Finding Kant: Part VIII
By Ray Adams
The beers arrived and Billy asked D.T. what his job was. D.T. wanted to be polite, but knew he couldn’t talk about being a Russian linguist and spy, especially in a place like Linda’s where anyone might be listening. He chose a half truth instead.
“I’m involved in language study. If you saw me in uniform, you’d notice a little pin with an image of the Rosetta Stone on it.” In fact, his graduation pin from the language institute actually did have a picture of the Rosetta Stone on it.
“What’s that?” Billy said.
“A big breakthrough in linguistics,” D.T. said. “There were three texts written on the stone, one in Greek, one in the ancient Egyptian language. Scholars had never been able to translate the Egyptian hieroglyphics before. So the Greek helped them break the code and before long they could read the writings on the pyramids and neat stuff like that.”
“So that’s what you do?”
“Something like, but I’m more interested in communicating with animals.”
“Which animals? Sounds neat-o.”
“Have you ever read about the attempt to understand and communicate with Canadian Geese? Two years ago, there was a breakthrough. A field investigator was recording a goose at the moment it took a crap. He realized it was honking, ‘Look out boys, I’m taking a crap now.’ Once they had this Rosetta Honk, the researchers were able to translate other goose honks. For example, they recorded one goose saying, ‘Look out boys, I’m going to have sex with that fat one over there.’”
“Wow,” Billy said. “I bet they recognized the ‘Look out boys’ in the second honk from what they had in the first.”
D.T. shook Billy’s hand and said, “Man, there is no doubt in my military mind you would be a cracker jack gooseologist.”
Book art by: Noel Gonzalez http://noelgonzalez.com/contact.htm (With the exception of Picnic and Peyote)