Posts Tagged "neanderthal"

The Irrefutable History of Tattoos

Dear Kid,

Who thought of getting the very first tattoo? And why? What possessed them to say "I think I'll stab myself with something unsanitary in the hope it will leave a permanent mark on my skin."? DearKidLoveMom.comI’ve been thinking. (Scary, I know.)

Who thought of the first tattoo?

The very, very first one?

Tattoos have been around forever (that’s the technical term for a really, really, really long time).

But who first thought, “Hey, I bet it would be fun to stab myself with something unsanitary in the hope that it will leave a permanent mark on my skin!”?

I get (not) how the next Neanderthal might think, “Well, if Joe is going to jab himself enough to scream like a little girl and end up with a badly drawn sabretooth tiger on his butt, then I want to do that too.”

But what on earth would have possessed Joe to stab himself in the first place?

Did he fall on a sabretooth porcupine quill that just happened to be sitting in raspberry juice?

Did Mrs. Joe Neanderthal wake up one morning and think “Gee, rather than trying to figure out how to feed all the little Neanderthals today, I think I’ll convince Joe to get a dancing hula girl on his bicep.”?

Did the little Neanderthals have trouble remembering which one was their Dad and decide to try to put an identifying mark on him (accidentally inventing the genre of body art)?

Our textbooks are suspiciously silent on the topic of The Very First Tattoo. It’s almost as if they don’t know exactly who got the first tramp stamp.

Ridiculous, but there you are.

Love, Mom

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The True and Accurate History of Cell Phones

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time Joe Neanderthal went out to visit his friends. While he was out, all 17 Neanderthal children got sick (having eaten too much undercooked mammoth) and the fire went out while Mrs. Neanderthal was tending to them. Mrs. Neanderthal was tired and cold and wanted Joe to come home.

Not having a handy saber tooth tiger around to deliver the message, she went to the mouth of their cave and yelled for Joe. Mrs. Neanderthal had quite a set of lungs and Joe heard her, but Joe was having a good time and didn’t really want to deal with 17 sick kids. So Joe unwisely ignored her.

Not being an idiot, Mrs. Neanderthal wished she had a way to communicate more closely with Joe and almost invented the cell phone. But before she could get around to inventing, she realized she could just march over and yell at Joe in person. Which she did—to great effect and the amusement of Joe’s buddies. Since this is a family blog, I can’t repeat exactly what was said, but Mrs. N got a lovely mammoth coat and Joe spent a lot of time babysitting.

I love my cell phone DearKidLoveMom.comBecause Mrs. Joe didn’t get around to inventing the cell phone, the world had to wait a long, long time for a mobile personal communication device.

In the early 1900s, several cartoonists used wireless phones as subject matter. During the 1940s, the military used radio-telephony links. Many people wrote about personal communication devices (think shoe phone from Get Smart) and eventually the car phone was invented.

In 1973 Motorola made the first handheld mobile phone. It was about 1,000 pounds (1.1 kg) and most assuredly did not fit in anyone’s pocket. (Except perhaps for Kanga’s, but since Roo was still in there, she wasn’t offering to try.)

Fast forward to now when children are issued cell phones at birth and upgrade to smart phones before Kindergarten. The world, she has changed.

Now you know.

Love, Mom

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Do You Know What’s On Your Toothbrush?

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time there were no toothbrushes (or teethbrushi). This was because people had no teeth (since they didn’t take care of them, their teeth all fell out). The general feeling in those days about breath was “blech.”

One day, Mrs. Neanderthal was admiring her last tooth (it was—at the time—considered to be a very attractive tooth) and hoping it would last as long as her dinner. Her hubby-type, Joe Neanderthal, had neglected to actually bring home dinner, so Mrs. N had a long while to wait. A long hungry while to wait. And while she waited, she chewed on a stick to try to get her tummy to stop rumbling. Her tooth lasted through several chew sticks and the toothbrush was born.

Mrs. N went on to expand her line of Sticks to Chew to include feathers, small bones, and porcupine quills. Mrs. N had quite a nice business going when Joe finally brought home a decent dinner and Mrs. N lost her final tooth chewing on some gristle.

Brush your teeth and avoid the blech. DearKidLoveMom.comEventually, the Chinese and the Egyptians resurrected Mrs. N’s ideas and used chew sticks to clean their teeth. This was an Exceptionally Long Time Ago. At some point (still a long time ago) the Chinese invented the idea of using hog bristles attached to a bone handle to create toothbrushes.

Fast forward (to about 1780) and William Addis found himself in jail without access to a decent gift shop. At the time, people in England (that’s where he was) cleaned their teeth with a rag, soot, and salt. “Blech” thought William and he created a toothbrush. Once he got out of jail, he formed a company to mass produce toothbrushes. His company is still producing toothbrushes today, even though Will is long gone.

You would think with all these brushes around, teeth brushing would have been a big deal. You would have been wrong. It wasn’t until after WWII that the “time for night brushing of teeth” became common practice (extra points if you get the reference). Soldiers had learned (and by “learned” I mean were forced) to brush their teeth daily during the war and the practice caught on from there.

Nowadays, all kinds of disgusting things hang out on your toothbrush. If I were to tell you all about them your reaction (quite correctly) would be “blech” which seems to be something of a theme when it comes to oral hygiene. (If you really need to read about the ickies, the story is here on Mental Floss. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

To summarize:

  • Brush your teeth.
  • Clean your toothbrush.
  • Avoid the “blech.”
  • Live happily ever after.

Love, Mom

Sleep thoughts
Are spreading
Throughout the whole land.
The time for night-brushing of teeth is at hand.
Up at Herk-Heimer Falls, where the great river rushes
And crashes down crags in great gargling gushes,
The Herk-Heimer Sisters are using their brushes.
Those falls are just grand for tooth-brushing beneath
If you happen to be up that way with your teeth.

My favorite part from Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book

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