The man who discovered liver
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           It was cold outside the cave. Not yet freezing, but still cold. The fire was outside because they had learned that big fires inside the cave created such a cloud of smoke that some of the family had passed out and needed to be dragged out to the fresh air in order for them to regain consciousness.
          There were ten members of the family that lived in the cave which was located near the rocky string of mountains in southwest France. It was in this area that a man from another family had discovered fire which had changed the lives of all twenty five hundred homo sapiens that lived in this general vicinity of what was to become France.
          During this time, at the beginnings of an elementary civilization, there were no real names. People were called by a characteristic. For example, the oldest person in this family, a short, hairy man with a large brow and bow legs was called “Bluge.” His female, the woman he had eight children with, had long black hair, extremely large breasts and skinny legs was named “Moishtdug.” The couple’s eldest daughter, a homely, short, hairy teenager, was named “Ughfuss.”
          The diet of these early humans consisted of berries, squirrel, wild, crippled pig and, if they were fortunate in their hunts, a crippled wildebeest. Crippled, because the only means these early people had to successfully bring down a large beast was if the animal had a severe limp and they could grab it around the neck and wrestle it to the ground where other members of the cave family could pounce upon the animal and punch it to death.
          The discovery of fire caused a significant difference in the lives of “Moishtdug,” “Bluge” and their children. No longer did they have to sit on a log and chew on a piece of squirrel for hours before they could swallow the stringy meat. It took them over a hundred years after the discovery of fire to realize that by placing a slab of animal meat on a sharp stick over the flames that the flesh would be tastier and easier to swallow.
          “Ughfuss” was the first in the family, and perhaps all of civilization, to slide a piece of wildebeest, an onion, a yam and a beet on a shaved branch from a yew tree. Her mother, “Moishtdug,” surprised, questioned her daughter in their strange cave language, “What the hell are you doing, you stupid, stupid, ugly girl?”
          “Ughfuss” was shocked and hurt. “Momma, I was just trying to cook something different. I get tired of berries and pig every day. Can’t I try something new once in awhile. I think you’ll like this. We could call it ‘Blunchgorf’ or something.” Little did young “Ughfuss” realize that she had made the world’s first shish kebob.
          One day “Bluge” was in the “Valley of the Pig’s Ass” when he spotted a sorrowful looking wildebeest sadly limping fifty meters behind the rest of the herd. “Bluge” circled around the hobbled animal, coming up only a few meters behind it. He nodded his head to the members of his clan, silently urging them to close the distance between them and the lame wildebeest. Waiting for the right moment, “Bluge” jumped high and grabbed the animal around its neck. Six members of the clan joined “Bluge” and they all began pummeling the surprised animal. The beast fell on its side, bearing the weight of the clan members, who fiercely thwacked, wacked and smote the panicked animal until it slowly stopped fighting and gave up the ghost. It took the wildebeest five long hours to die.
          Clan members and “Bluge” immediately brought out their sharpened stones and began removing the skin down to the viscera of the large beast.
          “Bluge” had never actually removed the organs of a substantial beast such as this. He yanked, pulled and tugged, removing intestines, spleen, kidneys and finally, the bowel.
          Then he came upon a large, brownish- black slab of softish meat. With a few well-aimed slices from his sharpened stone he removed the organ and wrapped it in wildebeest skin for the trek home to the cave.
          Each clan member carried a portion of the wildebeest back to where “Moishtdug” has prepared a blazing fire outside the entrance to the cave. Each organ was placed over the fire and cooked.
          Meaning to surprise “Moishtdug,” “Bluge” presented the large organ rasher to his woman and said, “Me think you cook this and it be good. You got onion. It be better with onion.” “Moishtdug” stared at the organ and politely retched, but proceeded to placed it on the end of a sharpened stick and positioned it over the dancing flames.
          “Bluge” had made history by bringing home the first liver from the wild and “Moishtdug” had been the first woman to cook a liver.
          Twenty thousand years later mothers around the world were saying, “Eat, eat your liver, it has vitamins and iron, it’s good for you.”
          Twenty thousand years later I looked at the cooked liver (with onions to conceal the taste and odor) that my mother had prepared for me. “Eat, eat, it’s good for you.”
          I told her, “I can’t. I just can’t.”
          I thought back to that first man who had brought home a mass of liver and the first woman who had cooked it. “Bluge” and “Moishtdug.”
          The world would have been a better place if that wildebeest hadn’t been crippled and could have run, fast like the wind, out of reach of “Bluge” and the clan members.
          Then my mother wouldn’t have had to say, “Eat, eat, it’s good for you.”
          Then I wouldn’t have had to say, “Mom, I can’t, I really can’t. Argh!”