Humans, Animals, And Getting S!*t-Faced

Once, I thought evolution had been kindest to man.  I felt that in the panopoly of critterdom, great and small, that winners abounded, of course.  The male flatworm, for instance, has a sexual organ with poison spikes that help it catch prey, meaning its dick is also a super-power.  And that is fucking sweet.

But still, humankind was top dog, so far as I was concerned.  And then, without warning, rising from the jungles of Malaysia, came a creature whose evolutionary good fortune would shake my faith in a way that even a weaponized phallus cannot.

Meet the pen-tailed tree shrew.  This lucky little fucker chills in the jungle treetops and lives on a diet that consists of the alcoholic equivalent of ONE HUNDRED PERCENT BEER.  A trailer full of these sons of bitches could clear half a NASCAR parking lot and laugh at anyone who said they’d had enough.  If any one of them ever got morose enough to drink himself to death, he’d fail at that too.


Some people with whom I shared this article pointed out a potential downside in that these creatures never seem to get drunk, as evidenced by their name not being the “falls-out-of-tree” shrew.  And then there’s this statement by a lead researcher on these climbing miracles: “They seem to have developed some type of mechanism to deal with that high level of alcohol and not get drunk.”  I submit that if these scientists just knew a few more alcoholics, they’d realize that appearing to be eerily sober at all times is actually a side effect of being hammered every day.

So essentially what they’ve discovered is the world’s first community of functioning lushes.  The number of after-hours bars willing to lie on the phone for their patrons must be staggering in the tree shrew community.

Before we go any further, and on a completely unrelated note, I’d like to announce the new and official Memetic Press mascot:


But here comes the best part:  “The discovery is particularly intriguing because the tree shrew is believed to be very similar to the last common ancestor of all living primates. The researchers hypothesize that this ancestor may have consumed alcohol at moderate or high levels, which could explain why humans have some tolerance for alcohol.”

So for those of you wondering why a twelve-year scotch just taste so fucking awesome, even on a Tuesday morning before work, it could well be because your tree-scrabbling ancestor was a monumentally more gifted drinker than you could ever hope to be.  See, you even fail at that.  Go have another sip.

What’s even MORE interesting is when you combine this bit of information with the knowledge that one of the first places where people settled got the honor because they could brew beer there, you realize something.  You realize that alcohol, in one form or another, has been present at TWO major shifts in our evolutionary history.  One in an ancient species, and one when we went from hunter-gatherers to farmers.  Heap on that that alcohol is present in and around virtually every culture and personage of greatness that history bothers to record.  What sort of force could reside in such a substance?  What forms of divinity are to be found in this liquid miracle known as booze?

Then I remembered they still use this stuff in a lot of churches.  Even the ancients knew.


Out for now…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle


  1. Awwww, Booya is sooo cute! He’s freakin’ aweso–*hic*

    *Stumbles onto Rev’s couch and crashes for the night.*

  2. drunk shrews…..nothing is better then a drunk shrew except one thing—- an interview with Paris Battle. Hey bro, have your interview in episode 24 of the itunes podcast: Heroes of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The interview took place at Wondercon 2008 in San Francisco California. voicemail 1-206-333-1297 p.s. hitting subscribe on itunes is free(it will allow future shows to download as they become available)itunes software is free also.

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