Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Cerebum

I am exquisitely sensitive to medically significant changes in my body. In fact, there is hardly an aberration that I can't link directly to my own death in some way, and that is why I recently decided I should quit crossing my legs. I have a permanent dark spot on my right leg caused by the pressure from my left knee, and it looks plenty fatal to me. Now every time my legs are crossed, I am visualizing the compressed area as a sort of embolism factory. Some day I'll stand up and the little bugger will shoot straight to my brain and take me out.

Problem is, I can't seem to control my legs. They cross themselves. I have no idea when they're doing it, but I'll look down and there they are, crossed. It's as mysterious as the appearance of a lap cat. You look down, and there you are hosting a cat, and you have no idea when it showed up. Obviously I know better than to believe my legs are crossing themselves. That would be ridiculous. So I assume that they are under control of the auxiliary brain in my butt, a legacy of my stegosaurian forebears.

The famous second brain of the stegosaurus was postulated soon after the discovery of the first fossil skeleton. Scientists examining the skeleton noted that the animal was the size of a bus and yet had a
brain case no bigger than a dog's. (And not necessarily a border collie's, either. The Afghan Hound has a brain the size of a pistachio, just big enough to operate its shiny coat.) It seemed way too small to run the controls of a big dinosaur. But there, in its proto-tushie, was a canal twenty times larger than the brain case. Clearly, the butt was carrying the load of operating the animal, in the same manner as fire engines are steered from the back as well as the front. If you're a hungry stegosaurus on the hunt for a quick cycad, you don't want the rear end swinging out too far.

The original paleo-posterior postulator did draw some conclusions that have since been discarded. The famous plates running along the animal's back were originally thought to lay flat along the top (stegosaurus means "roof lizard"). And we now recognize that that was not the default arrangement, except on Sundays, when the plates were slicked down with a center part and a cowlick at the back, like Alfalfa. Gradually the notion of the butt brain was relinquished as well. Modern paleontologists believe that the stegosaurus was able to run his entire self with his tiny little head, albeit not well enough to make it all the way through the Cretaceous.

But that doesn't mean I don't have one. Anyone would assume I wouldn't need an auxiliary brain to run things south of my equator, because nothing on me is all that far from my head. But my head, like the roof lizard's, is very tiny--children's hats fit me--and busy with stuff like wondering if chickadees can tell each other apart. Which might be why I fall down so often. A secondary intellect in the fanny would be well placed to take care of things like leg crossing and creative flatulence, and if mine isn't doing such a good job keeping me upright, well, who's to say my cerebum isn't just trying to be witty? What else do you expect from a smartass?

58 comments:

  1. Am I hearing that I don't have an economy sized butt? I have a LARGE secondary brain. I do like the way you think - regardless of which brain is responsible.

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    1. Be it noted, I never said a word about your butt. But I'll take your word for it. Here's something about my brain: I can't hear "I like the way you think" except in Billy Bob Thornton's voice.

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  2. Thanks. It would be comforting to know a well endowed fanny has a meaningful purpose, be it leg crossing or creative flatulence. Little heads, big butts..... isn't there a song like that?

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    1. I'm assigning you to write it, if there isn't one. And sure, it has a meaningful purpose. Mine even makes its own weather.

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    2. Queen did Fat Bottomed Girls but I don't remember a line about a little head in it.

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    3. Oh man, did I set someone up with a one liner there...*edit* small heads.

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  3. Butt-brain. Not a novel concept, it seems, but one for the ages.

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  4. We shouldn't be too quick to give up the idea of the dinosaur butt brain. It would mean they were essentially built with their heads up their asses. If those dinosaurs eventually evolved into Republicans, it would explain a lot.

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  5. Ditto to Elephant. I am trying so hard to lose weight on my butt, which I am absolutely sure is the reason I am much less witty these days.

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    1. Good food and beer can wit you up in a hurry. I'm sure of it.

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  6. Very good, as always.

    I’ve found being chained at the ankles prevents accidental leg crossing; at least that’s what my parole officer says.

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  7. holy crap, get out of my head - i am trying the same recently because I have bruises just above my knee and for some weird reason i decided i either will die any time soon or i shouldn't cross my legs....

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    1. You know what? Since I wrote this I read that crossing your legs doesn't kill you after all. Slam that puppy up there.

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  8. Still laughing! I needed that this morning! But I guess I'm S.O.L. I have the world's boniest ass, and I'm pretty sure I crushed my auxiliary brain the last time I sat on a hard wooden chair. 'Scuse me while I retreat to a corner to drool and strum my lip.

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  9. Men have always had a second brain that controlls them - between their legs.

    There is a book called Master Mind...How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova that deals wit brain functions - It may not give you any answers but it is an interesting read.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. That one gives the brain stiff competition, but it rarely thinks things through.

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    2. Young men give their penises a name so they won't have their lives run by a stranger. Thinking with the little head accounts for so much.

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  10. When I read about your surprise over seeing your crossed legs, I thought of how my cat magically appears, sleeping, in my lap. And then your next sentences were "It's as mysterious as the appearance of a lap cat. You look down, and there you are hosting a cat, and you have no idea when it showed up." I wonder if I should be concerned that I'm starting to think like you do...

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    1. I'd see your doctor while the problem is still new. It's really kind of nice and pleasant here in my head, but I do need someone to take care of my basic needs.

