Who Anderthal? Me Anderthal

Caricature by Tony Bustos

Caricature by Tony Bustos

Leave a man to his own devices and he becomes a grunting carnivore. Let him make his own food for a month, and he will turn his home into a Aurignacian cave.

I’ve done this myself many times, when my wife left home to visit our daughter out of state. At such times, any vegetable in the fridge has ample time to turn into brown goo out of malignant neglect.

It is an odd development. I can cook; I did so for many years on a daily basis. I even enjoy making a nice rogan josh or Mexican mole. But with my wife gone, and with the advent of summer, I’ve lost all desire to cook.

And it isn’t about thinking a wife is only good for cooking and cleaning. I sometimes cook, and we share housework. This is the 21st Century. No, it is that I’m a better person all around when she is home. When we are separated, I don’t function. I seize up like an unoiled motor.

So, I live the bachelor life. I watch baseball and I sleep and I go to work.

I lose the gift of speech.

Typical dinner: I stoke up the patio gas grill, take a steak out of the freezer, drop it thunk-rock solid on the gridiron, go inside and watch an inning of baseball, go out and flip the meat over, watch another inning and then plop the steak on a paper plate and eat it with a beer as I watch the rest of the game.

I don’t even need a knife and fork. I just bite off mouthfuls. I am Attila, scourge of God.

Every once in a while, I feel the genetic need for something vegetable. On those rare days, I order a pizza with the works.

The dishes pile up. The cave floor is paved in chicken bones and the cat wanders around them licking the last bits of tissue off them with her rasping tongue.

It is an ugly sight.

It is a good thing men don’t run the world, or we would be in one heck of a hopeless mess.

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