COME on a trip with me dear reader, a trip that will see us travel not only in distance but in (spooky voice) time!
Hold my hand as we step into the swirling, whirling time vortex.
The years flash past us, the 00s with our economy that just kept in growing, the 90s with the smiling Blairs in Downing Street, the 80s with red braces and braying yuppies, the 70s with kipper ties and the three-day week.
The images go quicker now; the guns of war, the steam engine, Henry VIII and his wives, a bloke getting a great big arrow in his eye off some French chap.
Even quicker now, millennia fly past in moments. Jesus, the Romans, the Greeks, people putting creases in their jeans and yet still faster, faster, faster into history.
Oh wait a minute we’re slowing down, hold on tight.
Where are we? It looks like some grassy plain.
It’s red hot, a golden orb in a cyan sky beats down on us. The gentle swish of a warm breeze through the tall grasses and trees that roll out in front of us.
What’s that you see in the distance? Crikey, they look sort of like me and you.
Wait a minute, they’re coming closer. Jabbering unintelligibly with thick brows jutting out above their eyes, who could they be? No, not Geordies.
Oh, they’re our ancestors. And they’re angry.
One of them is something about “spilling unga pint” while his caveman friend, part simian part man, hops around accusing you of “staring at unga bird”.
There’s nowt but for it to turn tail and run. But our ancestors, what they lack in brain power can certainly make up for in leg power.
We’re surrounded. It looks like curtains for us. How on earth are we going to get out of this?
Looking at our feet the earth is pocked with large stones, big enough to do some damage. We bend down and pick up a few, hurling them at our primeval pursuers.
Direct hit, you’ve caught one of them on the hairy temple. And that was one of the women. The others have stopped.
They seem unsure of what to do next...you throw another stone, another hit. They’re backing off. What was a vicious rabble of jabbing fingers and snarling lips is now a divided and scared disparate group of scared missing links.
Hurray for you – and evolution.
Because according to new research published this week it appears our ability to throw is what propelled the caveman version of you and I to the eventually stratospheric firmament we find ourselves in today.
Just think about it. Fancy bringing down a great big elephant or elk or prehistoric Greggs? You can get up close and personal and get a mauling, goring or (even worse) hot steak bake gravy down your loin cloth.
Why not stay a bit further away and pelt it with stones or spears? No danger to you and a whopping great steak for your trouble.
And all that protein in your steak – that’s a bigger brain for you. And that bigger brain comes up with more ways to defend yourself from attackers – both animal and semi-human as well as more and more cunning ways to expand your diet and eat tastier stuff.
Because we’re all sick of sabre tooth tiger kebabs and elephant vol-au-vents.
It appears chucking stuff is what separates us from the animals – and it’s taken two million years of adaptation to our upper halves to fine tune us into the highly polished specimens we are today.
Think about how many times you throw things. The scrunched up offer from someone wanting to sell you something you’ve never heard of into the bin from six feet, your socks into the washing basket from the bedroom doorway, the peanut into your mouth while having a drink into the pub.
It’s taken two million years, evolution and practice for you to be able to do these things without even thinking about them.
Who would have thought that Jocky Wilson and Phil Taylor were the peak of evolution?