NATURAL SELECTION

Sometimes I think about the origins of things. I look at natures creations and try to fathom how nature randomly selects a particular shape and color for the billions of species it issues. Sometimes I try to fathom a more secular approach where the religious leaders expressed their preference for one color or another, or one shape or another.

The only method that makes sense to me with my mind which can’t even comprehend how somethings came into being is that somewhere on an extraterrestrial level existed the creative department for our planet. There was a stellar work flow system that the high level ethereal beings could request things and those requests flowed through to a production manager.

The production manager assigned the lead conception director who in-turn delegated it to one of the many makers of things. Once a piece of nature was produced in concept, a review would be held to determine if it could be approved.

Wally was an ancient maker of things. During the week he made things for nature but on the weekend he conceived of things that could be found in the sand on a beach. He enjoyed creating little pieces of nonsense that could be found at random. But during the week he was precise and exacting about the little bits of nature he produced.

He was assigned to create a plant that had a container made of flowing water. One of the conception directors thought it would be a good idea because plants needed water all the time so why not just put it in a container made of flowing water and this way the plant would never need to worry about its necessary moisture. This was the design that Wally came up with.

In the next cubicle over, Donald got a request to design a flower. There wasn’t much criteria on the request so Donald took it to mean he could be creative and apply his own personal taste and preference. He could never decide which color he liked more, red or blue, so when ever he got the opportunity he presented his work in purple.

All day long Donald listened to the interstellar radio station which seemed to affect his designs. On this day, he was inspired to put little handles on the inside of the flowers that would trap and shackle any insects that might land on it. This was a big risk considering none of the insects had been designed yet.

He also had a crush on one of the shell-fish designers and as a secret homage to her he tried to indicate that little pearls should be included on the trapping loops located in the center of his purple flower. It was a unique concept but when the flower was conceived with the purple pearly loops it would be rejected due to its complicated design.

In the next cube over, Jason was also listening to his preferences on the cosmic dial. Jason never spoke, he just nodded and smiled a lot. When he got a bit of nature to design, there was always one or two things out-of-place and one or two things that were uncharacteristically extraordinary.

On this day Jason was wondering why flowers had to be designed separately. He wondered why some were large and some were small and thought that it would be cool to design a flower with another flower growing out of it. He thought if he designed the inside flower to be tiny and the outside flower to be leafy it would all come together some how.

Jason was confident that his concept would be approved because the director of conception liked pink leafy things.

Next to Jason sat Linda. She was also brilliant in her own way. When it came to the critiques of nature none were better at spotting the details to be improved. She was also given one of the assignments to combine flowers with water so it could be self-sustaining. Being the ultimate pragmatist above and beyond the surge of inspiration, she blew threw her design very quickly.

She had way too much on her plate and decided to get’r done fast and simple and move onto the dozens of other assignments she had pending. To her this blue bubbling flower was fine. To the rest of the designers, no one was quite sure what she was thinking but just went with it for now.

Below is an earlier version of the same idea that was presented a light year earlier. Linda just thought that if she updated it by adding some color and changing the direction of the water that it would be fine. No one really argued with Linda because she was a member of a dark secret nature coven and pissing her off usually ended badly.

Next to Linda sat Jasper. Jasper was a tall young conceiver who had lots of natural talent but still had lots to learn. He came from a the division of grasses and sand so he was fast at producing his bits life. On this day, Jasper’s assignment didn’t follow the usual work flow.

The head conceiver brought the assignment to him directly and asked him to produce it pronto as a special favor to him and the higher-ups. The request was to come up with an idea that combined mushrooms and ferns but was to float in mid-air. Jasper was great at hearing what those that could not conceive requested and presenting a working prototype.

Jasper masterfully created this rapped ball of flaps and stems. His wife had recently gotten highlights in her hair and he watched the process of how the cloud cosmetologist rapped her head and pulled follicles through tiny holes to isolate them for bleaching. He thought that was cool so he applied it as his inspiration.

Next to Jasper sat Barney. No one really knew what Barney was doing in the department of nature’s creation as he was older than the other creators. Secretly all Barney wanted, was to just be surrounded by them all, learn from them and on occasion offer a little advice from the eons of experience he had amassed.

Barney would get the projects that required a little more creativity. On one hand the group was lucky to have him because he saw things differently than all the rest. On the other hand, when everyone else was in alignment Barney still saw things differently so no one was ever sure if his perspective was going to be productive at any given time.

