I cannot explain what it takes to spin my wheels. But once my brain is humming, its path is seldom straight; my line of reasoning is often convoluted and difficult to follow. That's my rationalization for what follows.
Anyway, I was just sitting back in my recliner, having lunch in front of the TV, which isn’t always a good idea, when some excited shouting let me know a Savannah station was hyping its local news. This story was headlined “The Dirty Little Secret” and it was an expose based on a study that concluded people (like me) who tote the same cloth bags to the supermarket time after time — for the purpose of helping the planet by decreasing the use of plastic bags — are, in fact, putting their health at risk. Seems teeny-tiny food particles break free each time we use these bags, and soon these particles become an army of nasty bacteria that could contaminate what we eat.
That much I gleaned from the promo. I had no intention of actually watching the full expose because that would require watching the local news which I know for sure is bad for my mental health.
Clearly humans cannot do anything without a study being commissioned to prove we should be doing just the opposite. Knowing who is behind that study is always helpful. In this case it could well be the Plastic Bag Institute, if there is such an organization. Trouble is, local television stations are a lot like Fox News. They never question items that suit their purpose, and the purpose in this case was to draw viewers to their news program. (“End of the world imminent! See our five-part report starting next Monday night at 6!”)
Nor do local reporters — or most network reporters, for that matter — consider the infinite number of variables that could render a study worthless, as I'm sure this one was.
BUT THAT'S not why this particular bit of hype has set me off. No, it's because this particular bit of hype was the last straw. I've had it with being instructed to do something, only to find several months later that I should be doing otherwise. I remember when it was good for your health to have a glass of red wine every day. Later it became a bad idea, then a good one again, then bad . . . and by that time I had started drinking Coke Zero, which probably isn't good for me, but at least it has no sugar.
Water has always been good for us, but what comes out of the tap may have a chlorine taste. Or perhaps the source of your water is a river or lake along the shores of which is a nuclear power plant. Drink too much of that water and you might glow in the dark. The solution? Drink bottled water. Only those plastic bottles are bad for the environment. Or you could filter your water, then learn that if you don't change that filter every week you're actually ingesting toxins made worse by the way they multiplied within a now-filthy filter.
Quick, is milk good for you? Your answer depends on what study you’ve decided to believe. Personally, I’ve always hated milk, at least white milk. I couldn’t drink it as a kid until I’d mixed in some chocolate syrup.
Ah, yes, chocolate. The dark stuff is good for you, milk chocolate is bad, right?
Bacon and eggs, good or bad? Depends on what study you read . . . and when you read it.
And what about jogging? Does it improve your health or ruin your knees?
I BELIEVE all of the above can be used to refute claims that human beings are descended from apes or any other of Earth's creatures. No self-respecting animal spends so much time second-guessing himself. We humans have precious little in common with creatures that evolved on this planet.
It's time were admit the truth: The creature we know as Homo sapiens arrived here in a space ship from some faraway galaxy. Earth is the Australia of the solar system.
Think about it. Have you ever heard of a grizzly bear that practices catch and release with salmon it plucks from a stream. Do grizzly scientists tag fish, then return a year later to find out how much the tagged fish have grown, or if they’re still thriving? Do macho bears stuff prize catches and mount them on cave walls.
On a related matter, are there studies by bear doctors that prove hibernation is actually a bad thing? That if the cold weather bothers them so much, perhaps they should winter in Florida?
ARE SNAKES being pressured to pick up the skins they’re always shedding and take them to a recycling station? Or perhaps use them to store rodents for future consumption?
Are there monarch butterflies that complain about spending every winter vacation on the same old Mexican mountain. (“Honey, just once I’d like to go to St. Bart’s. For one thing, it’s closer. We’d have more time to rest our wings and relax!”)
Do hummingbird doctors issue warnings about feeders put out by humans because the contents could lead to high blood sugar?
Are there smartass wrens who warn that eating mosquitoes increases the risk of being infected with human diseases, because, after all mosquitoes are sucking up all that human blood? (“Stick to a diet of ants and small spiders. You’ll live longer.”)
SPEAKING of ants, have any of the workers attempted to organize a union. Do drones ever conspire against the queen? (“Hey, I like sex as much as the next drone, but I’m not willing to die for it! The queen’s not the only game in town!”)
Except for creatures such as the insect queens, I’ve never heard of a mass murderer among animals. That is, an animal that murders for reasons that have nothing to do with sex or survival. I thought about this one night while watching a multi-part TV movie about the Old West in which a pair of young Indians were given the task of stampeding a herd of buffalo toward a cliff. At the last second, the boys would duck to safety, while many of the buffalo plunged to their deaths. Hunting made easy.
Well, what if an evil buffalo used the same method to eliminate herd members he didn’t like?
What if an evil fish deliberately lured his school to a fisherman's bait? And then claimed afterward he did it because his schoolmate always made fun of him? ("I couldn't take it anymore being the school nerd!")
Would killer animals be interviewed by psychiatrists before being sentenced? While imprisoned, would killer animals write biographies in which they blamed their troubles on an unhappy childhood, a nymphomaniac mom or a deadbeat dad? Is there an animal equivalent of Oprah, someone who has cozy little chats with such killers, then recommends their books?
DO YOU THINK there's pornography among animals? I haven't heard of any, but that doesn't mean that some day there won't be a National Geographic TV program about it, showing us how horny orangutans gather to watch sex acts performed by members of their colony that are particularly well endowed (though what really gets them excited is the featured "guest star", a touring baboon with a bright red ass). To really imitate humans, however, orangutans would have to stage an awards show in which the sex acts are categorized and trophies given to outstanding performers.
Which reminds me . . . Do female gorillas ever get boob jobs? Do Kentucky Derby winning horses have groupies? Do buzzards read roadkill reviews? Are rabbits sent to rehab for sex addiction? Do cats worry about the effects of eating hairballs?
I could go on and on, but it's clear that man cannot be related to any of Earth’s creatures. We're from somewhere else.
And what's sad is the feeling I get, usually while watching television, that on whatever distant planet that was our ancestral home, the creatures banished to colonize the third rock from the sun weren’t the best or the brightest, but merely those who couldn't make up their minds about anything.