their feet. Their breath is labored. There is desperation in their eyes as they sniff at their eggs, spoiling and not hatching. The sky is an odd color.
When the last living of their kind crashes chin first to the ground, smaller critters come out of hiding, as would Munchkins, to marvel at the remains glistening in the newly returned sunlight. Hairy men pull out the dreadful teeth and string them into necklaces that will cement their tribal positions.
To have been around for that! To have witnessed the extinction.
We should not feel too deprived, as we are today witnessing the extinction of three huge dinosaurs: the gasoline engine, the American two-party system, and the Roman Catholic Church.
The earlier situation that did in the T Rex and relatives had mysterious causes. Comet? Global climate change? Virus? The three that we are witnessing are clearly caused by unresponsive recalcitrance and greed for money or power.
The gasoline engine is something we have loved too much, like fried dough or the cigarette. GM and similar companies cannot stop themselves from selling it to us, and we have shown an inability to stop buying it. We are all guilty addicts for this sloppy invention. Mercifully, fossil fuel (remember those earlier dinosaurs? They growl to life again every time you turn the key in the ignition) will be depleted or too costly. There won't be any virtue in our switch to clean fuel. As a culture, we are like the obese who can't start a diet until they are in a coma.
The two-party system would almost be acceptable were it not for the fact that its leadership and message are interchangeably bad. The parties attract neither the heroic nor the inspired. Natural born American leaders like Oprah Winfrey or Garrison Keillor can't be bothered. This should be over by 2008. The vehicle and birth mother of an heroic and inspired president will not be the Green party or the Libertarians or any existing third party. It will be the gay community, flexing its powerful bicep nationally, and producing a startlingly wonderful leader who will, of course, be assassinated early in his presidency.
Finally, there is the pathetic matter of Roman Catholicism. Talk about squandering a franchise. For centuries, these guys had us believing that they owned the gates to heaven and hell. They picked the pockets of those in line at either entrance. We now have a pope who lingers, like that final dinosaur. Years from now, looters will plunder his grave, not recognizing the carved letters of his name as they pick the rubies out of his rotting vestments. John Paul wanted to be holy. He settled for stubborn. The horses (and the sheep) have left the barn.