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Allie Fox (Paul Theroux) on Evolution's Little Joke

Archaeology Quotations


American writer Paul Theroux at Madrid 2002

American writer Paul Theroux at Madrid 2002

Francis Tsang / Getty Images

Man sprang out of the faulty world, Charlie. Therefore, I'm imperfect. What's the use? It's a bad design, the human body. Skin's not thick enough, bones aren't strong enough, too little hair, no claws, no fangs. Drop us and we break! Why, we're not even symmetrical. One foot bigger than the other, left-handed, right-handed, our noses run. Look where our heart is.

We weren't meant to stand up straight---our posture exposes the most sensitive parts of the body, heart and genitals. We should be on all fours, hairier, more resistant to heat and cold, with tails. What happened to my tail, that's what I'd like to know....

It's humiliating to have a body with a design fault.

Paul Theroux. 1982. The Mosquito Coast. Houghton-Mifflin, Boston. pp. 365-366.

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