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The Neanderthals and the N.R.A.
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 by Ron Cruger
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          The winds were chilly and blowing hard. The Neanderthals blamed it on the moon. The fortunate ones had bear skins they could put around their shoulders to ward off the freezing gusts.
          There were only a few words in their language. They had words for rocks, spears, body odor, fresh meat, people and death. For all other things they grunted, moaned and pointed. Their names were given based on their body types or things that happened to them.
          This branch of the Neanderthals lived in caves near the Valley of the Nile. This was the Stone Age. Later they would call it the Neolithic Era.
          Huddled in the corner of their home cave was Flatso, called that because it sounded as he appeared. Flatso’s best friend was named Flugg. Nobody knew why. The woman who occupied the rear of the cave was called Flopp, because she fell down a lot. Flopp had a taste for the juice of the fermented grapes she nurtured near the river.
           Flatso, Flugg and Flopp lived long before there were Buicks, Wendy’s, band aids, dental floss, smart phones or Pepto Bismal.
          The tools these people had were two pieces of flint stones to bang together and hopefully make a spark that would land on some dry leaves and make a fire. Most of the men had sharp, pointy spears that they used to protect themselves and their family and to kill sabre toothed tigers and men they didn’t like. Men and women alike carried a handful of rocks for throwing at animals that wanted to make meals of them. Rock throwing was the Neanderthal’s prime defense from becoming a main entrée to a host of wild and hungry animals.
          It was during these fierce and frigid days that Flatso, Flugg and Flopp got together near the mouth of their home cave and became the leaders of the newly formed N.R.A – the Neanderthal Rock Association. The goal of the fledgling N.R.A. was to insure that all the people of the Valley of the Nile could continue to own sharply pointed spears and good, hefty rocks for throwing.
          The reason for the three forming the Neanderthal Rock Association was the movement by people of the River who had started a campaign banning private and individual ownership of sharp, pointed spears or throwing rocks. Flatso, Flugg and Flopp and the score of members of the N.R.A. dedicated themselves and the organization to protecting the individual rights of their fellow Neanderthals to have any type of weapons the desired. They felt that any regulation could mean the end of civilization as they knew it. 
           Without a real language to communicate the Neanderthals had created a series of grunts and moans, accompanied by finger pointing and spitting.
          The people of the River felt that by owning sharp, pointed spears and throwing stones these people of the caves could someday create an attack on them, killing hundreds.
          The members of the N.R.A. wanted all people in all caves in all areas to be free to own sharp spears and hefty rocks to throw at animals, cave people and River people alike – no matter what – even if the owners of the spears and throwing rocks were crazy as the loons   which inhabited the area.
          Records, scribed on the walls of the big cave indicated that Two hundred and ninety River residents and cave people alike had been killed during the past two months. One hundred and ninety seven had died from spear wounds to their vital organs, the remainder had been killed by being struck in their heads with throwing stones.
         A meeting of the combined Cave People and River People of the Valley of the Nile was called for the third day of the moon. The almost five hundred Neanderthals gathered in “The Cave by the Smelly Place.” This was the only cave in the area that could accommodate the almost - human residents of the area.
          An un-handsome, hairy man named Bushgord stood in front of the assembly and proposed that anyone in the Valley of the Nile who wanted to own a sharp spear or a supply of more than ten throwing rocks had to put his right hand imprint, stained with berry juice on the flat side of the “Truth Boulder” inside of cave seventy-six. This would constitute a registration on the owners of dangerous weapons.
          The claim by Bushgord and his followers was that crime and killing would be reduced in the Valley of the Nile if these measures were adopted.
          Flatso, Flugginup and Floppo argued vociferously against the measure, claiming that the right to bear a good, pointed spear and a handful of throwing rocks was the right of all Neanderthals in the area. They fought against the measure that would require the handprint of all who owned a spear or throwing rocks.
          Thousands of years passed. Men still carried their sharp, pointed spears and throwing rocks. The killings continued. The Neanderthals passed from history. Paleontologists of today have found a few of the old pointed spears and throwing rocks, and in a cave high on a mountain near “The Cave by the Smelly Place,” stands a giant rock – “The Truth Boulder” with the handprints of those registered to own a sharp spear and throwing rocks still visable.