There is not a single word true in the story you are about to read. Any similarity between any of the characters so depicted and anyone you might know; whether living, dead, or wishing they were dead, would be a crying shame. The title notwithstanding, there were no Homo Sapiens injured in the writing of this story. Even more fortunately, there were no animals injured in the writing of this story. DL
Narration: The setting is the local bar of Smalltown, USA. Any small town, in any state will do. The bar is the nightly gathering place for the overworked and underpaid laborers of the local businesses and factory. Any business and any factory will do.
The occupants of the bar are mostly the same on any given night. Almost everyone in the room has known each other since childhood. They grew up together, went to school together, and some even attended the same church. They escorted each others’ kid sisters to High School dances, and played Varsity football on the same team.
Of all the occupants, no two have a closer relationship than Sam and Mac. They grew up on the same block, walked to school together every day, and have basically been best friends as long as either of them can remember. As we focus on these two tired, worn out laborers who meet every night and sit at the same table in order to share a few laughs and memories while hoisting a few, we hear Mac exclaim:
“Damn homo sapiens!”
Sam took a drag off his cigarette, and put his beer mug on the table. Then he asked, “What?”
“Those damn Homo Sapiens!”, Mac exclaimed impatiently, “Sam, don’t you keep up with anything? The Homo Sapiens are wanting their own parade, down OUR Main Street. It was in the newspaper the day before yesterday”
“Ugh, Mac”, started Sam slowly, “Are you sure it was the Homo SAPIENS? The only reason I ask–
“Of course it was the Homo Sapiens! I can read!”, replied Mac, clearly irritated. “I know it’s hard to believe Sam, but its true. I told you last year it was gonna come down to this if we don’t clamp down on these newfangled ideas and get this country headin’ back to its Christian roots!”
“Mac”, Sam spoke after a brief pause, “Oh, where shall I begin? Mac, homo sapiens are nothing new, for the simple reason that–
“Oh I know they are nothing new” once again interrupted Mac, “They are even talked about in the Bible. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha on account of Homo Sapiens you know!”
“Ugh, Mac”, started Sam again, clearing his throat as he collected his thoughts, “Yes, that is technically true. At least, that is what the Bible says, sort of, at least the part about destroying Sod– oh forget about Sodom and Gomorrha. Mac, do you even know what a Homo Sapien is?”
“Of course I do. Its a perversion of nature is what it is. Which is EXACTLY why God destroyed all them Homo Sapiens at Sodom and Gomorrha”
“Well, Mac, that is an interesting perspective, and that might even explain many of our insane practices–
“Damn straight Sam! And it don’t get no more insane than allowing these damn Homo Sapiens to march up and down our streets like they own the place. Its bad enough they have started coming out of their cupboards, but now to want their own parade, in OUR TOWN. Nothin’ doin’ Sam! We just ain’t gonna stand for it!!”
“Ugh, Mac”, began Sam, “How are you going to have a parade without Homo Sapiens? The reason I ask is–
“What the hell kind of question is that Sam? What do you mean ‘how are you gonna have a parade without Homo Sapiens?’. Sam, sometimes I just don’t understand you! That liberal thinkin’ of yours has done rotted your brains out!!”
“Ugh, Mac” once again Sam began, “You CANNOT have a parade without Homo Sapiens! You just can’t-
“Listen Sam, you are startin’ to piss me off. Now don’t get me wrong, I am as open minded as the next fellow, but now you are gettin’ just plain ridiculous. Its bad enough those damn Homo Sapiens want their own parade in our town, now you, my lifelong friend are tryin’ to tell me we can’t even have any parade without invitin’ those damn Homo Sapiens”
“Mac”, started Sam–
“Don’t interrupt Sam.” blurted out Mac, “You are always interruptin’ Sam, that just ain’t good manners! Look, you should be as concerned about this as I am, because if we keep givin’ these Homo Sapiens special rights, like their own parades, or the legal right to marry as Homo Sapiens, then pretty soon they are gonna infiltrate our entire culture with their unnatural perversions. Why, the next thing you know, there will be Homo Sapiens teaching our kids in school!!”
