back to article Hipster disruptor? Never trust a well-groomed caveman with your clams

The Dawn of Man. Picture a pastoral scene of prehistoric arcadian bliss as our troglodyte ancestors sit about calmly picking fleas off each other's backs. One eats a banana. Another slowly munches the scraps from a mammoth bone. The rest seem happy munching the fleas. Mmm, fleas. Young Trog is wallowing in a nearby rock pool …

  1. EddieD

    Douglas Adams already pondered thusly...

    "MARKETING GIRL:

    When you have been in marketing as long as I have, you’ll know that before any new product can be developed, it has to be properly researched. I mean yes, yes we’ve got to find out what people want from fire, I mean how do they relate to it, the image -

    FORD:

    Oh, stick it up your nose.

    MARKETING GIRL:

    Yes which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know, I mean do people want fire that can be fitted nasally. "

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Douglas Adams already pondered thusly...

      Wonder how Adams would have regarded Pret then?

      Take one banana, any banana will do. slice it up into really thin slices, individually wrap each slice and sell them each at twice the cost of the banana.

      1. DJ Smiley

        Re: Douglas Adams already pondered thusly...

        He'd have seen the inverse relationship between thickness of banana slice, and value associated with and launched the 'bananot' - a banana cut into strips so thin, you wouldn't believe they exist other than the fact they come in a gold plated (warning, not real gold, just some yellow paint) presentation box. Only $1000!

        Also available is the 'bananot' which comes in the larger box, and so has more room with it, only $2500!

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Re: Douglas Adams already pondered thusly...

          Also available is the 'bananot' which comes in the larger box, and so has more room with it, only $2500!

          That would be the 'Bananot+" then?

    2. Jonathan Richards 1
      Go

      Re: Douglas Adams already pondered thusly...

      +1

      I always wondered whether the script for Ford's little outburst had been bowdlerized for broadcast on Radio Four. 'Stick it up your ...' would not ordinarily suggest 'nose' as being the next word. But then, he did come from Betelgeuse.

  2. B*stardTintedGlasses

    Excellent column! Although the "strong" ones would not have moped off, they would have either been given new Slabtops and Mobile Bones to be "product influencers" or have taken them and banned anyone else from using them with the aforementioned strength/religious power...

    “One day old Thrashbarg said that Almighty Bob had declared that he, Thrashbarg, was to have first pick of the sandwiches. The villagers asked him when this had happened, exactly, and Thrashbarg said it had happened yesterday, when they weren't looking. 'Have faith,' Old Thrashbarg said, 'or burn!'

    They let him have first pick of the sandwiches. It seemed easiest.”

    -Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      "Old Thrashbarg said that it was the ineffable will of Bob, and when they asked him what "ineffable" meant, he said look it up.

      This was a problem because Old Thrashbarg had the only dictionary and he wouldn't let them borrow it. They asked him why not and he said that it was not for them to know the will of Almighty Bob, and when they asked him why not again, he said because he said so."

      (isn't it from Mostly Harmless ("the fifth book in the increasingly mistitled HHGTTG trilogy"))

  3. Fihart

    Turtlenecks, boybeards...

    Like the turtleneck shirt joke. Of course all had boybeards in those days, given average life expectancy of 18 yrs.

    1. smudge Silver badge

      Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

      Of course all had boybeards in those days, given average life expectancy of 18 yrs.

      Not so. As you say, that may have been *average" life expectancy, but infant and child mortality - right up until recently - was hideously high. Survive your childhood, and you had a good chance of living to a ripe old age.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

        I'm sure "three score and ten" ( ie: 70 ) is mentioned in the bible as how long people tended to live for.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

          The Bible also mentions people living hundreds of years - like Methuselah at 956 years.

          1. M. Poolman

            Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

            The Bible also mentions people living hundreds of years - like Methuselah at 956 years.

            New testamant, written mainly in Latin and Greek: 3 score + 10 or if you're lucky 4 score.

            Old testamant, written in ancient Hebrew: 956 for Methusala etc. Almost certainly mistranslation/misunderstanding by translaters whose knowledge of Latin and Greek was better than Hebrew.

            1. James Anderson

              Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

              I think the old testament writers (along with Norse sagas Greek myths etc.) had what we shall now call a Trumpian relationship with facts. Never let Fake News get in the way of a good rune byte.

            2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

              956 might well have been a mistranslation of "ninety-five or -six".

              1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

                Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

                "956 might well have been a mistranslation of "ninety-five or -six"."

                No, because Hebrew numbers don't work like that. They are not positional.

                But there are other religions such as that of the Jains which believe that in the past people lived much longer and were much bigger. I've said it before, will say it again, the original purpose of the Bible was not to be a science textbook of any description.

          2. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

            - like Methuselah at 956 years.

            Yeah, but he only managed that by necking shedloads of champagne.

            1. Captain DaFt

              Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

              Curious person: " Methuselah, to what do you owe your extraordinary lifespan?"

              Methuselah:"Mainly, I owe it to the hall of records burning down forty years ago!" ☺

            2. sprograms

              Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

              but "who calls it livin' when no woman is given to a man what is 900 years?"

          3. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

            "Methuselah at 956 years"

            Societies at that time and place used both a solar and a lunar calendar. 956/12 = 79.67. Quite believable that if it was common for people to live until 70, that one particular individual could make it to nearly 80, and that he would be regarded as exceptionally, indeed legendarily, long-lived.

        2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

          If you make it out of childhood, and weren't starving, then 50-60 is about right for the ancient world. 70 is a ripe old age then.

          Victorians, if you strip out infant mortality, had a life expectancy of 70s.

          Currently, it's low 80s for the western world.

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

            "If you make it out of childhood, and weren't starving, then 50-60 is about right for the ancient world. 70 is a ripe old age then."

            In Rome you were "senex" at about 44, at which age also you could retire from the army with your plot of land in the colonies.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Something I've always wondered ...

    Why, exactly, do we think of the wheel as a great invention? When you think about it for a second or two, a wheel is pretty bloody useless on it's own.

    The really great invention was actually the axle. Sorry, Thor.

    That said, never forget CLAMS GOT LEGS!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something I've always wondered ...

      "That said, never forget CLAMS GOT LEGS!"

      Now I'll have to kill you :-)

      1. Graham Lockley

        Re: Something I've always wondered ...

        Kick him to death ?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Something I've always wondered ...

      "The really great invention was actually the axle."

      The really great invention was the roller (not Roller). Everything else was refinement.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: The really great invention was the roller

        I disagree. The really great invention was the Silent Mammoth Whistle, but it was crushed along with the inventor when Gak Eisenberg tested it.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Something I've always wondered ...

        A roller IS an axle ... but then, so is a wheel. Topological tautology.

    3. Stevie Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Something I've always wondered ...

      Beer for you, Jake.

      I work with someone with a tenuous (but real) link to JH.

    4. Black Betty

      Re: Something I've always wondered ...

      Actually it was the road that went underneath that really made the differnce.

      On most unimproved terrain, a travois will outperform a wheelbarrow.

    5. LDS Silver badge
      Joke

      They already had a lot of axles....

      ... they just needed something heavy like the wheel at the extremities - otherwise it was used to hit each other on the head...

  5. hplasm Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Awesome -

    It builds nicely!*

    Best Friday Evar!

    Thumbs up for the BC refs, and all the rest!

    * (See Spot.. See Spot Run...etc) :)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Awesome -

      Amazing how many BC jokes still stick in the mind after 45 years.

      Dictionary: "Recursion - see recursion"

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Awesome -

        My favourite (can't find it online or I'd link it) is the explanation of golf:

        B is playing golf, A stops by to chat

        A: Whatcha doin'?

        B: Playing golf.

        A: What's the object of the game?

        B: I'm trying to get this little ball into that cup over there

        A: [picks up ball, walks over and drops it in cup] Silly game. [walks away]

        oh, and it's spelled, "COVFEFE" :-)

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Awesome -

        See also tail recursion: http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/T/tail-recursion.html

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Awesome -

      Yeah! El Reg really ought to bring back up/down votes for the articles :-)

  6. Alister Silver badge

    Very Adams'esque

    Nice bit of social commentary Dabbsy, and definite glimpses of Douglas.

  7. PhilipN Silver badge

    2001

    Damn! Now I want to watch the whole film.

  8. tiggity Silver badge

    Climate change

    Must have been a nifty bit of climate change going on there.

    Bananas need warm climate to grow.

    Mammoths were known to prefer a more nip hardening climate - a chilly environment was their thing.

    So banana and mammoth together quite unlikley (unless we have sceanrios such as mammoth stuck on an ice berg drifting to somewhere warm, iceberg melts and mammoth washed ashore to food bonanza delight of banana munching trogs)

    So my suspension o0f disbelief was sadly lost before we got to the silly stuff

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Climate change

      Honestly, if I didn't carefully insert these errors, you lot would have nothing to comment on.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Climate change

        you lot would have nothing to comment on

        How long have you been slacking-off^W ^W writing round here?

        Commentards gonna comment. Otherwise we would have to work too!

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Climate change

      What are you talking about? Mammoth and banana is my favourite ice cream.

    3. gypsythief
      Facepalm

      Re: Climate change

      "One eats a banana. Another slowly munches the scraps from a mammoth bone"

      Where does Mr Dabbs write "woolly mammoth"? Woolly mammoths lived in the chilly north, yes, but their hairless cousins lived throughout Europe, Asia and North Africa.

      You know, where bananas grow.

  9. Alistair Dabbs
    Pint

    Beer o'clock at Wiley's Bar, anyone?

    "Another tough day at work, eh?"

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Beer o'clock at Wiley's Bar, anyone?

      Some days, you just know you shouldn't have got out of bed.

      :)

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Beer o'clock at Wiley's Bar, anyone?

        you just know you shouldn't have got out of bed.

        Personally, I'm regretting developing opposable thumbs and walking on the ground..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Beer o'clock at Wiley's Bar, anyone?

          It's much easier to live on trees when you have opposable thumbs - including the feet (we lost it, or never had it)- even birds living on trees had to develop opposable toes...

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Beer o'clock at Wiley's Bar, anyone?

        "Some days, you just know you shouldn't have got out of bed."

        I call them weekdays.

    2. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Beer o'clock at Wiley's Bar, anyone?

      Wiley's Bar ... For those times when Callahan's can't help.

  10. Mage Silver badge
    Happy

    Ahhh...

    Lovely.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting and amusing commentary on the vapid nature of modern consumption ruined at the end with an eye-rollingly trite cliché so tired that Trog probably invented it. Sad!

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      >> eye-rollingly trite cliché

      Everyone says that. So what people tell me must be a cliché.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: >> eye-rollingly trite cliché

        Hey, you're the wordsmith, not me.

        When you were plotting this article in your head, did you really mean to close it out the way you did, or did you run out of steam (or bump up against a deadline)? It was crowd-pleasing, to be sure, but your stuff is usually far better than trafficking in Pavlovian politics.

  12. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    first video (original "2001" monolith scene)

    Lovely bit, but I like this version better from the twisted mind of Mel Brooks.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: first video (original "2001" monolith scene)

      My fave is the Terry Gilliam take on 2001 in which the cavemen tosses the bone high, it turns into a spaceship which sweeps through space until the music falters, when it falls back to earth and hits the caveman on the head, cold-cocking him.

      I'd link it but have had no luck finding it.

  13. Steve 114

    Don't get it - 'Banana' from where? Distant ancestors had the same brains, more lore, oral stories. herbal remedies, tribal grudges but hey less book-larning. Don't insult my ancestors, please.

  14. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Blah blah blah

    You carry it with you at all times so that, if you want to speak to another troglodyte on the next hill, you raise the mobile bone to your ear and yell as loudly as you can in his direction.

    Just yesterday, while hiking in the forest, following the Baden Powell trail above West Vancouver, followed by not one, but two insufferable idiot having shouted conversations into the speaker phones in their hands.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Blah blah blah

      followed by not one, but two insufferable idiot having shouted conversations into the speaker phones in their hands.

      Hate that, esp when they complain about you listening in.

      You could always start one of your own, talking about finding a perfect place for the bodies and hoping those nearby can't hear you, otherwise you'd have to take care of witnesses (very risk trick for US based people!)

      Slightly longer and better clip at Southpark Studios, but with a lot more 3rd party JS :

      http://southpark.cc.com/clips/2hlbyd/take-that-shit-off-speakerphone

  15. Brian Allan 1

    Enjoyable read this fine friday!

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Thank you.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Better than usual

    While i do enjoy Mr Dabbs usual column, i enjoyed this one more.

    As reserved a compliment as i can come up with.

  17. thx1138v2

    And then, back in the ancient days of 2016, The Caveman Martini was invented...

    ...by yours truly.

    Being out in the hinterlands with gin, dry vermouth, and, uh a hem, cough, cough, cubed ice and being repulsed by the idea of fricking ?ICE CUBES? in a Martini, the caveman instinct kicks in.

    Grab that towel there and that large somewhat hollowed out stone over there and this nifty fist sized rock nearby, wrap the ice effing cubes in the towel, place it in the large stone's hollow, and pound it with the fist sized stone. TAA DAA! Crushed ice in The Caveman Martini.

    Add a small sliver of Habanero pepper, lay back, and howl with the coyotes.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: And then, back in the ancient days of 2016, The Caveman Martini was invented...

      The perfect Martini (for IT persons).

      (Cued video link in really bad quality. If cue doesn't work, FF to 48:30.)

  18. JimBob42
    Meh

    You had me until "mobile bone."

  19. Alan1kiwi

    Magic Leap.....the mental divide

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/06/magicleap_update/

    Blade Runner makes more sense :-)

  20. Zmodem

    you can do it all for real soon in ancient cities https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVMMRJeSOw8

  21. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    Bloody Hell Dabbs. You look like shit.

    At least the wife has covfefed her bit of fur with a bit of fur. You've let it all fall out or off along with the rest of your fleshy bits.

  22. G.Y.

    coVfefe!

    The V is missing!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: coVfefe!

      Nah. Cofefe is a typo for "coffee". Easy mistake to make. Done it myself.

      Now, "covfefe" ... or more precisely, "Despite the constant negative press covfefe" ... that's the ramblings of a dude in the early stages of senility.

  23. Potemkine! Silver badge
  24. Tom Paine Silver badge

    The horror

    I lol'd on the Monday morning commute. The shame of it...

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