Sometimes I wonder how long I’d have made it in a prehistoric world. I think I’d have been wiped from the gene pool fairly quickly in some sort of spectacularly tragic accident. Perhaps I would have been silently stalked by something with sabre teeth as I foraged, or been poisoned while tasting the new red fruit thingy that someone left on the floor of the cave.
I sometimes imagine the prehistoric me – getting sunburned, swatting at weird megainsects and losing my balance over a cliff into a pit of boiling tar. I wouldn’t have lasted more than a few weeks at best.
I asked my husband, and he stared at me for a long moment before sighing deeply.
“Death by rare prehistoric shamanic curse, eh? That’s a new one.”
“Well how do you think you’d die?”
“Quietly in my sleep at the ripe old age of thirty-five.”
“That’s like a hundred-and-forty in prehistoric times.”
“Yep. Why bother imagining a gruesome death?”
“Newsflash, honey. No one imagines their death near a prehistoric firepit while eating a mammoth haunch and being squashed in an unexpected stampede. No one.”
At that moment, my daughter arrived from basketball training. Her little brow told me something was on her mind.
“Do you ever think what prehistoric people did for sport?” she said. “I mean, I reckon they’d have short life spans – so maybe there was no time for fun.”
I nodded. “Fun could get you killed back then.”
“Totally,” she said. “Imagine trying to score a hoop and a big sabre-tooth sneaks up behind you.”
I grinned smugly. My husband goggled at us. “Well maybe your imagination is a survival mechanism,” he said. “See all the angles so you can protect yourself.”
“There you go,” I said.
“Still doesn’t explain the clumsiness, lack of foraging ability or your talent for getting into trouble,” he said. “Would have wiped you out instantly.”
See what I mean?