On Your Teeth

Man was supposed to be a carnivore rather than a herbivore, only we were smart enough to give the leaves, roots and stems a thought, curious enough to nibble on them suspiciously, no doubt attracted by the colors of the fruits and flowers and then on the wonderful discovery of their taste and benefits, add them to our gourmet.

This is the only conclusion I could come to.

How else could I explain the innovative and excessive use of teeth by my fellow humans, and me too.

Among all animals, humans are definitely the most adept at working nimbly with their fingers, of course, monkeys (with their different kinds) are too, but what are monkeys, if not our distant cousins? But it has been my observation that people actually lapse into using their teeth, for chores other than chewing on food, especially when they are failing with their most efficient tool, the fingers of their hands.

Try opening a packet of potato chips and the likes. Most of us, at times me too, don’t even try using fingers. Using teeth is so popular that the ones who can pry open those plastic packets with their hands alone are pretty much touted, even though informally. Often instead keeping a thing aside or holding it elsewhere, like under the arm, people will invariably hold things like a sheaf of paper, a pen etc with their teeth. Beside tearing the cold and stiff food, the teeth is always used to tear threads, small pieces of cloth even if the scissors are lying next to you. Actually half the time, only a feeble, half-hearted attempt is made to open anything plastic or sealed, even Ziploc(!), who is going to fetch scissors for heaven’s sake, and I see all resorting, consciously and not, to their teeth. I have even seen people trying to undo the caps of bottles, like in medicine bottles, with their teeth when the hands don’t produce results. Obviously you shouldn’t ask whether there were casualties.

Of course, all animals use their teeth too (for besides eating, that is), but do the herbivores use it as judiciously as the carnivores do? Or look in the mirror and admire your smile… I did, and I did find my sharp and pointed canines (just shy of being like a vampire’s) to be more similar to a tiger’s (my favourite animal, hence that) than a cow’s (I’m comparing teeth only)… So, I am almost sure man was actually supposed to be a carnivore, but of course, because humans are smart they decided on being omnivores.

But what actually precipitated this post and hence the conclusion was the delivery man who came to our workplace today.

A lean moustached man, barely 5’2” tall had dragged in a huge and dirty sack containing materials and reagents we had ordered. The sack that almost came upto his waist had once been white, during ancient times. And it was tightly knotted for ease of dragging or carrying. The delivery man tried very hard to pry the knot open, as two of my seniors and I looked on. He tried for minutes in fact as we waited. Then suddenly, with the haste that is related when working with people looking on, the man knelt down on all his fours on the floor, put his hands on the sack to hold it in place, and started gnawing on the knot!! And the damn thing actually came off in less than a minute of being maneuvered by his teeth! 

With the view I had of the delivery man today, reminded me again today we indeed belong to the family of animals, presently a bit more civilized than the others, but deep down, far back we all have been once! And sometimes in trying situations those age-old instincts kick in, the genes express!

Of course, it’s beside the fact that my animal-like proclivities may be akin to that of a donkey or a horse because while the man was on his fours biting on the knot to his heart’s content, standing behind him, I had to momentarily combat a strong urge to behave like Thomson and Thompson trying to disprove a mirage in the Land of Black Gold (Tintin)…

N.B. Maverick Observer is back in action. I cannot guarantee the veracity of the post. This may be a true incident… I have no idea! G. 😉

About Guria

An Artist in Science: A Misfit 'cause I choose to be one. "Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform" And a Maverick, because, I'm... umm... brilliant?
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