August 22, 2005

A coincidence?

I think not.

As the Kansas Board of Education gets ready to decide whether to allow the latest incarnation of creationism, this arrived in my inbox today:
Dear Reader,

In the annals of American humor, Will Cuppy (1884-1949) deserves a chapter all his own, but, with characteristic caginess, he instead lurks among the footnotes, now and then emerging to cast a jaundiced squint at the passing parades of history and nature. In "How to Tell Your Friends From the Apes," a wise-guy's guide to our fellow creatures, Cuppy does to the animal kingdom what he did to Hannibal, Columbus, and Miles Standish in "The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody," namely, cuts it down to size. With nary a hint of reverence, awe, or wonder, Cuppy considers our fossilized ancestors, their ape-like progenitors, and assorted birds and beasts; the result is hilarious. His admirer, P.G. Wodehouse, who contributes an Introduction to this volume, gets quickly to the heart of Cuppy's peculiar genius: "He is the author of the best thing said about Pekingese, viz. 'I don't see why they should look so conceited. They're not better than we are.'" What else can I say? Illustrated.

What else can I say? (Maybe, "Something to read while we wait for the Neanderthals to decide"?) Get your copy from the wise-guys at A Common Reader.

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