There’s a problem, though. In today’s world, it’s becoming more and more difficult to carry on behaving like a do-it-yourself Stone-Age person. Many everyday activities can only be handled efficiently and successfully by teams of experienced people. Otherwise, Barney Flintstone is certain to run into trouble. In fact, troubles of that kind have revealed to me my amazing Stone-Age mentality and behavior.
Before going on, I must say that I’m slightly worried to be publishing this coming-out on Friday 13. Up until midnight, I’ll be afraid to step outside, for fear that a rock might tumble down on me from the slopes up behind Gamone, and squash me into food for the wild beasts.
My grandfather and my father were both pure specimens of Stone-Age self-made do-it-yourself men. They transmitted this style of existence to me, and I’ve passed it on to my son. I could literally write a book about typical events in the existence of those four males. Here are a few random examples:
• Pop (my grandfather), an only son born in London, decided as a boy to board a ship and take off to a sunny but harsh land in the Antipodes, where he settled down, built up business activities and raised a tiny family. (We Flintstones have never been big-family people… since a tribe of kids would make it difficult for us to carry on building our do-it-yourself environment.)
• Bill (my father), an only son born in Queensland, decided as a young man to drop the automobile existence his father had prepared for him, and invent a new existence as a cattle grazier in the bush.
• As for me, born in NSW, I decided as a young man to avoid any life-style that my father might have imagined for me. I made Pop’s return trip to the other side of the planet. Finally, in typical Flintstone style, I settled down in an ancient stone house in the wilderness of the Vercors. My do-it-yourself genes were then called upon to build all kinds of things in and around the dwelling... which I now share with a Stone-Age dog named Fitzroy.
• Chino (my only son), born in France, decided as a young man to drop any kind of scholarly existence that his father might have imagined for him, and to invent a new existence. His do-it-yourself genes encouraged him to build a delightful house on the cliff tops of Brittany where he now lives like a solitary Flintstone. An observer, examining our residences in Gamone and Kerouziel, might conclude that they’ve been brought into existence according to similar principles, but independently, by a father and a son.
Today, I’m intrigued (but not unduly troubled) to discover that my Flintstone do-it-yourself lifestyle is falling apart at the seams, because there are limits to what a caveman can accomplish all on his own. Yesterday, just to give readers an example, I installed a charming steel fence in front of my stone house, to keep out mountain lions and wild elephants (remnants of Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps). Unfortunately, nobody had ever informed the Gamone caveman that pure steel chains weigh as much as a dead mammoth, making them quite unsuitable for ordinary people. A female member of another tribe, Martine, has just informed me (using her modern telephonic system) that she likes the look of the enclosure. She believes that her muscles have been toughened up through trudging around constantly on the mountainous slopes to deliver messages to outlying tribes. So, she thinks she might even be strong enough to move the chains. We'll see.
Click photos to enlarge them.
In a Flintstone universe such as Gamone, many things in the modern world remain total mysteries to a caveman such as me. For example, nobody has ever told me how to use a common gadget such as the mobile phone... which I still tend to call, in Cave Talk, a portable telephone. I've often observed people in cities staring lovingly at such devices, and using their thumbs to click at them (as I saw Najat Belkacem doing yesterday evening). Those are operations I've never once tried to master in my existence. I'm even told there's a language called Texto, which remains as unknown to a caveman as Mandarin.
I imagine that some readers who don't know me might imagine that I've often been joking in this article. Less than they think...