What if we all sucked?
If you've ever spent time with anyone aged under two recently, you will not have failed to notice that everything - everything - everything (to paraphrase Mr Haggle, our retarded rug retailer) goes into their mouths.
As you can see from the gorgeous young Zara here on the left, even a felt Kermit is worth sticking in at least six times before deciding that the pink plastic motorbike is a much more mouth-friendly option.
It got me to thinking: What if we all sucked? Well maybe we all do already, but let's forget kicking our own arses for a while about our achievements and ponder my query from another angle: what if our nine-month old tendency to 'try before we buy' involved putting everything into the 'ol cake hole before we did anything else with it?
Can you imagine how messy grocery shopping would become?
If our oral urges were still strong, we would be literally drooling on unpeeled bananas and giving grapes a good gumming over before putting the soggy selections into the trolley. Tins would be licked; corners of packets popped in the mouth for quality control and heaven help us if toilet paper was no longer wrapped in plastic. My thoughts go out to the check out operators who would have to patiently wait for us to stop sucking our credit cards before handing them over, still dripping with drool, for payment. Then we would have to try and flatten out their paper mache balls that were formerly our receipts so that we can get our 4c petrol discount later on.
How we would ever find the time to get the groceries into the car and head off to work? The average set of car keys would have to rank in the parental all time top ten choices for 'Impromptu toys to entertain toddlers when no toys are available.' In doctors' waiting rooms around the world are millions of knee-high nibblers busily inserting keys into their mouths and then taking them out and shaking the set to not only hear the jangle but also to see the sprays of saliva catch the light in a dazzling display. If we also were as fascinated, imagine how clogged the car parks would become. We would have to eat our entire weekly shop because of the time taken to suck every key, the door handle, antenna, gear stick, seat-belt buckle and the container of wet-ones shoved in the glove box since 1997.
Sales of bottled water, filters and tanks would skyrocket due to the need to top ourselves up with ten times the fluids we do now. As Tom Hanks said to the drooling dog he inherited in the movie 'Turner and Hooch': "Isn't there some way we could use that stuff? Like for some industrial lubricant or something?" What would the workplace be like - I sure as hell wouldn't be as keen to lend or borrow my stapler, hole punch or liquid paper and job interviews could get far too personal.
First dates could be a much more erotic - or repellent experience, depending on your thrill factor and point of view. Do I suck his ---------------- jacket zipper while we're in the car or wait until we're inside the cafe? Should I lean in to lick her -------- handbag strap during the movie or afterwards? Ooooh yuck, why does his hair taste like coconut and glue? Crikey, when was the last time she washed behind her ears??
Our-two-years-and-under role models also use their oral fixations to keep themselves amused when they're not feeding, backing out a John Howard into their huggies or laughing at Daddy tripping over the mega bloks. If you have nothing to do try their techniques: grab the dog's tail, give it a saturating suck and rub it all over Mummy's new designer sofa cushions like a poochy paint brush. Or, if you're into living on the edge, have a bite of the barkchips covering the ficus and regurgitate them into the nearest unoccupied shoe. Don't forget the bookshelf - who says it's not fun to dampen each and every Encyclopaedia Britannica with farex-flavoured saliva?
Oh well, it'd be cheaper than smoking and less fattening that a faceful of fries.