its negative ones. Likewise, creatures that fall toward the bad end of the spectrum must necessarily absorb a larger part of what is evil in their diets, while expelling the greater part of what is good.
An illustration ~
The ancient Egyptians hated bats. To their way of thinking, bats were sneaking and cowardly and carried disease and exalted the darkness and weren’t really birds and weren’t really rats and they squeaked. It would have been quite impossible for an ancient Egyptian to hate bats any more than they already did. By the reasoning outline above, bats clearly retained virtually everything vile in their food, and pooped out its every redeeming ingredient.
On the other hand, ancient Egyptians loved cats. Cats were sacred to them. They weren’t gods, exactly, but they were high enough on the divinity chain to hobnob with all the best deities. Cats had dash, and polish, and a naturally superior attitude that just screamed “quality.” The only thing an ancient Egyptian loved more than a cat was two cats, And so forth. They spent small fortunes mummifying their cats so they wouldn’t have to face the Land of the Dead without them. And if cats were so very, very good, they plainly extracted every ounce of goodness from their sustenance, but incorporated no part of its badness.
If we are to accept the ancient Egyptians as authorities in all fields scientific – and we’ve already established that they invented beer – then we must also yield to this gastronomical analysis and its unavoidable conclusions. Call it the Unified Theory of Doody.
Even as bats suck all the badness out of their food, so does iron-clad logic dictate that their excrement must be entirely good. Bat guano, despite its undeserved reputation, can only be the most sublime substance in existence.
Conversely, the defecations of cats can only be the most vile and toxic emissions imaginable, having been efficiently stripped of every last particle of good.
But why, you may in your tragic ignorance wonder, is this explosive information relevant to inhabitants of the 21st Century?
Americans own something like 90 million cats. The average cat defecates twice daily, producing approximately three ounces of poop during each episode. That’s something like 18,000 tons of concentrated evil flowing into the nation’s pristine landfills every single day. Add to that the 10,000-ton holocaust waged daily by another 50 million feral felines, and the magnitude of the crisis becomes plain.
The horrific truth is that if something is not done to stem this toxic tide – and done quickly – we’ll soon confront a calamity of Biblical proportions. The ruin that awaits us beneath that relentless accumulation of devilish distillation will make the specter of death at the hand of Global Warming seem a mercy.
So what must be done to save Humankind from looming litter-box Armageddon?
Don’t ask me. I’m a thinker, not a doer.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.