On this day, he was given the assignment to combine a star with a precious cut gem, some feathers and a bit of flame. Naturally the other creators wouldn’t touch the assignment so they gave it to Barney. He whipped out a few hundred concepts and picked out the best one.

He was pretty confident of his final solution as he had so many iterations to pick from. He just crossed his fingers that the dark magenta made sense, because he had been fighting color blindness his whole life.

Below is one of the concepts that Barney liked but not as much as the one above. Barney felt that the yellow was too bright and after staring at the concept for too long he would see yellow spots everywhere.  Plus there was a slight resemblance to carnations and Barney didn’t care for those.

One cube over from Barney sat Casper. Casper was an extraordinary ethereal being with long willowy limbs and a striking appearance. She always spoke in a whisper and was hesitant toward laughter because when she did laugh she would explode hysterically as if humor was prevented from her for too long.

She got the special projects from managers of source and directed most of the creators in the division. Rarely did she command but when she did, she would usually make suggestions in whispers, that made it easy to follow her direction. While everyone worked in their mist between dimensions, Casper produced a quick flower for one of the bosses boss.

Simple and elegant as she was, without a whole lot of explanation it just came into existence.

Next to Casper sat Ralph. Ralph was the most gentle of beings. He had a mind for trivia, worked swiftly and rarely complained. He treated everyone with great respect and no one knew when he was around or not because he was always so quiet. He was asked to come up with something that could catch the rain and provide a look for all the other flowers to aspire to.

He liked this violet vein design because he said it looked like what music sounded like. Pieces growing out of pieces in harmony with other sounds, plus, it worked with green.

Quickly, quietly, Ralph continued to blow through the assignments. One day, the biggest boss of bosses called Ralph and asked him,“Can you make me something that is not quite a rose, not quite a an artichoke and not quite a cactus?” Everyone knew who he was talking to as they could all hear him, “Yes sir, no sir, yes sir….”

Ralph got right on that.

One day there was this big meeting. Everyone was there. The bosses, the bosses boss and the bosses, bosses boss. They all sat around the table listened to the big boss talk about his vision for the new flower that he asked Ralph to design. He looked at what Ralph presented and didn’t say anything about it directly, but began to spout about something else…

“You know when you go shopping for clothes and the clothes have those little plastic string things holding the labels on? Well, everyone loves those. I know I love those, so everyone must love those. So let’s make a flower that uses that shape of those little plastic thingies.”

All the creators just sat around the table and listened. They looked at each other and no one made a sound. Then the big boss continued.

“Also, my kids like paper dolls. Anything that can be cut out of paper, with, you know…those weird zig-zag scissors. Whoever comes up with the flower that combines the plastic thingies with the paper doll zig-zag cut look, will get a special award from me. You guys are all very talented and it’s about time we raised the bar a little around here.”

And with that he left the creators sitting around the table. Wally said, “Plastic thingies? What’s that?” Donald said, “Jesus Christ! What the hell was he talking about?” Jason just sat there and smiled with spooked look in his eye.  Linda looked very busy, feverishly scribbling gibberish on her pad then checking it off and crossing it out and writing more gibberish.

Jasper just looked over at Ralph and raised an eyebrow. Barney looked at Casper and she just shook her head in despair.

The team left the room and came up with a few designs. This next flower below was what they all agreed upon and presented it the next day to the bosses, bosses, boss. Casper presented the solution. “See the little plastic thingies? See the edges…just like it was cut with the zig zag scissors.”

The big boss just shook his head. “Nah… that’s not it. Who’s got a pencil?” he said.

The big boss continued to draw circles and lines in front of the team that worked to hard to please him. “I like Rice-A-Roni. I think if we had a flower that was purple and had a cluster of Rice-A-Roni in the middle of it, we’d have a winner. All the other departments of creation have Rice-A-Roni type flourishes and we should too.”

Casper took the lead. “Got it boss. Purple with Rice-a-Roni in the middle. We’ll get right on it…” She packed up her stuff and as she was about to leave the big bosses office he stopped her and asked, “Don’t you think that’s right? Purple Rice-A-Roni? Genius? Right?” to which she replied, “Well, I think it will look like ass, but we’ll do it.”

Then off she stomped and directed her team. Hours later, this design below is the one they settled on.

The next day, Casper went back to the bosses, bosses, boss and presented the design thinking that he would be impressed with how quickly she and her team turned it around.

