Neanderthals, Humans Didn't Mix
"There is no convincing evidence that Neanderthals and modern humans ever mixed in substantial numbers, which means that when the Neanderthals died out, so did their genes." - AOL teaser for an AP story about a Stanford University study



Yeah. Right. No convincing evidence …
How do you explain the check-writing woman at the
supermarket? There she is with her head of iceberg lettuce, her two cans of green beans, her package of Q-Tips, and her 16-ounce bottle of Sprite. She's well under the 15-items-or-less limit, so you figure she's got it together. The other lines are long, with people holding baskets, or they're short, with two or three customers pushing carts piled Everest-high with groceries. You have no idea how you got so lucky, but you did.
You get in line behind the woman, feeling victorious, knowing that this time, finally, you picked the right line. What could go wrong?

But when the cashier finishes ringing her up, it happens: The woman reaches inside her purse. You hope against hope that maybe she is just going for her wallet and will pull out a twenty and all will be right with the world. But your hopefulness dissolves into a kind of knowing dread as she rummages around the handbag.

"It's in here," she says and smiles wanly at the cashier.

IT'S IN THERE, ALL RIGHT, you want to scream. SO WHY DIDN'T YOU PULL IT OUT BEFORE YOU GOT TO THE REGISTER? Entire evolutionary adaptations take place during the eon it takes her to fill out the check.

Meanwhile, the woman who was in the lane next to yours, the one with the mountain of groceries, is long gone. She's out in the parking lot, the sun shining on her, putting the last of her bags in her trunk. You turn your gaze to the lane where she had been. The guy who was behind her, the guy who would have been you, is gone. The person behind him is exiting. But you're stuck behind the check lady.