History A Little Test
posted by March 14 at 12:01 PMon
Here’s how you can tell if you’re with the right person. This is Toba:
It’s a very large volcanic caldera on Sumatra Island, Indonesia. How big? For reference I’ve placed a dot on the middle of the island, which is in the middle of the caldera. The dot is the size of Crater Lake. Toba blew its stack some time between 65 and 75 thousand years ago, in the largest eruption seen anywhere on Earth in the last 25 million years. The eruption was so large that it dropped 6+ inches of ash over the entire Indian Subcontinent.
There’s a theory that this was very, very Bad News for humanity. The theory says that as a result of the environmental carnage wrought by the eruption, we were reduced as a species to somewhere between 10,000 and 1,000 breeding pairs.
Think about that for a minute. Fewer people—on the whole planet—than currently live in scenic Issaquah, WA (“home of the Issaquah Alps—don’t miss Salmon Days 2008!”) Just scattered bands all over the globe, starving to death, hoping the clouds clear and the plants bloom again before the very last members of the tribe die.
Here’s where the test comes in: tell all this to your partner. If they just give you a blank stare, or an uninspired “huh”—well, fine. Perhaps they’ve had a very tough day or have pressing affairs of the day on their mind.
What you want is the partner who goes, “Holy shit! We’re so lucky! This really makes you realize how precious life is!” Take this person and fuck their brains out right that very minute- don’t wait for the end of the day, or the TV show to end, or anything. And then hold them for while. And then take a vacation that you can’t really afford to some place really amazing where you’ve never been before.
But… what if they come back with the dreaded “well, it would probably have been better for the planet if we would have died out?” Give a non-committal “huh,” leave the room, set any cell phones and/or car keys on the nearest flat surface, and flee the residence. Don’t stop until you’re on a bus bound for Tucson, paid for with cash. (Not valid if you started in Tucson—in that case, choose some place else where the winters are warm and the stars are visible most nights.) Change your hair color and clothing styles. Burn all forms of identification and never answer a phone, or a hail to your given name, ever again.