There are times when questions course through my mind like wildfires in a dry forest…
How truly desperate and hungry must the guy have been to discover honey? I mean, it’s not like a peach, hanging on a tree limb and at most you have to maybe climb a few feet, it’s *honey*, product of the honey *bee*. Bees, for those from the inner city, are creatures who know how to do three things: make honey, sting idiots, and chew bubble gum. They’ve never had the money for bubble gum, and they get bored making honey and look for alternative activities at any and every opportunity.
Guy must’ve been pretty doggone hungry to just say “Hell with it, I’ll eat them bees if they get in my way, but I want whatever they’re making.”
Some foods, I can kind of understand. Like…Milk. That baby calf ran over and did somethin’ to that dangly bit of her mom’s undercarriage, and I’ve seen her eat nothing…I’m betting there’s some form of viable nourishment beyond that which could be had by simply eating the calf or her mom. I shall endeavor to attempt to try this magic elixir.
Admittedly, guy probably learned a great deal about the difference between “cow” and “bull” using similar logic, but that could be classified simply as helping to ensure the bull sees his human handler as a beneficial thing to keep around. Probably kept the first cattleman from getting hurt and run over so much.
Honey…that’s a puzzler. Same with mushrooms. There’s like forty kajillion kinds of mushrooms, but there’s only a handful of ’em you can eat and survive to eat tomorrow. Some, they’re a little more potent, maybe have a bit more kick than the “simply edible” ones, but still, they’re edible.
There’s a whole lot…you can eat ’em once. If you like the taste you might eat two or three that first time…but you aint gonna have the chance to eat two or three of ’em tomorrow. Shoot, might be some, you wouldn’t get to enjoy the third one today ’cause the first one today killed you while you were eating the second one.
Even that could be bad in its own way. Suppose there’s a little hollow somewhere back then, and this fella finds himself a few pretty little white mushrooms. Picks ’em up, but the sun’s shining down pretty hot right there, he decides to walk up the side of the hollow, over the top of the hill, and sit in the shade to eat these…”things” he’s found. Well, he slurps one and it don’t taste bad, but it don’t taste good. In any event, he’s dead in five minutes. Kerklunk. Nobody knew he was going out to pick up things off the ground and eat them, so nobody knows what to be looking for. He don’t come home that day. The folks in his village, they just reckon he came to some misfortune with some bees or somethin’, figure he’s gone.
Next day, this other fella, (not the original fella, original fella died, probably the mushrooms…or bees…or bees in the mushroom.) he sees a little white somethin’ on the ground, wanders over, picks ’em, sun’s beating down, goes up the hill, eat ’em in the shade. Finds a dead dude, but it’s not like everybody had a ballpoint pin on ’em to make a note like “Don’t eat the little white things on the other side of the hill, they’re bad for ya.”
Second fella sees the first fella but since he’s been dead a while, aint no sense to rush, I’ll eat my little white things first and then go tell everybody I found him and it looks like bees got him after all. Five minutes and he’s dead too.
Do you know how many people could have died from eating the same little patch of mushrooms, tryin’ ’em, and dyin’ before anybody saw that idiot #47 ate that little white thing and died two minutes later…maybe should tell somebody? Even in groups, you find somethin it’s only polite to share with your friends. Coulda killed folks by the dozen that way before anybody said “Nah, I just invented me a corn dog, I’m full.” and then discovered that as the only fella in the bunch who didn’t eat, he’s also the only one that didn’t die. Even then, you’d have to take a few back and do tests to make sure. How wouldja like to be in *that* survey panel? “Okay, we got this thing to eat here, and we’ll pay you a dollar if you’ll eat it and tell us exactly what you think of it. But…we… we only pay after you’ve eaten it…we’ll invent the concept of banking and mail you a check after we invent the mail too.” (Actually, easier way would be to find a fella talking to a pretty girl. Walk up to ‘im and say “Only a REAL man could eat five of these. They taste bad, and only a real he-man could eat five of ’em…” He’d eat the ass out of a month-dead elephant if it’d impress a pretty girl. Most men would.)
Lotsa stuff today, you have to really think hard about how we’d discovered that idea. Yogurt. “Ohhh, you think that cow boob juice is good? Well you just wait ’til it’s been fermenting for a while, after you’ve warmed the milk, and added germs to it!” … Okay, guy comes up to that recipe eventually… yogurt’s pretty good, but I’m curious what the hell he was *trying* to make? I’m picturing this dude standin’ there stirring a cauldron of rotten cow boob juice over a fire going “That damn Ronny, asked Sarah out to the spring jubilee dance knowin’ I had feelin’s for her. I’ll fix him good! I’m gonna let this cow boob juice simmer a while. Them germs I put in, it’ll give him the runs so bad he can’t dance with her. He’ll be dancin’ with the latrine out behind the dancehall, that’s where he’ll be dancin’. Probably kill ‘im. Suits me fine too…”
Cheese… Same dude. “The germified cow boob juice mix didn’t quite work out as planned even though it’s become my #1 seller…so let’s leave out the germs, let’s put in some…baby cow stomach juice instead. Then, for next spring’s Spring Jubilee dance… if that Ronny asks Sarah out again, I’ll just wad it up in some kind of cloth and when the dance starts in a year, I’ll just put some of that on a cracker…soon as I invent ’em, and I’ll make him eat one! That’ll teach that no good Ronny!”
Booze. Think about whiskey. I’m going to take this hog feed that’s went bad, I’m going to put it in a kettle even though it’s stinkin’ loudly, I’m going to then boil it, but not hard enough to get it to boil, just…boil some of it, and then when steam comes off, I’m gonna drink it! Oh, well probably I should filter it, get impurities out of it. Then I’m gonna drink it… Think about the alcohol distillation process and ask yourself how the process was discovered including all those steps.
Just think about ordinary wine. “I was watching the trash over there (reminds me, I need to invent the TV soon, borin’ as hell here) and I saw that housefly sip of that juice, and he took off flying weird, a swoopin’ and weavin’… I wonder if I was to drink some of that rotten fruit juice-I’ll rename it if I like it-if I was to drink some of that rotten fruit juice, would I be able to fly crooked and weavy too?”
Worcestershire sauce…”I’m gonna take these anchovies, onions, garlic, lemons, pickles, couple ol’ socks, the hooker down the road’s underwear…I’ll put ’em in a pot. Add…vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, spices, little dirt, some old person’s dandruff, few dog hairs…cook it all together. Then, I’m gonna try it!” Guy tries it, it’s absolutely…well, you heard the recipe… “That tastes like hell…I’ll put it in a barrel and check on it after it’s rotted for a few months, that might make it better.”
Folks always lament how the “old days were the good days and the old ways were the better ways”…I’m not so sure. I like knowing that toilet paper is the best tool for the work it does, rather than experimenting with holly leaves, oak leaves, pine cones, and the ever popular poison ivy and poison oak leaves. I like the benefit of products *after* the “wunder whut” stages where the entire process was guided by somebody standing there goin’ “Hmmm, wunder whut it’d do to put some…vinegar in the ice cream batch?”
The modern era isn’t perfect, but at least most of the dumber ideas have already been discovered and discredited. Now all we have to be wary of are new dumb ideas.