The Curmudgeon


Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Father of Teeth

Text for today: Roots dclxxix-dccxiv

When the first carnivore chomped the first herbivore, said the Father of Teeth unreliably, of course I was there. But I was also there when the first herbivore plucked its first leaves, and when the first worm parted its sideways gnashers and took its fill of some innocent root; and each of those evolutionary progressions was equally something to chew on. For it is the will of the Creator of the universe, said the Father of Teeth, that whatever moves must eat, and that whatever eats in order temporarily and contingently to confound its own entropy must work to enhance, often rather more permanently, the entropy of something else. Having created life that could draw its energies directly from the sun, causing pain and death to nobody, the Creator was quick, relatively speaking, to ensure that other life must prey upon it. For having created finitude out of His own infinity and inferiority out of His own perfection, said the Father of Teeth, the Creator wished to observe the lengths to which His deliberately limited creatures would go in attempting to cope with the limitations He had imposed upon them, given that the only other choice He allowed them was downing teeth and giving up. Having created famine, He demanded sacrifice; having created lust, He demanded chastity; and having carelessly allowed the bare rudiments of reason to arise in one of His more ludicrous experiments, He denied the resulting creature any reliable co-operative instincts beyond those of the tribe, the choir and the lynch mob. There are those who say that the present devours the future and excretes progress, and others who say that the great worm of time bites its own tail and then comes back to haunt itself; but what I say, said the Father of Teeth, and I have said it before and will say it again, is that time is relative and teeth are an absolute, more or less.


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