Just Call Me Ike*

His wife has been calling him Ikaria Wariootia
without using those words. He thought she was
just being insulting. He thought his wife was
being nasty when she told him he was an original,

a one-of-a-kind fossil of a worm. Imagine how
he felt but then he read that the scientific
community has discovered a 555 million-year-old
fossil of a creature the size of a single grain

of rice that corresponds in composition to all
future animals including humans. A friend sent
him a copy of an article about the breakthrough
scientific discovery along with this information:

The tiny, wormlike creature, named Ikaria
wariootia, is the earliest bilaterian, or organism
with a front and back, two symmetrical sides, and
openings at either end connected by a gut.

The man looked in the mirror and “Voilà,” he uttered
in great relief, “That’s me — openings at either
end connected by a gut.” As he continued to look
in the mirror, he wasn’t sure how symmetrical his

sides were anymore, but he was sure he had a
front and a back. Here all this time he felt
terrible about what his wife repeatedly called
him, but now he knows what his astute, scient-

ifically minded wife meant when she called him
an original, one-of-a-kind fossil of a worm. It
was the supreme compliment. When she called him
a real, original piece of work, she was calling

him the progenitor of the human race —a bilaterian
named Ikaria Wariootia. But, in all humility, the
man said to one and all in his newly discovered
posture of confidence, “Just call me Ike. I like Ike.”


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