Monday, February 11, 2008


The guy in the cube next to me has a very interesting way of just trying to start up a conversation. Just completely out of the blue he'll ask me questions that make me feel like I'm on stage competing for Ms. America.
"If you could meet any historical figure who would it be?"
"If you could ask the President just one question what would it be?"
"If reincarnation was real what animal would you like to come back as?"
You get the idea. I realize that he's not necessarily looking for that exact answer but It's just a funny way to start a conversation. This morning's question was in this same genre' but a little more philosophical. "If you could domesticate any wild animal what would it be and why?"
I had to think about it for quite a while. I actually enjoy wild things just the way they are so this question was counter intuitive for me. I thought I might have bee putting too much thought into it so I just decided to play along and said, "the Humpback whale." He accused me of not taking it seriously, which I must confess I wasn't.
So he did want a serious answer after all. I began thinking about all of the wild animals that I admire and respect. What aspects of them did I admire? Without exception I felt that domestication would remove the admirable traits. Would a domesticated eagle even be worthy of the name eagle anymore? How about a domesticated grizzly bear? You get the idea. But how was I going to give any kind of an answer that would satisfy my friend? Finally I agreed to play his game backwards. I told him, "If I could go back a few millennia, I'd un-domesticate the cat." Nothing against cats, but I just feel that many of the features that I admire in wild cats are missing from house cats. He didn't like my answer but had defiantly started a conversation and I think that was his main goal. I then threw another wrench into his plan. "What if we are actually some other species' attempt to domesticate a chimpanzee?"
It's a much more intriguing question than the one he originally posed, but apparently he'd had enough of me appearing to avoid his question.

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