A bizarre thought occurred to me while watching a YouTube video on ancient Egypt.
I wonder, in a million years from now, will future archaeologists dig down into my basement and go through my stuff?
Think about it; if this is the case, future archaeologists may reconstruct our entire civilization based on all the useless old junk I keep in boxes down in my subterranean vault, I mean basement.
Before I go any further, I’d like to point out that my wife and I keep our best stuff upstairs. I imagine that ancient Egyptians kept most of their best stuff upstairs too. Seriously, those dusty old mummies, statues and strange looking masks we find buried their basements were likely given to them as gifts by their in-laws. Those things were down there for a reason and probably only saw the light of day when mother-in-law came to visit
Now in my basement, you will find a lot of old stuff we should have thrown out years ago. Boxes full of National Geographic and other magazines; several obsolete computers and broken down printers; far too many Fisher-Price kiddie toys; enough Lego blocks to build a new addition on our house and various exercise machines designed to firm up one’s back side. Machines with names like The Bun Master, Glutes of Steel and Bootie-Buddy Tune-up – but alas, all of those are behind me now.
Even my collection of old stinky running shoes will likely receive special attention from archeologists and thus be given some ridiculous explanation like, “In the 21st century people kept their old footwear as a sacred token to their beloved Shoe God, nReebok. Archaeologists are nutty that way – attaching religious significance to every little dusty thing they find. It never occurs to them that maybe the people of antiquity just did stuff because they felt like it.
So, what will they make of the colossal assortment of Barbie dolls kept in my basement?
Sadly, it is likely that future archaeologists will discover all these plastic, grinning, miniature long-necked likenesses of people and explain them away as religious icons that we in the 21st century used for fertility purposes and/or voodoo/black magic ceremonies. You can be sure that when they start theorizing about poor nipple-less Barbie it’s going to get weird.
Now any archaeologist worth his weight in musty mummies will tell you that each layer or stratum represents an era of time. So, I envision future archaeologists sifting through the layers of dust in my basement with toothbrush like instruments, as they wouldn’t want to disturb my collection of used furnace filters with heavy machinery now would they? They’d want to preserve everything just the way I left it, disorganized.
Old fixtures, books, clothes and a large collection of good, empty boxes. I have no purpose for them. I can’t throw them out because they’re too good. I can’t give them to my Dad because he has his own collection. My Dad also collects used toilet seats. He has five. As for the frosty food at the bottom of our freezer, I hope they don’t try to eat it. I wouldn’t eat that stuff in a million years (no pun intended). Frozen brussel sprouts and other frosty delights. They’ll assume we ate a lot of those things when the truth will be exactly the opposite. Silly archaeologists, that’s why we left it there!
Imagine, time travelling into the future only to see my sweaty old hockey equipment there at the Museum of Early Man in an exhibit called “Evil Smelling 21st Century Sportswear.”
And that’s just the beginning. What sense will they make of the gag gifts I’ve received over the years like my singing trout wall plaque; my inflatable rubber chicken; a bare butt mug; my Hillary Clinton nutcracker; a whoopee cushion; a Dogs Playing Poker painting; a scratch n’ sniff map of the world and, my favorite gag gift of all time, bacon scented aerosol bathroom spray.
Indeed, one day in the distant future, there will probably be a coffee table book dedicated to me entitled The 21st Century According to timo cerantola (and the crap we found in his basement).
The biggest mystery for our descendents to solve will be the festive decorations and our fake Christmas tree. Seriously, what would YOU assume about a civilization of people who kept easy to assemble, replicas of trees in their basements?
That’s right, they’ll think of us as a totally wacked-out society of weirdoes, and then it gets even weirder. When they decipher the ancient texts that tell of our “most special night” of the year when a bearded jolly fat man with a giant sack of toys climbs down every damned chimney on the entire planet so that he might place toys under the phoney trees. I’m sure the question, “Why didn’t he just use the front door?” will come up frequently.
Possibly the most fascinating archaeological find will be our old TV. Will those future geniuses figure out how to get that sensitive piece of electronics to work?
Will they know you have to smack it a couple times on the left side whilst jiggling the tuner knob?
Maybe I should stick a note on the side and tell them about it though, if they do manage to get it working, will there be anything on it worth watching? I doubt it. There’s zip-a-dee-doo-dah worth watching now. More importantly, will they even realize that they’ve stumbled on the main reason for the complete and total collapse of civilization and humankind?
True. Posterity will record that it was TV that turned humanity into a race of gangly, bug-eyed creatures just like those flying saucer aliens that keep abducting people. I’m sure those aliens are just we humans after a million years of evolution. See what too much TV and not enough exercise will do to you? My mother was right.
But I guess the ultimate find will be our kitty litter box. My kids rarely scoop it out. Maybe some archaeologist in the year 1,002,013 A.D. will and, if he’s lucky, our cat Violet will have left a “present” behind for him to analyze. And then, just like in that movie “Jurassic Park,” they’ll get a DNA sample and reconstruct a perfect little replica of our endlessly hungry Violet.
As for Violet’s “present” – they’ll probably put that on display in the most prestigious museum in the galaxy. Imagine, a million years from now, people will travel light years and pay good money just to look at one of Violet’s turds. It doesn’t get any weirder than that.