“Mac, there already ARE Homo Sapiens teaching our kids in school–
“I KNEW it!! I KNEW IT!!!” You see what I am sayin’ Sam!! There goes our entire culture, out the window and down the drain!!”
“Mac, calm down man–
“Calm down? Calm down he says”, exclaimed Mac, jumping to his feet and suddenly addressing the entire bar, “Do you hear this fellows? Sam tell me that he knows that Homo Sapiens are teaching OUR kids here in OUR school system, and he is JUST NOW lettin’ us know about it!”
Suddenly there was the shuffling of chairs and angry murmurs as those in the bar left their respective tables and gathered around Sam and Mac.
“Look guys” started Sam before he was curtly interrupted.
“Listen Sam”, spoke a tall thin man angrily, “You can’t go around makin’ them types of accusations. You just cant’! I have been on the School Board here for over seven years now, and if there were any Homo Sapiens teachin’ our kids, me and the rest of the Board would know about it!”
“Listen Ray”– Sam began to explain before once again being interrupted.
“No, Sam YOU listen”, Ray blurted out, pointing his finger down into Sam’s face, “You are gonna take it back, and you are gonna take it back now!!”
“Ray, I am not gonna take it back”, started Sam, looking around at the angry faces of his lifelong friends, “Guys–
“Don’t you ‘Guys’ us you homo sympathizer” yelled Mac, “Now Ray is right Sam. You need to take it back! You have caused enough trouble with your liberal ideas in this town before, and me and the guys have always looked the other way, on account of you bein’ our friend since we was kids”. (The crowd of half shaven, red eyed faces who were onlooking nodded their heads in agreement), “But Sam, now you have gone TOO far! Claimin’ that ‘Homo Sapiens are teachin’ our kids’, why you could be sued for inflammation of character!”
“Mac, guys, this is all a terrible misunderstanding–
“There’s no misunderstanding here Sam!”, Ray exclaimed, then pointing his finger down at Sam he accusingly asked, “Sam, did you or did you not state that there are Homo Sapiens teaching our children in our school system?”
All eyes glared at Sam awaiting his response.
“Yes, Ray”, Sam slowly responded, clearing his throat as he continued, “There most certainly ARE Homo Sapiens teaching our kids. In fact–
“That’s it Sam, I have had it!!”, yelled Mac as he jumped to his feet, “You say there are Homo Sapiens teaching OUR kids in OUR school system? Well, I am here to tell you, and I will tell every one of you fellows just like I done told ALL my kids: If ANY of my kids come home and tell me they have gone Homo Sapien, I am kickin’ their butts out on the streets RIGHT THEN, and RIGHT THERE!!”
“Well, you are a little too late my friend”, muttered Sam under his breath, yet just audibly enough to be heard.
A look of rage overcame Mac’s face, as he jerked Sam to his feet by the collar, and screamed in his face: “What did you mean by that? What did you mean by that? Are you saying my kids are Homo Sapiens? It that what you are saying? Is it? Is it?”
By now the crowd had pulled Mac off Sam. Mac had lost complete control. Even as they separated him from his friend, he had no clear recollection of throwing Sam on the table. Suddenly ashamed and embarrassed, Mac helped Sam to his feet.
“Sam, I am sorry. I kind of lost control man”.
“It’s okay Mac.”
“No, no its not okay. I am sorry”, Mac said sheepishly, as he sat back down on his chair and ran his hands through his hair, “But still Sam, you can’t go around tellin’ us that there are Homo Sapiens teachin’ our kids in our schools and then go implyin’ my kids are Homo Sapiens without realizin’ how you are upsettin’ us all. You just can’t”.
