A Most Glorious Victory – Austin Welsh

I’m quite confident the most popular topic for this series of Reflections will be October 9th’s “Neolithic Food Preparation” day. And fitting it should be. That class was a terrific exemplar of precisely why this class is so special. Nowhere else at this school could I be instructed to haul and dice an enormous sheepshank, grind grain, smash pumpkins, and leap about attempting to thieve the aforementioned from others.

My clan/family quickly established ourselves as a force to be reckoned with. We secured real estate and established our homestead within a bicycle-riddled topiary enclave, gaining us territory that was optimally defensible while also giving us maximal access to food supply, as well as granting us vital sight-lines to our rivals. Our eventual triumph was further secured when we chose to take advantage of the nebulous food-distribution instructions passed down by the gods, meaning we just took all the leftover pumpkins. Being a particularly progressive bunch of Neoliths, we were happy to eschew the traditional hunter/gatherer roles and instead individually focus our efforts where they could be maximally efficient. So for the most part, we had women building tools and carving meat (and making quick work of our over-frozen lamb leg, a real testament to the hardihood of our tribe’s womenfolk) while I set to work preparing our many pumpkins. Taking advantage of my own procerity and a cinderblock I had foraged, my MO was pretty much to throw pumpkin chunks at the ground, then tear them up until they were of workable size. This, of course, worked flawlessly.

This all went along fluently enough, but it quickly became clear that we were working too swiftly for the comparative dearth of provisions Mother Nature had supplied. The time had come to raid our rivals’ stores. We reasoned that the team to strike first would be at a considerable advantage, and I was sent out to scout the competition. The most immediate finding was that no other clan had achieved nearly the success we had. This was to be expected, of course, but I was struck nonetheless by how poorly they’d performed. I further reconnoitered our foes under the (admittedly-flimsy) pretense that I was foraging for twigs, and, after establishing my first target, ran headlong at them, vaulted a bench, and snatched at their pumpkin stash. Alas, my prior productivity became my downfall, and my prize slipped through my pumpkin-pulp-covered fingers. The rival family seized me and (after a hurried discussion of what exactly protocol was for a captured rival) I trekked home emptyhanded, but buoyed by the exhilaration of war.

Our latter exploits were more successful, and what’s more, we were able to consistently defend our own cache. In fact, the finest raid of the hour was accomplished by another of our superlative womenfolk. Tallying time eventually came round, and we graciously accepted the title of Neolithickest clan, before being rudely sent on our merry way by a bewildered Marshall facultymember. Little did he know that he was dismissing us from the hallowed grounds of the day’s most portentous triumph.

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