Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Ascent of (Nor)Man

They have asked me to count my blessings. So here goes.

Blessing number one: my very existence. A blessing for me, you understand, not necessarily for you. Sitting here in the cold and the dark, I must say that each and every day, in each and every way, I feel I’m winning the lottery. Or being hit by lightning. I forget which is the more miraculous. Either way, I’m feeling it.

Had my parents not met, had they not then consummated their relationship exactly when they did, had my sperm not been the one that made it first to the egg, there would be no me.

And had the same not happened for my grandparents, there would be no me.

And had the same not happened for my great grandparents, there would be no me.

You get the idea.

But any minute deviation by anyone or anything from exactly how history played itself out, right from that auspicious evening at the Reflex Nightclub, Wigan, all the way back to the first cell dividing in the primaeval sludge, and there would be no me.

Every single one of my ancestors, without a single exception, succeeded in passing on their seed. Which is pretty incredible. Looking at myself in the mirror, I find it pretty incredible that any of my ancestors ever got laid, frankly.

You know that picture of the monkey and cavemen walking along, who gradually stand upright and evolve into homo sapiens? That popped into my head, but the various apes, cavemen and, I guess, housemen who make up my ancestors are wearing running vests and taking part in a millennia-long relay race, handing on a sticky baton covered in semen. It is not a happy image.

Regardless, I am, essentially, the very apex of creation. And haven’t I made the most of it?

Okay, next blessing.

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