So a few months back I took a trip. What was supposed to have been a weekend trip finally became 10 days. And as you can imagine I came back to a number of unfortunate occurrences in my flat. And one of such is the basis of today’s musings.
I got in at about 6pm and rummaging through the fridge in search of the marginally edible, like we all do, I came across a jar of pasta sauce (the tomato and meatball variety) that probably moved into the house with me. Such was my desperation that for a brief moment I actually considered eating it, but opening the jar quickly changed my mind.
The tomato sauce had turned an interesting shade of pink while the meatballs were white-coated. I was hungry not suicidal, so I got my “eeughs” and shudders out of the way, decided on pizza and headed for the dustbin. On the way my phone rang, I picked it, continued some gossip from where I last left off and forgot the jar of meatballs on the kitchen counter.
I had the next day off work so I got out of bed sometime between noon and evening and groped into the kitchen, again on the human search for edibles. On my way I caught sight of the sauce jar and even though every bit of common sense screamed out to me to just toss it in the trash I couldn’t ignore that one little voice telling me to look. “Just a peek”, it said. “For science”. What did I have to lose? I looked. And what did I find? The meatballs were alive! No, really, they were. Ok, no, they really weren’t, but there were very tiny living things on them, roaming around, just… going about their slimy businesses. Most revolting thing you’ll ever see. Anyway, not to disgust you any further, I’ll cut the story short. I shuddered once more, covered the jar, tossed it in the bin, took the bin out to my patio and left it there till the next day when I tossed the trash, jar included, in the dumpster for pickup on the Friday.
So, why did I tell you this story, you ask? Here’s why. Because the event got me thinking. Think about it, those creepies on my meatballs probably never realized they were just nasty parasites on my, well, meatballs. In their minds they were just honest little creepies trying to make a living. They ruled the meatball! I mean, for them to have materialized and grown up in just the few hours I left them on the counter, they must have a pretty short life span, maybe two human days? Three? For them, that’s a life time, their three score and ten years. During that time they were born, grew up, went to school, married, had kids, grew old and died (or whatever average creepy crawlies do) blissfully oblivious to the fact that they were just nasty little creatures in a jar. Maybe a really smart one among them made a telescope, noticed the other meatballs in the jar and wondered in awe, “Are we alone in this sauce?” Maybe they did some research and found out that many years ago this meatball on which they now lived was once really cold. Maybe they called that the ice age. And maybe they noticed when I took the bin outside that it was getting uncomfortably warm. Global warming?
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
What if, oh dear, what if! What if we humans aren’t the big shots we think we are? What if instead we are just tiny, nasty parasites on some giant creature’s meatball?
*Disclaimer: In my defence I wrote this after midnight, after having too much cheese. You cannot hold me responsible.