“There ya go. Purple Rice-A-Roni!” she said with frustrated enthusiasm. The boss just looked at it and said, “You know, yeah, that is purple, but I was thinking, everyone likes gold. Not everyone likes purple but everyone likes gold. Right? What we really need is something fluffy. You know, like a tissue after you blow your nose in it. It’s so soft and fluffy.”

Casper just looked at him in shock and repeated his words. “Gold, soft and fluffy?” “Yes! That’s it!” he said with insane enthusiasm. “I want something that looks like a crumbled up tissue after someone has blown their nose it. And Leopard spots are in this year. I’ve seen them on everything from glasses to purses. Let’s learn from the big players and put some spots on the fluff.”

Casper repeated his words, “Spots on the fluff.” “We’re getting closer I can feel it. Come back later today and show me what you have.” said the bosses, bosses boss and dismissed her. And with that Casper closed her notebook and left his office shaking her head and mumbling to herself.

Despite his random changes of course, each time she went back to the team, more determined than the last, and each time the team agreed on the best of what they all could produce. Below is the spotted, snotted, tissue design.

Later that day, Casper returned to the big bosses office and with anticipated triumph she presented what she thought was the most beautiful of designs as per the big bosses request. “See” she said. “You got your spots, your snots and your crumpled tissue look. It’s exactly what you asked for. Don’t you just love it?!”

The boss just sat there and stared at it. Then he spoke. “You know, I ate a peach this morning with breakfast. And as I sat there and ate that peach I looked at the skin of that thing and thought, someone should come up with a flower that looks like this. Everyone loves peaches and if we could design a flower that looks like a peach it will sell like crazy!”

“Peaches?” Casper said in shock. “Yeah Peaches.” the boss said. “Great idea. Right?!” the boss said with a conquering smile and distant look off into the distance. Then he continued. “Your team is taking entirely too much time on this project. I don’t know why I  have to be the one to come  up with all these ideas. You’re the creative group, why aren’t you doing this kind of thinking?”

Casper just looked at him immobilized. She took a deep breath and said, “Your right chief. I don’t know why we keep missing the mark. We’ll have something for you in the morning and it will be just peachy!”

The next day, Casper knocked on the big bosses door and she had some boards under her arm to present to him. She began her presentation by recapping all the objectives, criteria, preferences, twists, turns, requests, changes and the resulting peachy design that she proudly revealed it to him, stood back and waited.

She laid out all the boards that her team had produced, on the table, from the very first one to the very last one.

The big boss looked and looked at them all spread out all over the table. Casper squeezed her pencil discretely and in her mind’s eye she secretly imagined poking the big boss in the eye with the pointy tip. He squeezed his chin. He turned the boards one way then the other. He stood up and walked around the table. Then he went back to his desk where got out a file containing his original notes.

And he said, “I don’t know why you are showing me all this when I originally asked for something that was a mix between an artichoke, a cactus and a rose. Let’s just go with the first one you guys did and just make it more of a peach color and lets move on. You guys  have to stop wasting so much time on work that is not what I asked for. Okay. Let’s go with that and I have a meeting.”

And with that he dismissed her again, with her stack of boards under her arm. She thought to herself how odd that he didn’t comment on the peachy version as this one was her favorite, but she was just glad he finally signed off and approved the one they had done in the first place.

See. That’s how I think all these flowers were created. That’s how I think all the fish and animals were created… as well as us humans. Somewhere out there in the sky where all things were originally created, exists a design department that combined pieces of this and parts of that. Colors from here and textures from there. Fur from this animal and feathers from that.

Through a series of presentations and rejections original concepts came into being. I believe we are the result of failed design presentations not approved by those that make the approval decision. Some of us species are better than others but the inspiration for how we came into being, I believe, is very distant than from what the original intent for us actually was.

When you think about it, it’s the only explanation that makes any sense.

9 thoughts on “NATURAL SELECTION

  1. Stunning pictures. Personally, I go with what one of my students wrote in an exam. I had been teaching creation versus evolution and he wrote ‘I believe in the Big Band Theory of creation’. Did you know it was Glen Miller who created the universe?!

    • Loved your comment Dorinda! My favorite typo is the one where the administrator to the president writes “file the missile ” instead of “fire the missile”. Though Glenn Millers Big Band theory is a really great one too!

G'head. Say it.

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