The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

British Scholar A C Grayling Slays the Dragon
by Wallace Runnymede

Most people would surely think there's nothing wrong with kids playing with fuzzy puppies, rabbits, giraffes, and all kinds of animals, and that it's all very innocent.

But some prominent scholars disagree.

Yes: A C Grayling is concerned that not all cuddly toys are equal.

"I mean take dragons for example, they may be cuddly and funny and comfy and gloriously coloured, flamboyantly patterned, and so on...

"But they have absolutely nothing whatsoever, nothing IN THE LEAST to do with science as we now understand it.

"Yes… if you tell your children that there MIGHT JUST be such a thing as a dragon, even leaving the question slightly open, you are giving the irrationalists an inch...

"And they will undoubtedly take a mile, because they are just don’t understand these matters.

"I mean it's against all we know about aerodynamics, anatomy, the fossil record; I mean, for pity's sake, I've even seen films with dragons interacting with humans, not to mention dinosaurs!

"Indeed. I mean, is it a coincidence that a country with hundreds of millions of young-Earth creationists, invented Barney the Dinosaur?

"Oh, and don't get me started on foolish and misleading cartoon series, like the Flintstones. Utter fashionable nonsense!

"Well? Human beings interacting with dinosaurs? I don't even have to tell you how preposterous and irrational that is. Oh, can you but believe that such superstitious idiocy is ACTUALLY widely considered to be a "classic television series!"

"Well... if that's all it takes to make a widely popular television series, no wonder the bigots in a certain US television network arrogantly and contemptuously turned up their noses at my fascinating and intriguing pitch...

"For a simply wonderful and intriguing documentary on early post-Cambrian rock formations and on some of the more reconditely nuanced and narrowly-disputed themes in annelid genetics!

"Now really, is it any wonder that there is so much hostility towards science and reason, when children are not being told the difference between REAL, BIOLOGICALLY PLAUSIBLE living entities, and the feverish concoctions of the heated brain of some over-artsy dilettante fantasist?"

So what toys do your grandchildren play with, Professor Grayling? Don't they have dolls? Teddy bears? Action figures?

"Oh... now, what an utterly preposterous question., no, I'm sure they don't. I will have to ask their parents... no, they wouldn't maliciously betray me in such an utterly cruel and heartless manner.

"No. I may be a renowned sceptic, but I am a HUNDRED MILLION BILLION PER CENT SURE, without the slightest trace of doubt WHATSOEVER, that they are all in their bedrooms right now doing their homework...

"Or perhaps reading Cuvier or Lamarck.

"Or perhaps, if they are sufficiently ambitious, pitching a groundbreaking peer-reviewed article to "Nature" journal...

"As distinguished from one of the lamentably idiotic pseudo-journals which pander to  flat-Earthers, moon-landing sceptics, truthers and myriad conspiracy theorists, vaccination denialists, Hongcheng magic-liquidists, PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY BELIEVE IN GOD (!)...

"And anything of the like, really.”

Edited version of original on: