Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Neandertal Man: His first taste of wine.

Believe it or not, one can relate the consumption of alcohol to our Neanderthal origins. Firstly one must bear in mind that in Neanderthal times the order of the day was discovery and not invention. Existing things were discovered, man was not able to invent things yet. Man was fond of berries and fruit. Once he became a hunter the lesser task of gathering fruit was delegated to the women and juveniles. The problem was that the fruit became overripe very quickly and had to be discarded. This problem still exists today, ask any airfreight exporter. So the Alpha male of one tribe set a challenge to his underlings to think of a way to have fruit last longer. A number of ideas were tested and all failed. One bright spark however noticed that fruit in direct sunlight did not last as long as fruit kept in the shade. So what he did was place fruit in a number of hollowed out coconuts, replaced the lids to keep the bugs away, and kept them in a cool place for a number of days. When the Main Man tested this fruit after a week it tasted like shit and was pronounced poison. So he banished the unfortunate discoverer to modern day Kalahari, which is the subject of another tale. Now, to complicate matters the Main Man had a harem. In this harem was a shy young lady who never really caught the master’s eye. Never experienced the pleasure of been banged over the head with the ceremonial club and been dragged off by the hair to the master cave room. So in desperation she decided to run away. This was a serious decision, given the perils of the time. While contemplating her decision in solitude she stumbled upon the remaining coconuts. Knowing it was poison she downed one and waited for the inevitable. Nothing happened so she downed the second one to hasten the process. By now she was feeling much better and took a third for the hell of it. After the fourth one she marched into the master cave room and physically threw the flavour of the night out into the wilderness. Then she told the Man what she thought of him, and herself, and then introduced him to amorous activities that not even she had dreamed of.
Needless to say from then on she was the nightly visitor, and always brought along a coconut. Hence the saying, “every time a coconut”.

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