Origin of Species
I have become a nature scientist. What qualifies me to say that, you ask ? Well I am sure I have read more issues of National Geographic Magzine than the average reader, not to mention a few Desmond Morris books. So read on..
For the last 13 years, I have been studying the habits of the species called Indobridus Americanus. The earliest species of Indobridus was the Indobridus UnitedKingdus. While the hostile local environments and the shifting global climate have brought this species to the endangered list, its cousin the Indobridus Americanus has flourished over the last few decades.
This version of Indobridus nests mainly around urban centers in North America and is found in large numbers. The male of the species, known by its biological name Despodesi Techworkurus migrates from its native habitat in India when it reaches 20-22 years. It gets an urge to mate at a ripe age above 27-28. As part of a brief mating display, the male of the species shows acquired objects like automobiles, houses, high tech gadgets etc., The female mostly ignores the male in these displays but decides to migrate to the males habitat anyways. The exact reasons for this delayed migration by the female is still baffling evolutionists.
Once in its new habitat the Indobridus becomes reclusive in an attempt to evaluate its new surroundings. This lasts for a period of 8-12 weeks. At that point they start showing behaviour that the anthropologists call "nesting". Once the female has estabished its nesting territory, the male becomes extremely docile and performs social functions at the females instructions. Considering that the male is expected to learn these skills in a very short time frame, most of the males in the species go through sudden transformations. In an attempt to distract the female from its own awkward transformation, the male introduces the female to the concept of "shopping".
Over millions of years, the females in many species have always gone about the procurement business to build their nest or habitat. Mostly this consisted of gathering basic building materials like straw, leaves, etc. to make living space comfortable. The sophistication of the Indobridus Americanus has far exceeded the expectations of all zoologists. Any material that is perceived as undervalued or "a bargain" is procured by the female and is put in the nest. Some smart males of the species realize that they have done a big "boo boo" by introducing the females to the concept of "shopping" and introduce them to another equally baffling concept.. "returning".
Birds and animals have been known to return or reject bad pieces of straw or leaves from their nest or lair. But they usually do it after careful evaluation of the raw material. Nesting phenonmena in the North American continent have a unique feature. The habitat fools the creatures into thinking that they need things that are of absolutely no use to them. Therefore anything and everything that is on sale or is called a bargain is transported off to the nest. Sometimes the mistake is realized by the female even as they are in the process of transporting things home, in which case the male quickly capitalizes on the realization and returns the items. In other cases, the male is sent on an endless loop where he shuttles the female and the nesting materials back and forth in a buying and returning process. This behaviour is more pronunced on certain days in the year which follow special days (with names like Thanksgiving, Christmas etc.,) where the entire day may be spent by the male and female in procuring such items only to spend the following day in long lines where these useless things are returned.
By osmosis the male also gets into the habit of "shopping" and "returning" and this process forms a bond between the two. This process can go on for almost a few years as part of an extended courtship between the male and the female till the female produces offspring. It is interesting to note that this type of behaviour is totally absent in the native Indobridus Indianis, where the habitat does not allow the concept of returning. Thus the Indianis version exhibits extreme caution before altering its nest.
The scariest part is the evolution of this species into the Desitoddler Americanus offspring. These offspring are taught at a very dangerously young age the concepts of Shopping and returning, partly by accident and partly by necessity. For example, a toddler can lie on the floor and scream , throw a temper tantrum in front of a crowd of 50 - 100 strangers and insist on taking something like a box of chewing tobacco at the check out line (the toddler does not care what the object is as long as it is in an attactive packaging !). At this point, the parents have two choices. Buy the box of tobacco and return it later that same night after the toddler has gone to sleep, or put Shakespear to shame by showing the strangers a little family play. Needless to say the parents take the "shop and return" approach.
Both the Desitoddler and its parent the Indobridus are usually taken in by the words "Full Cash Refund" ! Granted, that the money for the purchase of "Chewing Tobacco" was fully returned, but the cost of gasoline to travel 5 miles or the devaluation of the van for the same 5 miles is not part of the Refund. In some cases, items have been returned in places which are 25 or so miles from the nest and in such cases the cost of gasoline and the mileage far exceed the cost of the object being returned !
It will be interesting to see how the Desitoddler evolves over a few generations in light of these traits...
Ps. except for the chewing tobacco part, the rest of the piece is a collection of obsevations from Desibridus not just pertaining to my own bride !!