Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Monday, 2 May 2011

Anthropology of Stained Glass

Given the appalling lack of humour on these pages lately (Mikey seems too pre-occupied with actually running a business) we repeat a favourite post from a couple of years ago until he gets his funny bone back.

Enjoy this absolutely true story...

The most significant discovery in Mikey's long and illustrious stained glass career was entirely serendipitous. Last April, the renown stained glass store owner was hiking in Germany's Neander Valley when he tripped over something on a trail. Some quick digging exposed the obstacle as what seemed to be the tip of a mastodon tusk. It wasn't until a few weeks later when the entire tusk was unearthed and dated that Mikey had realized the magnitude of his find. You see, the tusk he believes, is actually a Neanderthal glass cutter. Using traditional anthropological naming vernacular, Mikey gives it the name "toyofigus" in honour of his glass emporium- Fantasy In Glass (FIG).

What makes this find so significant and explosive is that like the grozing pliers discovered in Slovenia last year, the 50,000-year-old toyofigus predates the presence of glass making! 
Examining the ToyoFigus glass cutter closely we see the existence of a carefully aligned hole that starts at the top of the cutter and runs down through its entire length. 
"I think a Neanderthal master craftsman must have used a stone awl to hollow out this the  toyofigus glass cutter." says Mikey. "Therefore, without a doubt" he says, "this proves that, while primitive man made and used tools, more importantly it suggests that Neanderthals used a cutter lubricant proving they were concerned with cutter wheel longevity".

Furthermore, while digging out the tool, Mikey also had uncovered the entrance to a cave and another major find: the first example of Neanderthal cave stained glass cutlines. Fittingly, the cutlines show lamp and suncatcher designs alongside proposed formulas for actually manufacturing glass once fire is discovered. "Maybe what we have here is the birth of a new hobby and artform."

Mikey theorizes that the Neanderthals' fondness for stained glass may explain why they vanished some 30,000 years ago. "Maybe their frustration at not actually having any glass to cut scared away all the game. They would have produced an awful racket all over the place complaining and arguing over whether Kokomo artglass would continue to be as popular as it is yet to be."

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