How do you wind up turning into a lost city if you’ve got everything figured out? I mean, this city was kaput, a goner, passed on, out of business, dead as a doornail–it doesn’t look to me like they had much of anything figured out.
This civilization existed contemporaneously with those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. We know they traded by land and sea. But we don’t know their language, we can’t read their writing, and we don’t know the name of a single person among the millions who must have lived there. We don’t even have a legend or a folk-tale.
Will the same thing be said, someday, of our globalist fat-headed humanist civilization?
Surely someone must have practiced socialism, somewhere, in history. And because socialism is not capitalism, that ancient socialist civilization should still be in business today–and by far the most properous country in the world.
G’day, everybody! Byron the Quokka here, on what is sure to be forever remembered as an historic occasion!
Because on this day, a new science is born. Brand-new! In fact, if you want to earn a degree in it, the only place in the whole world where you can do that is right here at Quokka University! Because we have a monopoly on the new science of…
Even as Cryptozoology is the study of animals that have to be found before they can be studied, because they may or may not exist, so is cryptogeography the study of places that may or may not exist. [Note to Board of Sages: we owe Phoebe S. an honorary doctorate in Cryptogeography, for coining the name.]
Did you ever try to go someplace and never get there–and you thought it was because you just got lost somehow? Well! Maybe the place was really there… and maybe it wasn’t. I mean, really, blimey, how do you get to Brigadoon, or Gondor, or the Seven Cities of Gold? Poor Coronado wandered all over the map and never found the place that he was looking for. How many times have you been told, “Just keep on going down Route Whatsit, and you can’t miss it”? And then you do miss it, because it isn’t there! But maybe, just maybe, it was there yesterday.
What makes lost cities lost? How do they get found again?
You can see the world’s been needing a science of Cryptogeography for quite a long time.
And as we say here at Q.U.–Ipso loquitur mannimota!
Introducing Chapter CCCLIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular reminds her readers, “According to local legend, the lost city of Driphdrash contains a treasure chamber which, if discovered, would make everyone in Scurveyshire rich beyond the dreams of avarice.” We are not told the details of such dreams.
By now the whole shire knows that the only place they haven’t searched for Driphdrash is the site of Lord Jeremy’s ancestral country house, Coldsore Hall; and the population has voted unanimously to tear the house down to get at the lost city. Lord Jeremy himself voted for it–well, almost. He caught himself just in time.
He is saved at the last minute by the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, who, in a daring midnight raid, invaded Lady Margo’s lavish home and stole her priceless collection of glass eyes, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and Royal Doulton china.
Lord Jeremy has outmaneuvered the people of Scurveyshire by deputizing every man, woman, and child in the district and ordering them to hunt down the aristocratic thief. Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who think he’s Sargon of Akkad, cannot restrain his admiration.
“That was good thinkin’, Germy, old hoss! Look at ’em go!” Totally distracted from their hunt for Driphdrash, the people are now rushing in and out of their houses, barns, and tool-sheds looking for Sir Robin Banks. “His nefandous crime,” proclaims Lord Jeremy, “has shamed and disgraced every man, woman, and child in Scurveyshire. We must erase this blot on our reputation!”
But Lady Margo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, knows what really happened to Lady Margo’s family jewels!
Here she concludes the chapter without telling anyone what really happened. Instead, we get a recipe for Mongolian toothpaste balls with pickled cabbage and tadpoles. You’d think she’d been deputized, too.
It isn’t every day you learn there’s a lost city hidden somewhere in your county. But according to Violet Crepuscular, the lost city of Driphdrash, ages old, is hidden in the heart of Scurveyshire. Or is it the liver?
“Legend has it,” she confides in the readers of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, “that in addition to whole rooms filled with gold and jewels and collectible figurines, the ruins of Driphdrash contain fantastic secrets the possession of which will give their discoverer the power to rule the world. And everyone in Scurveyshire wants to rule the world.”
Virtually the entire community has dropped whatever they were doing and gone on the hunt for Driphdrash. No one talks about anything but what they’ll do, once they rule the world. “I’ll make everyone do calisthenics!” “I’ll ban ginger beer! I never liked it, anyway.” “I’ll order everyone to get married to everyone else!” And so on.
Rumor of the frenzied search for the lost city has reached the Queen’s ears. She sends the Earl of Peedlebury to investigate. He promptly disappears under the vicar’s backyard wading pool. But the Queen has already forgotten that she sent him. Reminded by her Equerry, Lord Dromedary, Her Majesty denies ever having known the Earl of Peedlebury. This is generally the wisest course to follow.
After two full days of frantic labor, every square foot of Scurveyshire has been thoroughly searched, to no avail.
“It ain’t that big a shire, that’s the problem with it,” opines the American adventurer, Willis Twombley. He has vowed to re-establish the Akkadian Empire if he’s the one to find Driphdrash. “Half the square feet I’ve search have already by searched by someone else. I reckon the only place we haven’t looked is… right under Coldsore Hall!”
That thump you just heard was Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s jaw hitting the floor.
“Dear reader,” Ms. Crepuscular writes, “I have to conclude this chapter because, for the life of me, I can’t imagine what happens next. I think I’ll refresh my mind by watching that movie about the giant tarantula.”
We await further developments. I was going to say “breathlessly,” but that would be pushing it too far.
So they’re digging up this huge lost city in Mexico, a place called Angamuca (http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/02/20/ancient-lost-city-in-mexico-had-as-many-buildings-as-manhattan.html). Built around 900 A.D., and lost until 2007, it went out of business around 1350, before any Europeans arrived on the scene. Recent laser mapping suggests it had a population of around 100,000 people, with some 40,000 buildings–as many as there are in Manhattan–packed into ten square miles. All in all, a mighty city, rivaling the Aztec capitol of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) itself.
And then, oblivion. The site of Angamuca is heavily traveled in modern times, but no one until just a few years ago knew this city had ever been there. People drove right past it in their cars. It took state-of-the-art technology to bring it out of the dark.
Says one of the chief archeologists working the site… “These guys had it all figured out.”
Uh, what’s wrong with this picture? You figure everything out, and then you turn into a lost city? What kind of figuring is that? Like, you’re supposed to still be here if you’ve got it all figured out.
As Bayard Rustin once said, “There sure are a lot of stupid smart people.”