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nocturnal submissions [joke]

I'm a lurker and will remain so, but thought some of you might find this
forwarded post amusing. (Hope it's not just an old worn out joke you're
tired of.)

[This did pass through the list back in November, but there are a lot
 of people here now that weren't here then... -- MR ]

>Return-Path: <deviants-owner@csv.warwick.ac.uk>
>Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 08:15:29 -0600
>To: deviants@csv.warwick.ac.uk
>Subject: nocturnal submissions
>Sender: owner-deviants@csv.warwick.ac.uk
>Precedence: bulk
>                       Paleoanthropology Division
>                       Smithsonian Institute
>                       207 Pennsylvania Avenue
>                       Washington, DC 20078
>Dear Sir:
> Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled
>"211-D, layer seven, next to the clothesline post. Hominid
>skull." We have given this specimen a careful and detailed
>examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your
>theory that it represents "conclusive proof of the presence of
>Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago." Rather, it
>appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of
>the variety one of our staff, who has small children, believes to
>be the "Malibu Barbie". It is evident that you have given a great
>deal of thought to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be
>quite certain that those of us who are familiar with your prior
>work in the field were loathe to come to contradiction with your
>findings. However, we do feel that there are a number of physical
>attributes of the specimen which might have tipped you off to
>its modern origin:
>     1. The material is molded plastic. Ancient hominid remains
>        are typically fossilized bone.
>     2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9
>        cubic centimeters, well below the threshold of even the 
>        earliest identified proto-hominids.
>     3. The dentition pattern evident on the "skull" is more
>        consistent with the common domesticated dog than it is  
>        with the "ravenous man-eating Pliocene clams" you  
>        speculate roamed the wetlands during that time.
>This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing
>hypotheses you have submitted in your history with this institution,
>but the evidence seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without
>going into too much detail,let us say that:
>          A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll
>             that a dog has chewed on.
>          B. Clams don't have teeth.
> It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your
>request to have the specimen carbon dated. This is partially due
>to the heavy load our lab must bear in its normal operation, and
>partly due to carbon dating's notorious inaccuracy in fossils of
>recent geologic record. To the best of our knowledge, no Barbie
>dolls were produced prior to AD 1956, and carbon dating is likely
>to produce wildly inaccurate results. Sadly, we must also deny
>your request that we approach the National Science Foundation's
>Phylogeny Department with the concept of assigning your specimen
>the scientific name "Australopithecus spiff-arino." Speaking
>personally, I, for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance of
>your proposed taxonomy, but was ultimately voted down because the
>species name you selected was hyphenated, and didn't really sound
>like it might be Latin.
> However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this
>fascinating specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a
>hominid fossil, it is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example
>of the great body of work you seem to accumulate here so
>effortlessly. You should know that our Director has reserved a
>special shelf in his own office for the display of the specimens
>you have previously submitted to the Institution, and the entire
>staff speculates daily on what you will happen upon next in your
>digs at the site you have discovered in your back yard. We
>eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation's capital that you
>proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing the
>Director to pay for it. We are particularly interested in hearing
>you expand on your theories surrounding the "trans-positating
>fillifitation of ferrous ions in a structural matrix" that makes
>the excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex femur you recently
>discovered take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty 9-mm Sears
>Craftsman automotive crescent wrench.
>                              Yours in Science,
>                              Harvey Rowe
>                              Curator, Antiquities