The year was 505 897 BC. The exact date is unknown, because the calendar as you and I know it, was not yet invented.
Neither was the concept of 24 hours in day.
And just to be clear, that’s the real BC. Not “before computers”, although the difference is ridiculously small.
WhaWha was making a fire for only the third time in his life.
He discovered this wonderful chemical reaction by accident, but it changed his world forever. (WhaWha did not know how to spell his name because the written word would only follow close on half a million years later, but if I was WhaWha, that’s how I would spell it.)
WhaWha’s ancestors had seen it all, and survived it all: the Stone Age, the Iron Age, the Ice Age.
Not that they were aware of it. The concept of measuring time – and naming the different periods – was also a discovery waiting for future generations.
Not that any of WhaWha’s relatives ever wondered what life was like back in those periods.
Ice. Stone. Iron.
WhaWha was happy.
He was secure in his cave, living the good life, and he was Braai Master of 505 897 BC.
Exactly 507 917 years later, at precisely 9pm on Saturday, January 11, 2020 in Krugersdorp, 26 degrees, 4 minutes, 18 seconds south and 28 degrees, 3 minutes, 10 seconds east (call me a sucker for detail) I did what WhaWha did all those years ago.
I made a fire.
Then I cooked a lamb rib to perfection, slicing it with my Kershaw knife, precision-made in the USA. The tender meat fell off the bone and we ate it with Dutch mustard and olives and feta cheese from Greece.
I made the fire not because I had invented it, or because I needed it for heating or protection. I made a fire because we were load shedded.
And hell, for a moment I was Braai Master 2020AD.
Thanks, WhaWha, for the fire.
As for Eskom?
Thanks for nothing.
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