DB: Do you like the zoo, Titian?
DB: There are some people who think zoos are cruel.
T: Why do they think that, Boonie?
DB: Well I spose they think it’s cruel to lock up the animals like that. They think animal should be free to run around n that.
T: Well I guess I see their point.
DB: But do you agree with them?
T: Hmm… not sure. I would have to think about it more. Do you agree with them?
DB: Not really. Have you read The Life of Pi?
T: It was published centuries after my death, so no.
DB: Well in that, they argue some good points in favour of zoos.
T: Like what?
DB: Well the gist of it is that animals don’t really have such a good time in the wild. They spend their whole lives hungry as buggery and scared shitless that something else is going to eat them. In the zoo they’ve got it pretty easy.
T: I never considered that. So I guess zoos are okay in my books.
DB: That’s the way.
T: How about this. Do you believe humans are apex of evolution? Do you even believe in evolution, David?
DB: Well mate, in answer to both questions, let’s just say I believe in revolution.
T: What do you mean by that, my little Tasmanian friend?
DB: I think everything - species, Civilizations, people - I think first they evolve, then they devolve. Once they get to a certain point. I’m not sure if that’s a word – devolve.
T: I get your point. Regress, perhaps.
DB: Right! They regress. Like when you’re fishing for flathead.
T: I say, what?
DB: Flathead. Ugly bastards of fish. The best time to catch them is just as the tide is high, then turning, then starting to run out. High bloody tide, Titian. Ugly as sin they are.
T: Good eating though?
DB: Good eating.
T: So everything has it’s zenith, it’s acme, it’s pinnacle? Then after that it regresses.
DB: Pretty much, yeah. It’s all downhill.
T: That sounds pretty depressing to me.
DB: It’s not that bad, big fella. It’s not like you’re the cat’s meow then all of a sudden you’re dogshit. It’s a gradual decline. And the point is you’ll always have that moment to look back on in yer old age.
T: Now I’m trying to think what my apex was.
DB: How about when you invented the colour ultramarine? That was pretty bloody outstanding!
T: Yes, I guess it was. And for you it would probably be 1994, when you scored 1000 test runs in the calendar year without moving your feet once! International cricketer of the year with a beer gut!
DB: That’s it, mate. Although a lot of people would probably say it was the time I drank 52 tinnies on the flight from Sydney to London.
T: Also very impressive. You know once, when I was staying at my friend Giacamo’s house in Siena, we went through five jars of Friulani wine in a night.
DB: Tell you what, that’s not bad!
T: Yes! I threw up on a virgin from Trieste, whom I was trying to impress!
DB: Happens to the best of us, mate. I’ll bet she wasn’t too impressed.
T: No, sir! Perhaps the start of my decline?
DB: Could be, mate.
T: And where do you think we are now, Boonie? The human race. Have we reached our pinnacle? Are we in decline?
DB: I can tell you the exact moment of our decline.
T: Well what was the pinnacle first? Walking on the moon?
DB: Probably. Or the Beatles’ White Album.
T: And the decline?
DB: Put it this way. Imagine if humans became so hyper-evolved that they took to putting themselves in zoos and watching their own kind go about their daily business for entertainment.
T: It’s hideous! More wretched than cannibalism.
DB: Spot on, chief. Imagine people sitting there in their lounge rooms, watching other people eating, sleeping, and sitting in their lounge rooms. And does that remind you of any TV shows you’ve seen lately?
T: Well… Yes! Now that I think about it. Say it aint so, Boonie!
DB: That’s the way it is, Titian old mate. Or the way I read it anyway.