Home By Marquel Not the Encino Man

Not the Encino Man

Marquel, TPVs NYTimes Deep Set Eyebrows Section, was defrosting his meal, when he read Neanderthals in Europe Died Out Thousands of Years Sooner Than Some Thought, Study Says.  The finding, aided by advances in radiocarbon dating, sharply narrows the period in which Neanderthals and modern humans overlapped in Europe.

Marquel read the article with academic interest until he got to the part about possible pockets that remained Neanderthal for centuries after disappearing from the continent. Marquel liked the idea, however, that the Neanderthal era was an especially frisky time for us. Not much if any sexual morality, not even one evangelical preacher, the bible was just a draft bouncing unsuccessfully from one cheap publisher to another, no lifers, not even a one, abortion as nonjudgmental as tooth brushing, cave parties, group activities with no guilt, absolutely no privacy at all, and unisex everything!

As a result, get this, we all have one to two percent Neanderthal in us! Next time a taxi driver growls at me through the window, I hope he’ll be prepared. I’m going Neanderthal on him!
I went once again to the museum and looked for an expert on Neanderthals. As I knocked on his door, the director, Dr. Neal de Grasse, high fived me and gave me a fruit plate. “I can’t take this, Neal. I promise I’m not writing an exposé on the museum. It’s a coincidence I’m here two days in a row. I’m doing a story on Neanderthals and you guys have a corner on that knowledge market.”
“Okay”, he said “let me know if you need anything.”
He’s a nice guy but so insecure. The Neanderthal opened his door and I asked him about these pockets.
“Well the thing about pockets is that they generally lived alone and didn’t mix with the human population. Under those conditions pockets, like the one we know about in the cave in Portugal, could last hundreds and thousands of years.” He explained.
“How could they live without coming out?” I wondered.
“They did come out, but not to mix. Probably at night or solitary to hunt during the day. But there were no large population movements. Their population, in fact, was quite limited. They were on the way to extinction.” He said.
“The poor Neanderthals.” I said.
“Well they had a good run,” he said. “And we all have a little bit of the Neanderthal in us. Wanna have some fun? Go look at your kids either when you’re mad at them or when they’re sleeping. Imagine the Neanderthal in them. I always find that enlightening and amusing. Science should be fun, right?”
“I’m still interested in these pockets. If a pocket were out in the open, and not in a cave, would we necessarily recognize it as a pocket?” I asked.
“I would think so. They look different. Very deep set eyes. Prominent brows. Rather thick set. Hairy. Perhaps trending towards violence. Probably stubborn, selfish, and unlikely to compromise.” He explained.
“But if the pocket were big enough,” I asked, “say millions, it might not be noticed as such, certainly by themselves, because they wouldn’t seem different from anyone else.”
“That’s true,” he said, “and to throw a monkey wrench into it, they might have evolved a bit over the years.” He had a mischievous look.
So,” I said, thinking, “they went straight across Europe to Asia.”
“We’re quite certain.” He asserted.
“Up to the Urals,” I said, “where they stopped, forming their own giant pocket larger than all the surrounding populations'”
“That’s surmise,” he said.
“Not when I finish, ” I said. “A small group travelled down towards the Euphrates, on to the Jordan, and were caught between famously warring factions.”
“Nice theory but what does it get you?” He asked.
“The first group are known today as Russians. They have prominent brows. Remember Brezhnev? They are stubborn, abrasive, aggressive, uncompromising.  They’re big hairy people who don’t mind the cold and they tend to walk slumped over which most people attribute to the cold. The fact is, Russians are a Neanderthal pocket. An entire nation of Neanderthals.” I said authoritatively.
“And this other group you sent down south?” He asked.
“They form the basis for right wing Israelis. All the characteristics fit.” I opined.
“I never heard of a nomadic group that only formed a political part of a social group.” He said. “It’s not part of our science. It lacks a driving force.” He asserted.
“That’s because you’re only seeing part of the picture.” I said. “Israel was formed from two groups, Neanderthals and advanced humans.”
“And? What about this political component?” He asked.
“Simple, logical, and testable,” I said. “The Neanderthals are, well, Neanderthals. They don’t like Arabs nor advanced humans. They are the right wing settlers on the West Bank and the people who killed Rabin. The humans are like you and me, smart, liberal, open to compromise, and as a result likely to be devoured by their Neanderthal cousins.”
“I hope you’re wrong,” he said.
“And if I’m right?” I questioned.
“I’d lose my job.” He said.
BY MARQUEL: Not the Encino Man


  1. HA, HA, you got them. Both the Russian politicians and the right wing Israelis. A88oles. Well done. Two birds with one stone…

  2. perfect pitch, though I should add something more…I loved listening to it being read aloud to me during our commute.

  3. M, you’re right about the Neanderthals. I don’t know about any specific groups but I’ve seen some “people” who are WAY more than 2%.

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