The Armchair Archaeologist II: The Re-excavating


Last month I had the honor of studying the long-abandoned “Toy Pantry”, which yielded a veritable bounty of uncovered secrets that betrayed the enigmas of the forgotten past. This time, I’m excavating a heavily populated area with ancient relics lying just below the surface: “Audrey’s Bedroom.”

The first major discovery we made was a hidden cache of paper. Because of the uniformity of all the specimens, we believe that they were a type of paper currency. The colors, still vibrant after many years, are most likely indicative of the price. Red ones were probably worth more, as there seems to be far less of them (they make up only about 8% of the uncovered currency.) Conversely, there seem to be entirely too many orange papers. I have been attempting to discern the etymological roots of the term “Starburst” with little avail. My closest estimate is that it comes from the Latin phrase “Sta arb ursa” which translate to “Stand free, bear,” perhaps insinuating that capitalism is a strong predator needing no government on which to rely.


The literature of the ancients was absurd and unique. A majority of the words were printed neatly with ink, with intentionally-blank areas where a few more were scrawled with graphite. I dated this one back to 2003, when the term “underwear” was the height of comedic brilliance. As a result, the writings lack the sophistication and subtlety of the Western conception of “great literature.” An excerpt:

In 1981, the US launched the first real Space duck. It was called the turtle Shuttle because it not only went up into dumb space, it came back. It was named the “Colombia” and was piloted by two brave bananas. They had practiced sneezing for two years and were expert gluesticks. The Colombia took off from Baton Rouge using its powerful first stage socks. At an altitude of 6 feet, it went into orbit around the cantaloupe. After 10,003 orbits, the Shuttle landed quietly at the bathroom. It was a chartreuse day for the US space program.

As much as this sounds like an historical account of an important event, we are forced to look through the skeptical historian’s eye and see that it was probably an early predecessor to science fiction. Then again, we have been surprised before by ancient civilizations having incredibly advanced technology and theories; perhaps this case is no different.


Given the extraordinary concentration of superfluous paraphernalia, we can assume the inhabitants of this region were preoccupied with decoration over function. The elaborate wall hangings and the items occupying the shelves and tables do not seem to have any practical function other than to convey a sense of closeness and comfort. The number of crude facsimiles of animals alone is staggering. The one below is the oldest one we found. Despite its age (we estimate early 1990s), the creature is intact. Its exterior is well-worn, indicating that despite its ineffectual nature, it was handled frequently. It may have been an idol or other religious symbol that was used in various rituals for good luck, such as “First Words” and “First Walking.”


Finally, we uncovered the pride and joy of our archaeological excavation: an army of thirty-one human figures. For those familiar with the tale of the Terracotta Warriors of China, this find is no different. Except that these figures are three inches in height and made of flimsy plastic. But no doubt they were believed to guard the spiritual integrity of the land. The one labelled “Truman” seems to have his hands in a confrontational position, potentially preparing for hand-to-hand combat. Both McKinley and Coolidge are depicted holding hats (a visual indicator of trickery and deceit in lieu of physical violence).


According to mythology, these almost super-human characters did everything from wrestle bears to slay vampires to veto unconstitutional bills. With such brave-looking talismans of good fortune watching over the site, it is safe to say that all who lived in this region years ago slept only in peace.




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