Musin’s and Thinkin’s

A Monthly Stroll Down Folksy Byways

with Jack Pendarvis

Thanks to this little job of my mine, I am honored to receive cards and letters from all over this great nation of ours—even some from around the world. They all bear the same message: “Please stop writing.”

Friends, it’s not that simple. Storytelling is mankind’s oldest impulse. Well, before storytelling there was probably “The sky-gods are making boom-boom. Let’s run inside this cave.” Then “I’m biggest, so I’m in charge.” And “My loins are commanding me to do strange things I don’t understand.” Also “I could really go for some raw meat right now. Who else is up for some raw meat?” Or “Hey, this old dude isn’t pulling his weight. Let’s leave him to die under this scrawny tree.” Plus “Look, I am going to pee on all this stuff around here and if anybody crosses this line I’m going to conk him on the noggin with a rock. This is my stuff, get it?” And finally “All right, who wants to hear a story?” And everybody was like, “Me! Me!” So storytelling is, like, our seventh oldest impulse? Anyway, it’s way up there.

I suppose we think we’ve “evolved” since those days. I suppose we think we’re above all that, living in our air-conditioned skyscrapers with our martinis and shoes. I suppose we think we’re hot to trot. I suppose just because we drape some delicate cloth on our wieners that makes us better than cavemen. Maybe the cavemen had the right idea—did you ever think of that? You’ll never see a caveman waiting for an elevator like he thinks he’s so great. Look at us, going around with our noses stuck up in the air and our precious briefcases filled with important documents and our shiny hair with some kind of expensive gelatin product plastering it down and our butts poking out and our starched underpants and our chests swelled with false pride and our feet splayed in an attitude of arrogance and a hanky drenched in lavender pressed to our sensitive nostrils and our ear whiskers oh-so-carefully plucked and our cheeks ruddy with the effects of a secret afternoon drink and our eyes kind of half-closed with superiority. Oh boy, I hate us so much!

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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Jack Pendarvis has written three books.

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