Jacob Kose was sitting in his room this Saturday night, planning to meet two friends to crochet mittens for dogs, but suddenly three of his housemates ran to the upstairs kitchen and guzzled a gallon of milk. Perturbed, Jacob wondered allowed why the young men had guzzled his milk so. They had each tried the hottest bottle of hot sauce in New Orleans, a demonic creation intended to pillage and burn the manliest of throats. As he watched everyone who entered the kitchen munch down on bananas dipped in hot sauce — if you’ve never dipped a banana in hot sauce you haven’t lived — he began to contemplate the question everyone’s been asking since the match was patented on October 24, 1836: Is fire the greatest invention in human history? David Roger ’13, the owner of said hot sauce, walked by to cook some eggs as I juggled and swallowed flaming swords while jotting down some notes with my toes.
Disclaimer: As always, Scrambled Eggs strives to adequately approximate what was said and who said what, but may at times mess all of that up.
Jacob Kose: Dave, you want some apple-cinnamon-vanilla-banana pancakes?
David Roger: Sure. I’m so hungry dude, gonna have to nail an egg before I get out of here.
David proceeds to nail an egg.
D.R.: Ain’t the combination of rice vinegar and soy sauce just the best smell?
J.K.: Mmmm. Dave, do you think fire is the greatest invention in human history?
D.R.: It’s gotta be up there. Think about electricity though, that’s right there, and the Internet?
J.K.: In a way fire led to electricity though, since fire is power. And maybe ships are up there, since travel is somewhat responsible for the world as we know it. But at the same time, once we invented the Internet we could’ve found out that there were indigenous people on every continent, doin’ their thang, even if we never had ships and airplanes and spaceships.
D.R.: Yeah the Internet is huge. There are massive cables running between Europe and the U.S. just for Internet. Think about how not just communication, but also voting, business transactions, have all been entirely revolutionized by the Internet. In the City there’s a building with no windows in Tribeca that just has Internet servers.
J.K.: Damn, that’s some matrix shit.
As David said “Yessir” I began to consider not if the matrix was real, because it is real and if you don’t believe that you’re not an American; not the downfall of society should that Tribeca tower and every Internet tower all over the world spontaneously combust when those Mayan dudes are finally right; not even the possibility of a manatee or an ocean dragon looking for some deep sea chow burrowing into the U.S.-European Internet cables and permanently setting all of our homepages to a picture of Mitt Romney’s smile, but something else altogether less ridiculous. Perhaps monumental inventions like that of fire and the patent of the match, the late nineteenth century advent of the phonograph and radio and camera, even today’s internet, all of which enhance our lives and our abilities, pale in comparison to our ability to literally invent life. On October 24, 2006, the world’s then-youngest premature baby was born. It had spent on 22 weeks — a bit more than half the typical babe’s stint — in the womb, and modern medical technologies prevailed to save the child. Though no single medical technology or technique can be credited with our modern ability to bring children into this world, perhaps we ought to consider our greatest invention the ability to save ourselves. At that moment, I realized David’s adorable baby face and slightly below-average stature influenced the entire stream of thought that had just oozed all over my consciousness.
D.R.: I’m really screwed for a paper, later Kose.
J.K.: Later, Dave.
Jacob Kose is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Scrambled Eggs appears alternate Wednesdays this semester.