Sunday, January 15, 2012

78. Faces

“Now here is some news that you should find comforting.” C.W. was playing on my computer again when I came in to make coffee this morning.

“Goddam your eyes,” I responded.

“No, really,” he said. “Check out this article from ‘Science Daily.’”

I looked him over. He had, far as I can tell from historic photographs, assumed the exact form of a young Charles Darwin.

“Why are you messing with my computer?”

“Relax, my son,” he said. “They didn’t have these things in my youth. Imaging what wonders I might have imagined.”


“As I once said, ‘… natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.’”

“So?” I made a sour face. “Everyone knows that except the ‘home skooled.’” I laughed

“It certainly hasn’t acted, in some cases, to produce brighter dispositions of a morning,” he said, with a cheerful smile on his face. “But that is beside the point.”

Ignoring him, I continued making coffee.

“Here is the part that should interest you,” he said scrolling an article he had on the computer monitor.

“Did they teach you to operate a computer at Oxford, or did you learn about things digital on the Beagle?” I thought that was pretty funny and laughed.


“Alien.” I had watched some political debates of late and it was the harshest insult that came to mind.

“Let us be friends, my son,” he said. “I really do have some good news for you.”

“Okay,” I said as I caught the first whiff of coffee brewing and my mood elevated.

“It says here that ‘We found very strong support for the idea that as species live in larger groups, their faces become more simple, more plain.’”


“It goes on to explain that this is matched by a pronounced dependency upon facial expressions for communications.”

“So?” Would the coffee ever get ready?

“You remember telling me that your mother used to tell you that you happened to be born ‘plain featured?’”

“I think it was just a country expression.” He was getting on my nerves.

“Well maybe, just maybe, nature placed you high on the evolutionary scale.”

“How so?”

Big Dope just doesn't understand that everyone
can't look as distinctive as young Charles Darwin - C.W.
“Your plain face may be an evolutionary blessing.”

I groaned.

“No, really,” he said. “Show me an expression.”

My response was unprintable.

“Would you like to see my war face?” he said. “I did learn that on the Beagle.”

As I turned to pour my coffee, I heard a loud “Oooorawww” but I didn’t turn to look.

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