Your Remotest Entrails

The ark.jpg

NO I HAVE NOT HAD AN EPIPHANY

I saw this recently and found it very thought-provoking. Maybe it will be for you too? I am pondering the idea that perhaps microbes aren’t here for our benefit but we for theirs. Humans are basically just the vat, crock or kilner jar, the container or habitat.

I am also pondering just how far we have come. In the 1700s, Leeuwenhoek first observed bacteria, having created the first microscope, himself. And 225 years later, Twain is preoccupied with disease-spreading bacteria, but he also talks of “some hundreds of other aristocrats, specially precious creations, golden bearers of God’s love to man” flourishing in the lungs, the heart, the brain, the kidneys, the blood and in the guts!

And now look what science is confirming. That we humans cannot function well without the microbes with which we have co-evolved. And that they inhabit the very nooks and crannies Twain speculated about.

We are beginning to understand just how vital it would have been to the future of human beings, for the ark (just assuming for now, that there was one) to be jam-packed with microbes.

Anyway, enjoy this and celebrate your “remotest entrail” – it really is where it’s at!

"Noah and his family were saved -- if that could be called an advantage. I throw in the ‘if’ for the reason that there has never been an intelligent person of the age of sixty who would consent to live his life over again. His or anyone else’s. The Family were saved, yes, but they were not comfortable, for they were full of microbes. Full to the eyebrows; fat with them, obese with them, distended like balloons. It was a disagreeable condition, but it could not be helped, because enough microbes had to be saved to supply the future races of men with desolating diseases, and there were but eight persons on board to serve as hotels for them. The microbes were by far the most important part of the Ark’s cargo, and the part the Creator was most anxious about and most infatuated with. They had to have good nourishment and pleasant accommodations.

There were typhoid germs, and cholera germs, and hydrophobia germs, and lockjaw germs, and consumption germs, and black-plague germs, and some hundreds of other aristocrats, specially precious creations, golden bearers of God’s love to man, blessed gifts of the infatuated Father to his children -- all of which had to be sumptuously housed and richly entertained; these were located in the choicest places the interiors of the Family could furnish: in the lungs, in the heart, in the brain, in the kidneys, in the blood, in the guts. In the guts particularly. The great intestine was the favourite resort. There they gathered, by countless billions, and worked, and fed, and squirmed, and sang hymns of praise and thanksgiving; and at night when it was quiet you could hear the soft murmur of it. The large intestine was in effect their heaven. They stuffed it solid; they made it as rigid as a coil of gas pipe. They took pride in this. Their principal hymn:

Constipation, O Constipation, The Joyful sound proclaim Till man's remotest entrail Shall praise its Maker’s name."

Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth (1909)