There’s a routine on an ancient Monty Python record of an imaginary game show, “Stake Your Claim,” that always makes me smile whenever I hear it or even just think about it.
The point where I lose it is when “Norman Voles of Gravesend” who claims he has written all “of Shakespeare’s plays and my wife and I wrote all of his sonnets” is interviewed by the show’s host who asks, “Mr Voles, these plays are known to have been performed in the early 17th century. How old are you, Mr Voles?”
Chagrined, Norman admits that he’s only 43. The host pounces swiftly, “Well, how is it possible for you to have written plays performed over 300 years before you were born?” Trapped, Norman capitulates to the inevitable, “There's no possible way of answering that argument, I'm afraid. I was only hoping you would not make that particular point, but I can see you're more than a match for me!” Click here and you can laugh for yourself.
I think we’ve all known a Norman Voles or two, and perhaps even voted (more than once or twice) for the gentleman. I love stories that are the soul of plausibility until exposed to daylight where they turn to dust as everyone averts their eyes to not embarrass or be embarrassed by what’s happening.
We’ve all had a Mayan Apocalypse, or traveled a portion of life’s highway with our own Harold Camping who learned that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Both of which brings us to Edgar Nernberg and his amazing if slightly ideologically incompatible discovery. It would seem the past isn’t all that’s cracked up to be.
The discovery should make him the talk of every Tim Horton’s in Alberta and Saskatoon. Especially after it’s learned that beside the fish was an unopened 60 million year old jar of tartar sauce. Aside from some extra napkins, you really could not ask for more.