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DB Lampoon! Interview with a Caveman

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Talking to a journalist friend, Peter Sherwood discovers delusion is everywhere, not only in Disco Bay


The eternal Discovery Bay curse: Residents of elsewhere bleating the intellectually worthless phrase, “DB is not the real world.” Bereft of meaning and astronomically asinine, it pretentiously assumes that where they live is superior and culturally significant, as if there is a real world (someplace else), and temporary geographical location trumps all. But then delusion takes myriad forms. If where I live is a tribally engineered myth, then bring it on. What has reality ever done for me?

Delusion can be a safe and rewarding place to hang out, like for a journalist of my acquaintance given to ingesting exotic substances. She told me of an interview she conducted with a caveman of the Palaeolithic era. As she put it, “My interlocutor was a Mister Homo Heidelbergenis.” Curiosity aroused, I pressed her for details without wishing to doubt her grip on reality, and pursued her story with interest, having seen a little green man or two in my time after adventures with the demon drink. Martians are commonplace but discussions with prehistoric man are rare amongst even the most inebriate members of the fourth estate.

Who was I to be critical? But to the best of my knowledge no cave paintings have been discovered depicting two people seated on rocks, one with a stone tablet and chisel taking verbatim notes. My friend was adamant and offended that I should question her taking notes electronically, a reaction alarming enough to make me wonder if I should quietly call 999. Nothing in her demeanour suggested anything but confidence, and when I sought to pin her down on the precise date, she was unfazed: “It was between 2.5 million and 10,000 BC – March 21 at 3pm to be exact.”

Praying for a white van and men with a large net to arrive, I tried to humour her, seeking the location of this extraordinary event. “That’s easy. The northern hemisphere, no doubt about it. No sign of kangaroos or koalas, just your woolly mammoths and dinosaurs.”

Nothing can be done when someone is convinced beyond all reason that they’re right. Just ask 70 million Trump supporters. There is no cure for it. My friend ranted on with absurdity and clarity in equal measure. Hell, I came close to believing her myself.

“My interviewee was the head man in his cave. Fire had recently been discovered; warmth and cooking… what else do you need?” I nervously suggested she might need a padded cell and psychological evaluation, but she was undeterred, relating interview questions like, “What do you do for entertainment?” And the answer: “We don’t need childish distractions; we keep busy painting animals on the walls so in the future people will wonder why we did it. They’ll think we might have been an advanced artistic civilisation, when in fact we’d only just eaten for the first time in a week, and we were bored.”

I had hoped to continue this fascinating conversation another time, but the hack disappeared. Reports said she had left town and was running for public office – H in America. That sort of fits. Seems the sky’s the limit.

Peter Sherwood has lived in DB for 20+ years. The former head of an international public relations firm, he is the author of 15 books and has written around 400 satirical columns for the South China Morning Post.

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