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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Success is Difficult, but We Had No Idea.

How times have changed. Over the years we, here at Life Explained Ohio Office (LEHO), have dealt with setbacks, failures, fruitless incursions into the bizarre world of near misses, and the almost fatal close calls that accompany them with a smile, and a renewed enthusiasm.

It was so easy to be the underdog, nobody ever expected much, so a wine fueled fist fight in the commissary leading to a rocket attack in the parking lot, and a car, or house sent through a wormhole and ending up on a distant planet where tax rates are ridiculously high was no surprise. Just another day, really, everybody loves a loser, right?

But, our recent success has left us wanting more. A little is never enough, and a lot is a not even close. We want more. A lot more.

Since we were never sure how, or why we succeeded. In fact we are not even sure of the degree of our success, a new office in the Northeast, and an even newer office in India has left us scrambling for answers.

To that end we hired a anthropological psychologist to explain the "dynamics of office expansion and growth potentialities in a global market place" to us. It was illuminating.

Turns out humans in a corporate environment display strong, primitive instincts remarkably similar to chimpanzees in the wild. Displays of pack tendencies are exhibited almost constantly. He said a trip to a company luncheon would bear this out. Watch the way different departments would congregate at isolated locations, and only grudgingly allow the personnel from other offices to join.

Wow, he nailed it. We could learn a lot from this guy. But, his time was over, and he wouldn't be
back for a whole week. We could not wait that long, and why should we? Education, inquisitiveness, and the ability to assimilate information got us this far. We would seek answers on our own.

But, where do we find information on wild chimpanzees? Dr. Dawg suggested Jane Goodall. She knows a lot about primates, maybe she knew something about chimpanzees. But, she would not return our calls after a little incident at a scientific awards ceremony. Tequila sunrises are dangerous, and guacamole leaves a nasty stain on an evening gown.

Fortunately there a lot of people who wrote a lot of books. We went and got one at the library. We just opened it randomly and started reading. We were starving for information, and we were ready to devour everything we could find.

"It began as a border patrol. At one point.. they spotted Goliath, apparently hiding only 25 meters away. The raiders rushed madly down the slope to their target. While Goliath screamed and the patrol hooted and displayed, he was held and beaten and kicked and lifted and dropped and and bitten and jumped on... They kept up the attack for 18 minutes... He, too, was never seen again."*

WHAT? This is terrible! We were obviously in perilous straights here. Turns out chimpanzees are real jerks, and if they find a loner from another department they will tear it to pieces.

We had to act quickly. We hurried to the kitchen, in a pack, and erased our name from the sign up sheet for the Halloween party. Down that path lies problem. Then we hurried back and locked the door the lab, after stopping for a handful of candy from the bucket on the file cabinet over by the marketing department.

*Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence.