A BRIEF HISTORY OF WRITERS
The archives of anthropology lack information about the genesis of the writer within the human family. Perhaps this omission occurred because the author of those archives was pressured by his publisher to meet a deadline or lose their advance and… …Oh…sorry—I digress. Let us take a long overdue look at the origins of this magnificent species shall we?
The halls of natural history museums are filled with fossilized remnants of creatures whose only purpose in life was to eat, reproduce, then die— in that order and preferably near the sticky tar of the swamp that is now downtown Los Angeles. Human beings evolved with the same eat-sex-die paradigm—some excelling at all three (poor Elvis). At some point in antiquity, the evolutionary tree sprouted a branch of hominid that took the off-ramp on the human genome highway. They could easily recognize mixed metaphors, and were compelled to scratch out their thoughts for all to see. Thus the writer was created, and thus was created a way to amuse themselves between eating and sexing.
While pre-historic peoples wandered in search of food, the hunter-gatherer authors would look for the occasional noun on the trail, or pluck a useful verb off a Blabber bush, and stuff them into the leather pouch hanging from their loincloths. At night, around the campfire, they seasoned the bland words with savory adjectives, strung them crudely together, and shared the appetizing creation with the unwashed eager clan.
In medieval times, the wordsmith became a central part of village life. He fired up his coke forge, fed the flames with his bellows, and plunged his words into the furnace till they were white-hot. They were thrown on the anvil and pounded out: shaped, bent, given interesting twists, sometimes coming to a point. Often his piece would flake out when overdone and end up in the ash dump, but the sweat-drenched wordsmith would start a new one— shoving it in and out of the forge till he was satisfied with the final product. The story was then proudly displayed. A very particular villager sauntered by, browsing his wares with a cursory glance and making remarks like, “Could you make one like this but longer, or maybe shorter, or just…I don’t know… better somehow?” He couldn’t help but comment, for he too had evolved from the mistletoe on the author’s evolutionary branch to be a literary critic. The exhausted wordsmith stripped off his blackened apron and wandered over to the grog house for a flagon of ale.
Unfortunately not much has changed for the writer since the middle ages: their creative forge is sometimes fed with coke and hot air, frustrations drowned in large quantities of ale, and for every story a critic. But as long as there are unwashed masses ready to sample the wares, the writer’s primitive instinct to string words together will prevail. And, due to faulty evolution of the logic portion of the writer’s brain, they are incapable of doing otherwise.