“But Mac, you just don’t get it. Your kids ARE Homo Sapiens!”, and then pointing at each of his accusers, he went on to say, “And Ray, your kids are Homo Sapiens. And yours too John. And yours also Tom–
Before he could finish, the crowd had once again jerked Sam to his feet. In fact, this time it was Mac who was attempting to separate the crowd from Sam.
“Wait a minute. Let me explain”, Sam tried to say.
“You’ve said plenty enough already Sam” yelled Ray.
“Yeah, so just shut up. Shut up!”, yelled Tom.
“Damn it Sam, what is wrong with you!”, screamed Mac as he pried Sam away from the crowd, spinning him around so he could put his hands on his shoulders and look him in the eyes. “Have you lost your mind? First, you want us to invite them damn Homo Sapiens to all our parades, then you tell us there are actually Homo Sapiens teachin’ our children in our very own school system, and if that ain’t bad enough, boy howdy Sam if that ain’t bad enough, then you go and tell every one of us that all our kids are Homo Sapiens! What is wrong with you? What kind of man tells a dozen men in a bar that all their children are Homo Sapiens? Now I am your best friend Sam, and five minutes ago even I was ready to kick your butt, so how do you expect to walk out of here in one piece if you keep talkin’ crazy like this? Have you lost your mind? Good god almighty Sam, the next thing you’re gonna tell us is YOU’re a damn Homo Sapien!”
For a moment the crowd seemed to relax. But only for the moment. Sam was still somewhat shaken, but as he prepared to answer, a renewed strength seemed to overtake him. He calmly took a deep breath, then he placed HIS hands on MAC’s shoulders, and LOOKED him in the eyes.
“Mac, I am a DAMN HOMO SAPIEN! In fact, all of–
That was all Sam could say. To say that there was mass confusion would be an understatement. To say that all hell broke loose would be to overestimate hell. Punches were thrown, kicks were inflicted, and a variety of wrestling maneuvers were applied ranging from headlocks to haymakers as everyone in the room fought to get their hands Sam. At one point in the midst of the confusion, Mac and Sam happened to come face to face. As a chair flew over them, and a whiskey bottle flew by, Mac asked at the top of his lungs:
“Sam, how could you do it? How could you go off and become a damn Homo Sapien?”
“I didn’t BECOME a Homo Sapien Mac”, Sam yelled in response, moving quickly to the side as two entangled bodies, grappling and gouging each other’s eyes, passed between them like a west Texas twister, “I was BORN a Homo Sapien!”
“Oh baloney!”, shouted Mac, ducking yet another flying bottle, “That’s what all you perverts say! At least now”, he started to shout, but had to stop because he got bumped from behind. After decking the guilty party (who happened to be his next door neighbor George), Mac resumed his rant, “As I was saying, at least NOW I know why my sister Linda divorced your sorry ass!”
“Mac listen to me, you don’t underst–
But Sam was too late. Mac’s cousin Ernest busted a bottle over Mac’s noggin’, and that ended Mac’s activities for the evening. Realizing that his time was limited, and that his only friend left in the room was “out for the count”, Sam dropped to his knees and commenced to crawl for the door. The sounds of pounding flesh, busting tables, and breaking glass around him, Sam soon made his way safely out the door.
Once outside, Sam stood to his feet and watched the melee briefly through the rectangular space that only moments before had been a glass window. He saw Paul the plumber wrestle Ray the School Board member to the ground. He saw Willis the grocer choking Mac’s cousin Ernest. He saw Mac’s neighbor George regain his consciousness and stand to his feet, only to have Dan the delivery route driver club him from behind with a broken chair leg that he was wielding like a blackjack.
After a few moments of witnessing the bedlam, Sam realized that his head was throbbing. He touched his forehead, glanced at his hand, and saw crimson red blood. Sam sighed, stuck his hands in his pockets, and stumbled through the darkness towards his house. Hearing the shouting and swearing of his friends still fighting in the bar, Sam shook his head and mumbled under his breath as he walked down the street:
“Damn Homo Sapiens”.