We used to have tails, you know. Mankind, that is. They were attached to the boney knob right above our butts. But they were apparently allergic to something called evolution and they all fell off.
The first known Darwinian example of tail loss is well documented on cave walls. A young boy comes home from dinosaur tracking school when his mother shrieks: “Son, where on earth is your tail? You had it this morning when you left for school. Is it tucked in your pants?”
“No, Ma. It just fell off. I hardly ever used it, except for swatting flies. I guess I really didn’t need it.”
For others, tail loss was not as subtle. Primitive tug of war contests, for example.
“Hey Tail Boy. You’re on our side. Get in line.”
“No. Don’t pull on my tail. Pull the rope. Pull the rope. Damn, you pulled my tail off.”
For others, poor hygiene may have been the undoing of various tails.
“Get in there boy and take your monthly bath. Don’t forget to clean behind your ears and wash your tail really good. If you don’t, it’ll fall off.”
“But Pa, I can’t reach back that far.”
“Then use your tail brush, the one the Fuller Brush Caveman sold us.”
With tails to contend with, it’s little wonder that the Neanderthal men went for animal skin jackets and shunned dress pants. Eventually, I suppose their trousers had zippers in front and back. Early weddings would have been interesting. It’s likely that groomsmen swatted guests on both sides of the aisle as they seated late arrivals. And comments like, “Hey, check out the tail on that bridesmaid” would have been exchanged along with wedding vows.
Dogs, of course, still have their tails, which gives them a decided edge over humans when it comes to communicating.
“Thump-thump-thump-thump-thump” goes a dog’s tail when his master comes home from work. He’s happy to see you and fully expressive without saying a word. But if there was an accident on the floor that afternoon, there is a corresponding lack of tail-thumping. Rather, the long appendage is curved back between the dog’s legs.
“No tail thumping? Where did you do it? Kitchen or dining room?”
By observing a dog’s tail, you can tell exactly how he feels about things. But with tail-less men, you never know. Too bad we don’t have tails.
“Okay, I’ll sell you this ’78 Chevy Pick Up in mint condition for just $3,500.”
“How about $2,500?”
Alright, I’ll take $1,500 in cash money.”
“Dear, I’ve been reading about obesity. Our family is now going on a low-fat diet. Tonight, it’s tofu burgers with soy bean sprouts.”
“Pssst. Hey Dad. When Mom goes to bridge club, let’s order an extra-large pizza with all the toppings.”
Thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump. “Hello, Papa John’s?”
“Here come the ducks. Must be a hundred and fifty. Take ‘em.
“Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang”
I got a triple, how many did you get?”
“Hey Bob, come into my office. Should we hire Miss Wilson, the kindly spinster that types 250 words per minute?”
“Or maybe the redhead who interviewed yesterday. You remember? The one in the low-cut blouse and skin-tight jeans.”
If I only had a tail.