Perl and the Last of theNeanderthals
Volume-3 in the Perl's Script series
Perl and Hari turn scientific detectives and set off for the forests of Borneo in search of a missing Neanderthal.
There’s a Neanderthal in my bed!!
Like most women on their wedding night, Gloria Kryptopoulos comes to this routine, non-startling conclusion. But Gloria is not most women.She has a PhD in Anthropology, and her husband, a senile buffalo farmer, doubles as research specimen. Where the average susceptible young bride is filled with a kind of shrinking horror, this moment of epiphany affects Gloria the way an overflowing bathtub had a compatriot of hers, several centuries ago– a gent by the name of Aristotle. Like him, she springs up, uttering something unintelligible in Greek, and spends the next twenty years of her life trying to prove her hubby is the last surviving Homo Neanderthalensis, a leftover from a lost tribe of Neanderthals.
Flash-forward several years. Gloria is about to make public her epoch-making research findings at an international anthropological conference, when her research specimen-husband is kidnapped – by a jealous colleague with a permanently jaundiced view of life after having been dropped on his head as a baby.
Enter the Perl and Hari: software programmers, restaurateurs, scientific detectives. Gloria is impressed with their tracking down of a kidnapped buffalo. She hires them to track down her kidnapped buffalo-farmer husband.
Their search takes them to the glassy caverns of AARS, lined with bound back-volumes of Playboy, in the staid business districts of Singapore. As head of a premier anthropological organization, Shi Yi must know something of the kidnap, for he has a finger in every anthropological pie. But is he really on their side? Or is he hand-in-buffalo poop with the kidnapper?
It does not take them long to realize that they have not one, but three mad anthropologists to contend with, and that the answers lie deep in the virgin rainforests of Borneo.
And what do leading critics think of Neanderthal?
Telangana Herald: We’re really, absolutely sure it’s a book of some sort…
Farm & Ag Review: The author displays a remarkable breadth of expertise in livestock farming, turning this time to the care and upkeep of Neanderthals, which we have been given to understand is a prehistoric breed of milch cattle.
Daily BJ: OK – archaeological sex. Now we’re getting somewhere. This fellow finally seems to be learning that sex is what our readers want to read.
This is what the critics say about Neanderthal. And do you know what we say about critics? Read the book, kids. The last one to read it is a mad anthropologist.
Gloria of course did not know this, but it still did not bother her. She liked sexual perverts. She enjoyed slapping them. She loved the stinging sensation on her palms, and the shock of enlightenment on their faces. It was little pleasures like that that made life interesting.
She sat before DDT with bated breath, her slapping hand twitching, barely hearing what he was saying.
“So, my dear Gloria,” said DDT leering genially, “my dear friend Aristopoulos says you wish to study our rural communities?”
“Yes,” said Gloria absently, discreetly squeezing out a drop of glycerin on her hand from the little bottle in her handbag. It added a pleasing wet, sucking sound to the slap.
“The question of course,” said DDT, “is how rural? We have sort-of rural, really rural, and really, really back-of-beyond rural.”
“Yes?” asked Gloria.
“Yes. We have places just a short car ride out of Delhi that could pass for rural. The people there are marginally more uncouth than in Delhi, which is actually pretty impressive because people in Delhi are already astonishingly uncouth – you must have noticed that already.”
“Yes - the taxi driver on the way from the Airport to this place was fairly bizarre. I had to enlighten him spiritually.”
“But, on the other hand - these ‘sort-of rural’ places are contaminated by the modern world. The TV, the fridge, the detergent soap… this reduces their scientific value.”
“I suppose…” said Gloria, looking mysteriously into his eyes.
“Then we have the ‘really rural’ - which is a lot better. Those kinds of places are at least a day’s journey away. No TV, fridge but they still use detergent soap. Still valuable scientifically, but a soap washed villager is somehow unsatisfying. You don’t get that strong rural aroma that makes all the difference.”
“Hmm,” purred Gloria.
“But what is truly interesting is the really, really back-of-beyond rural, where they are still living in the 3rd century.”
“Yes. Very interesting. But you would have to travel deep into the hinterland for that. It’s a long journey, and not very safe – especially for a lone woman.”
“So what would you like, my dear?” asked DDT kindly. “Plain vanilla rural, or really, honest-to-goodness rural?”
“Oh…really, really rural.”
“Really, really, really rural?”
“Oh yes,” said Gloria earnestly. “Really-truly obnoxiously rural. As rural as it gets.”