I am alarmed by the cries of my kinsman, Ook, and seek him out. I find him behind a large stone some paces away from our lean-to: a temporary lodging made of sticks, leaves and hides that we use on longer hunting trips.
There Ook is squatting above the ground, making his morning constitutional. I steel myself, expecting to apply suction to a poisonous snake wound or kill a stalking saber tooth cat.
Ook makes a strange sound: “Look.”
I cock my head sideways and scratch my armpit to signal that I do not understand.
Ook makes the same sound again, this time pointing down. “Look.” He then adds more strange utterances: “Look what I make.”
He perceives that I still don’t understand and stands up, pointing down at a semi-swirled pile of feces. “Poop,” he says as he points to it. “I make poop. You see.”
I realize that Ook has started using language and has chosen to demonstrate this by calling me during his “brown time.”
This morning, I awoke to find a brown slab left at my door. Upon inspection, I discover it is from my neighbor, Utu.
Guess who just got a home cuneiform kit? Yep, Siduri found it in the marketplace and got it for a song (better than having her sing around the house, ha!).
OK, so that first guess was an easy one, but can you guess where I wrote this message? I’ll give you a hint: you’re holding it in your hands right now.
Stop looking at my daughters,
A courier burst into the room, startling me. Fortunately, I was in the middle of relieving myself already.
“Sir, a message from the Egyptians!”
Already predisposed and bored (maybe less bacon-wrapped pork at dinner from now on), I bade him to read his scroll.
“Amenhocktash the Pest wishes you to know he has purchased his first courier slave, who you see standing before you,” he said. “My master also commands me under penalty of castration to inform you that he told me this while pooping in the desert.”
15 July 1918
A carrier pigeon arrived through my window this morning, bearing a note from Francois at the front lines.
As I read Francois’ report that he found this pigeon while using a camp commode, the bird shat upon my desk.
January 16, 1991
“Oh, hi, Greg. Que pasa?”
“Nothing much. Guess where I’m calling from?” A toilet flushes in the background.
“You got a cordless phone.”
May 27, 2001
“It’s your nickel, Herr Mac.”
“Speak to me.”
“Oh, hey Rick. It’s Becky. I just wanted to let you know that the movie’s over and I can hang out when I get home.”
“Uh, are those toilets flushing in the background?”
“Oh, yeah …”
“Are you in the men’s room?”
October 3, 2006
April 8, 2009