Suddenly, A Giraffe, Part 1 (C, With Extra Sauce)

“Excuse me,” no one hears him whimper. “If everyone could please take their seats…” It’s a pretty safe bet that he intends to finish that sentence, but someone else does something rude, which is more worthy of our attentions

“Hey Staggebaek,” shouts Victor Bergman, a chemist known for his lax attitudes towards chemical consumption and distribution, currently sitting in the second row. “Nervous? Maybe you should get one of your graduates to do it for you?” Those who know the poor little man at the podium, Ethan Staggebaek, laugh hardest, though anyone who’s realized that student are little more glorified indentured servants are amused. Staggebaek bridles at their jocularity, and nothing rallies a nervous nerd quite like indignity.

“I would, Victor, but they’re all on a special study in Tucson. It involves your mother and a rock hard, 13-inch bunsen burner.”

“Hey—!”

“The bunsen burner is black.” Now addressing the larger audience, “But we’re not here to talk about Mrs. Bergman’s bizarre sexual proclivities, or our own Dr. Bergman’s dubious origins. We’re here about the future. The future of science, the future of our planet, and the future of what it means to be a society. For years we have looked to the heavens for other intelligent life. Sentience, self-awareness, something so powerful and unique, could only be found out amongst the stars, we reasoned, or maybe dolphins, and hopefully the dinosaurs.”

(More later.)

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