If you’re into history, you probably have read about the wonders of the world’s great cities: Rome, Athens, and all the other ones that I don’t know about because I majored in biology.
But who remembers the cities that were not so great, but still had their own thing going on nevertheless? Do they cease to exist in our cultural memory, simply because they were not #1? Do they deserve that oblivion?
Probably. But still, there is something to be said for being #2, or even #47– these not-so-great civilizations had not very much to lose, and therefore probably had a lot more fun than those obvious, super-stuck-up places you sometimes read about on Wikipedia.
A city made entirely of shallow holes dug into the earth, where people would squat, or lie down and go to sleep. Later the Kerplonali were introduced to the concept of building structures up towards the sky, instead of down into the earth. Then they were embarassed (‘how obvious!’) and their civilization vanished out of shame. Kerplonali also invented that thing where you absentmindedly scrape around in the dirt with a stick. How many times have you done that? I know I’ve done it a lot. And I have Kerpolonalis to thank, mainly because they didn’t copyright that move, because their self esteem was so low they thought nobody would ever want to do that. Boy, were they wrong!
Pineapple upside-down cake was invented here, when someone made a pineapple cake and dropped it on the ground. They ate it anyway, and it was still good. But they didn’t eat the whole thing, because a snake came into their small hut and bit everyone and they all died. Snakes aren’t into pineapple, so the snake left the cake on the floor, where it fossilized, and was found just last week, after millennia, just sitting there waiting for something to happen. Surprisingly, it was still good.
Thur was the first place where people discovered talking without using your hands. Before Thur, speech was always punctuated with dramatic hand gestures, the way it still is in places whose economies hover on the brink of oblivion. But Thurites discovered that you could conserve a lot of energy— energy that could later be used to hunt fanged beasts– by simply not waving your arms a lot while talking. Unfortunately, most Thurites were wiped out when they were all stranded on a desert island, and a ship went by and nobody waved at it. Whoops.
So you see, history had a lot more going on than just the fancy-schmancy civilizations you may have studied if you majored in something other than what I majored in. If you have time when you’re finished texting your friends and growing your semi-ironic mustache or putting on your legwarmers that pretty good on their own while informing the viewer, “I’m quirky, and I don’t take myself too seriously, but not to the point where I’ll actually look bad..” then maybe you should pick up a book and learn about these not-very-important civilizations.