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    2. ...and - "knowing" you as I do now, that "someone" would be Dave! Also, for the first time in my lifetime of cats, we have a Lap Cat - and the only lap he sits on is mine. Frankly, I am honored by this.

      LOVE this blog episode - who else could equate a Stegosaurus to Alfalfa? Excellent! And mind-blowing - for BOTH minds...

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    3. Uh, yes. That person would be Dave. In exchange for being able to tease me as much as ever he wants, he takes good care of me. AS MUCH AS EVER HE WANTS.

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  11. Some dogs have been bred for good looks to the point that the brain pan is smaller than my pinkie nail. Yet the dog seems to be smarter than I. My theory? Like the microchip, the smaller the physical properties, the larger the capacity. Makes no sense, but there it is.

    (An acquaintance was once making fun of his friend who had a small head. Instant retort: Little head, little wit; big head, not a bit.)

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    1. Whenever anyone makes fun of the small capacity of my head, I point out how dense it is.

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  12. That is an impressive dent in your leg there. It's even more impressive that you have avoided those blue spider veins which are said to arise from leg-crossing ... although I don't believe that warning, either, because I have tons of those suckers and I'm not a leg-crosser.

    Cerebum. Heh. Good one!

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    1. That's a legacy of my Mom: decent-looking legs that only just reach the ground, and not an inch farther.

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  13. Not to worry, an embolism from your leg will never make it to your brain: it will kill you by lodging in the lung and blocking its main artery there.

    Mr Anatomy is always glad to help!

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    1. Oh, well, crap, Mr. Anatomy. I was pretty sure I could survive a blow to the head. And my head isn't very far from my leg.

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  14. I am also exquisitely sensitive to potential fatalities. I could use a smaller brain in which such thoughts have no room to exist.

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    1. You must Fill Your Thoughts With Daisies And Lollipops! And little Hearts! Crowd those bastards out!

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  15. Bill Cosby offered proof of the butt-brain one time, using an example we've all experienced: You are sitting in the living room and remember there's something you need to get in kitchen, so you stand up and walk into the kitchen, where you find you've entirely forgotten what you were going to do there. You stand around in the kitchen for a few minutes, hoping something will jog your memory, but - no luck. So you return to the living room, and AS SOON AS you sit down, THEREBY STIMULATING THE BRAIN IN YOUR BEHIND, you remember what you had been searching for in the kitchen!

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    1. I'm very stimulated when someone sits on my...oh never mind.

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  16. I have been studying this leg-crossing syndrome for some time. Why dome people do. And why some people don't. Unfortunately, I have come to no conclusions.

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    1. It's a whole baby-shower game. You get to steal the necklace off whoever crosses her legs. At some point someone has all the necklaces. So I know it's not just me.

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  17. "I have a permanent dark spot on my right leg caused by the pressure from my left knee..."

    I have one of those, in the same place! Now you've got me worried; is it fatal, or is it not?

    The other question is, can you educate a smartass (in both senses of the word)?

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    1. Funny thing is, I was worried about the dark spot, and had no idea where it came from, and I'd just finished mentioning that to a friend when five minutes later she pointed at my crossed legs and said THAT'S IT! And by gum, it was. We don't usually get our questions answered that expeditiously.

      I think it might be illegal to educate a smartass in Kansas.

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  18. Try as I might not to cross my legs, it happens. And I try not to for the very same reason - a fear of emboli. It's vexing, because I'm forced to spend so many hours a day in a chair. Instead, I try to tuck my legs under me when I can. Which probably isn't at all better.

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    1. Truly, I think it's not true. But where would we have BOTH heard it?

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  19. Is it always the same leg you cross over the other? does it feel weird to reverse them? I think you will die from worrying before the embolism can get you. I do love the idea of a cerebrum, though.

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    1. Yes. I'm trying to reverse it so I can have two embolisms at once and go down fast.

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  20. I can't worry about the leg crossing because I'm too caught up in the mysterious appearance of the cat-in-the-lap. Hum, might be a good title for a book...unless...

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    1. They materialize. They have special materializing muscles.

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  21. Thank heavens you aren't a leg twizzler (crossing your legs, then wrapping your foot around the ankle of the subjugated leg). I went to high school with one of those and to make matters worse, she bounced her foot once she got everything tied up like that. I figure she's dead now.

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  22. Even if the dinosaurs turned out not to have had hind brains, they did manage to hang out on the planet a lot longer than people are likely to do. I blame it all on opposable thumbs.

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    1. Inasmuch as our corporate overlords have opposable thumbs, I'll go along with that.

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  23. I KNEW that smart ass line was coming! I guess the "sitting like a lady" with your legs crossed has been ingrained into you. And here I thought you'd be a slumper with legs spread wide to allow for air circulation! *wink wink*

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    1. Like I'm not dried up enough already.

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  24. Oh, to spend even one day in your brain, where ever it is, would be a delight. Love how your mind works. Brilliant post.

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    1. Even if it's in my ass? At least it's roomy.

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  25. Ah. Tiny head. Falls down. Is sometimes surprised to find a cat in her lap...

    Are you me, Murr? Or am I you? Are we current with our bills, and whatever happened to that one pair of pants we liked so much?

    Pearl

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    1. We should get together sometime and see if a disinterested spectator observes more than one person. I hope we look like you.

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