The Food Burner: A Parable About Unconventional Thinking

Inside an ancient bear cave, around “the dawn of man”… or, um, actually, around dinner time…

 

LARRY: “Hey, Bob. Your caving paintings are looking awesome.”

BOB: “Thanks, Larry.”

LARRY: “So, what smells so good in here?”

BOB:  “Nothing.  Just getting ready for dinner.  Wanna join me?”

LARRY: “Sure, I’m starving.”

BOB: “Great!  Grab a rock and have a seat.”

LARRY: “So dude, um, where’s the food?”

BOB: “It’s in the fire.”

LARRY: “WHAT?!  Why are you just sitting there?!  Your food is burning!”

BOB: “Just relax, Larry.  It’s fine.  It’s not burning.  It’s actually almost done.”

LARRY: “Almost done?!  Dude, what are you talking about?!”

BOB: “I’m just heating it up.  It’s called cooking.”

LARRY: “It’s called what?!”

BOB: “Cooking.  It means heating up food with fire.”

LARRY: “Dude, you’re crazy.  You’re ruining a perfectly good piece of meat.  We hunted all day for that thing!”

BOB: “I’m not ruining it, and I’m not crazy.  Just hear me out.  Remember after that lightening storm last week, and we found that dead deer underneath that burning tree?”

LARRY: “Oh, yeah, I remember that.  We thought we smelled something good, and it turned out to be that dead deer in the fire.”

BOB: “Exactly.  I figured what smelled so good that day was the deer in the fire.  And I figured if it smelled good, it’ll probably taste good, too.”

LARRY: “Dude, were you the one that stole the shaman juice.  You know that stuff will make you crazy, right?”

BOB: “Okay, check this out.  It’s all done.  Here, have a bite.  It’s delicious.”

LARRY: “I don’t know.”

BOB: “Look, I’m eating it.  See it’s fine.”

LARRY: “HEY! That’s actually not bad.”

BOB: “See, what did I tell ya.”

LARRY: “Still. I don’t know if this… what did you call it?”

BOB: “Cooking.”

LARRY: “Yeah, cooking.  I don’t know if this cooking thing is gonna fly with the tribe.”

 

Many moons later…

 

LARRY: “Dude, Bob!  That thing you cooked up on a stick last night was awesome. Then entire tribe is talking about it. What did you call it again?”

BOB: “Kabobs.  Get it?  Ka-Bobs?”

LARRY: “Right, kabobs.  Clever.  Anyway.  Dinner was amazing.”

BOB: “Thanks, dude.”

LARRY: “So, um, why are you burying those berries into the ground?  It took the ladies all day to pick those.  Now you’re just gonna throw them away in the middle of a field?”

BOB: “I’m not throwing them away.  I figured rather than scavenging around for berries all day, we could just bury these berries right here in this field, wait for them to grow into a whole field filled with bushes of berries, and then pick them later.”

LARRY: “Dude, I knew once you taught that shaman how to burn those weeds you’d start talking all crazy again.  Bury berries so that we end up with more berries later.  Dude, you’ve come up with some crazy stuff, but this one tops them all.”

BOB: “It’s not crazy.  It’s called farming.”

LARRY: “It’s called what?!”

 

THE END

 

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