Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Intelligent Design

After work today as I was cycling home I stopped by the river to see what was going on. The Thingummy was there. I took some photos but they weren't very good. Sorry.

It was an enlightening visit anyway, despite the lack of good photographs.

The Thingummy saw me hanging over the railing of the bridge taking pictures, and called out.

"Hey, you!" he called.

"Me?" I asked.

"Yes, you!" he said. "You're the one who has been telling lies about me on your blog, aren't you? Your hair looks funny."

"I beg your pardon?" I said. "I didn't tell any lies!"

"Oh, yes, you did!" he said. "You said I was a Thingummy. I am not a Thingummy. I am a ... what was it again? One of your commenters got it right. I'm a ... a ... "

"A hog-nosed ratypus?" I asked.

"Yes. I'm a hog-nosed ratypus. You need to correct your story."

"Sorry," I said. "I will. But what did you say about my hair?"

"No, wait. That isn't right. I'm not a hog-nosed ratypus. It was something else ..."

"A coypu?"

"That's it! I'm a Coy ... what was it again?"


"Yeah, that's it. I'm a Coypu. And don't you forget it." He squinted at me. "You look like you stuck your finger in a light socket."

"My hair just has a bit more body than usual, because it rained," I said. I was getting a little anxious. "It doesn't look that bad, does it?"

"Yes. It does," he said. "And my name is not the only thing you got wrong. You also said I evolved from a fish."

"But you did!" I protested. "I saw you doing it! You evolved from a carp."

"I DID NOT," he said. "THAT'S A BLASPHEMOUS LIE. I did not evolve. I was Intelligently Designed."

"Oh, yeah?" I said. "How do you know?"

"I'm irreducibly complex, so I can't possibly have evolved," he said. "The Great Coy Pu in the Sky designed me, in His image. He told me so Himself."

"Oh," I said.

"You should put that in your blog too," he added. "It's your duty. The world should know about the great Coy Pu in the Sky. They have to believe, and have faith. Otherwise they might end up in that awful place where nobody eats roots and leaves, AND with hair like yours, if they're especially faithless."

"I see," I said, although I didn't, really. I also didn't think my hair looked THAT bad.

"Did you write it down?" asked the Coypu.

"Er... just a minute," I said, and took out my Palm. I started to write. "What was that last bit again? They might end up where?"

"Where nobody eats roots and leaves," said the Coypu.

"Where nobody eats ..."

"Roots ..."

"Roots ..."

"And leaves."

"And leaves."

"Hold on. Did you put any commas in there?" asked the Coypu, suspiciously.

"No. Why?"


"I said there weren't any," I said. "What's wrong with commas, anyway?"

"Er ... nothing," said the Coypu. "But there's a place for everything, and that sentence is not a place for commas."

"I see," I said, although I didn't.

"And until you have repented for your blasphemy against the Great Coy Pu in the Sky I'm not talking to you anymore," he added. "And none of your photos will be any good." He turned and disappeared into a hole in the riverbank.

I looked at the photo I had taken, and somewhat shaken, cycled off.

A little further down the river I stopped to say hello to the two big birds.

"You're looking rather frazzled," said one of them. "What's going on?"

"I've just been talking to the Thingummy, I mean the Coypu," I said. "He told me that he was Intelligently Designed by the Great Coy Pu in the Sky, and that he wouldn't talk to me anymore until I said so on my blog."

"What twaddle!" snapped the bird irritably. "He is always going on about that stupid Great Coy Pu nonsense. Intelligent Design, my foot. Did you see his teeth? Who in their right mind would design orange teeth? Utter rubbish!"

"It seemed kind of odd to me, too," I said.

"idiotic creature," scoffed the bird. "He evolved from a fish. You did, too."

"I'm glad to hear you say so," I said. "That's what I thought."

"And you were right," said the bird. "You poor thing. That's probably why your hair looks peculiar. If you'd been designed by the Great Egret in the Sky in His image, like us, your hair wouldn't look like that."

"Er, does it really look that bad?" I said.


We were silent for a moment. The birds meditated on the Great Egret in the Sky, and I meditated on my hair.

"Um, can I take a picture?" I asked, remembering my blog readers.

"Yes," said the bird. "But it won't be any good. The light is fading."

I took a picture, and it wasn't any good. If the bird was right about that, could she be right about the Great Egret in the Sky as well? And my hair?

I thought about it as I started to cycle further on down the river. Then I heard a voice from above.

"HEY, YOU!" it said, and I almost fell off my bike.

"Yes?" I said, and stopped. Was it the Great Egret in the Sky? Or the Great Coy Pu? And if it was the Great Coy Pu would it have orange teeth? I looked up.

It was neither.

"I heard you talking with those stupid white birds," said the crow. "Don't believe a word they say."

"You mean my hair looks all right?" I asked.

"Well, no," said the crow. "They were right about that. But that stuff they said about the Great Egret in the Sky? It's all nonsense."

"I did wonder about that," I said. "But it didn't seem polite to say anything."

"Never mind politeness," said the crow. "When they start talking rubbish (mmm, rubbish) you should just shout, "HA! NONSENSE!" and fly away.

"But I can't fly," I said.

"Oh, that's right," said the crow. "You can't. Too bad."

"It must be nice to be able to fly," I said.

"It is," said the crow. "What a shame you evolved from a fish, and weren't Intelligently Designed by the Great Crow in the Sky, like me."

He flew away.

When I got home The Man greeted me warmly.

"Hello, darling," he said. "What happened to your hair?"

As I said, today's river visit was an enlightening one. I learned two things.

1. I don't know how to take good photographs when the light is fading.
2. My hair is a strong argument against Intelligent Design.


BobCiz said...

Oh, but what if you were Intelligently Designed by the Great Hairdo in the Sky? Might we all be in serious trouble then?

Radioactive Jam said...

Thanks for posting this. Great story!

And the comma-less "eats roots and leaves" part brings Lynne Truss to mind. Perhaps that was your intent.

kenju said...

A marvelous story, BadAunt! Encore! Encore!

Fuzzball said...

*helpless with laughter*

Thanks for the newest chapter!

Kay said...

I come, I read, I laugh, I remember, I am happy.

lynnylchan said...

Does "roots" mean the same thing in NZ-speak as it does in Australia? They use it as a verb over there, I think.

"A place where nobody eats roots and leaves" sounds nasty if the commas are added in... hehehe.

Badaunt said...

Lynnlchan: SHHHH!!! You're giving away all my naughty little secrets!

(You've been reading Ms Mac, haven't you?)