Homo textus uber alles
by Magda Knight
Scientists announce that we have now evolved through mobile phone usage to the point where our thumbs are as flexible as our index fingers, and Magda Knight has a bubble bath.
The bath is getting colder, but I forget to add more hot water or bubbles because I'm too busy being excited by my amazing little thumbs. It's not their sultry nail polish that thrills me (Baked by Urban Decay), but actually the joy of discovering that my waggly thumbs are proof, PROOF I say, that we have officially taken the next step in the evolution of the species!
Apparently, scientists say (and they like to gossip, they're a regular sewing-circle) that because of years of using mobile phones our thumbs have now evolved to be as dextrous as our index fingers! (This must be true - a bloke in a pub told me...)
I give my fingers an experimental shake. Okay, that's a lie. What I actually do is a full-on jazz hands / spirit fingers rendition in the bath. But the point is... can we really have evolved to a new level purely through the advent of the humble mobile phone? Can our cute little phones that always seem to cut out in the middle of a really important conversation really be the saviour of mankind?
I top up the hot water, finally, and my hands get all wrinkly and start looking like monkey paws. Blimey, I think (completely without the aid of drugs), we used to be monkeys! We did! And though some disagree with Darwin, I bloody don't, because my wrinkly bath hands prove it! We were monkeys... Science fact!
With regret I realise that evolution means we've lost as well as gained. To be specific, we've lost a prehensile tail, and that's always been a source of disappointment to me. And instead of a tail we've gained civilized woes like gymn sessions bought but never attended, D.I.V.O.R.C.E and ugly 1970s decor canteens.
Basically, in my low moments I'm not convinced that we are getting more civilised as we 'evolve'. And if having dextrous fingers is being taken by scientists as a measure of evolution, then - if you consider what we actually do with those fingers - what in the name of Beelzebub are we evolving into? People who search for Britney-pr0n and rub their trousers? Folks who txt-speak not because it's quicker, cheaper and fun but because they've forgotten how to spell the long way? Whoah, we're so hot. Or... not.
(Of course, in my lighter moments I admit that we also invented chopsticks and sporks, both of which need clever fingers and are very civilised indeed).
So - that's homo sapiens. No tail, but a brilliant index finger used in tonto, super-stupid ways. Well, never mind - we're not homo sapiens any more! Hell no, we're homo textus! We've got super-wiggly thumbs! And that's a good thing!
Happily wiggling my sexy-texty thumbs in the bath I ignore a squeaky little voice in the back of my brain that says "Well, yes. We are homo textus now - homo textus, uber alles... but aren't we all still just terribly silly? Will our species ever get any better? Will we ever stop having wars? Will we ever stop texting the wrong person by mistake? As we evolve faster and faster are we actually just a bullet train hurling itself into a brick wall?
Maybe it's because my thumbs are so wrinkled and I've cracked my nail polish but I suddenly feel a little pissed off with it all. "Homo tosserus", I mutter. "That's what we'll become". And I climb out of the bath.
tosser/wanker - dick
blimey - short for 'god blind me'
bloke - guy
pub - bar
mobile - cell phone
tonto - silly
uber alles - over everything, conquering everything
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@MagdaKnight is an author and the Co-Founder / Editor of Mookychick. Her YA and cross-genre fiction has been published in anthologies and in 2000AD. She likes you already, you know. It must be the jaunty angle of your hat. You can email her and visit her blog.