Why did they invent schools?

To understand Ugga ... well ... that's not actually possible ...
But to TRY to understand Ugga and his immeasurable impact on this world should be the ambition of every upright primate with the power of thought. As Ugga's best friend for the past 12,000 years I feel the obligation to expose Ugga ... wait .. that didn't come out right. There might be children watching ... I mean reading.
It is my duty to pass on Ugga's story. Explore the wonder that is Ugga!

“Dad.” The tall blond nine year old said. “Why did they invent schools?”

I thought for a moment before answering. The answer he would expect to hear was obvious. Too obvious, actually, and not all that accurate either. “Well son.” I said. “You might be surprised to find out that among many other things, school was actually invented by an old friend of mine.”

“Really?” My son raised his eyebrows. I didn´t see him raise his eyebrows, but I was sure he did. I would have if my dad had said that.

“Yes sir, ma’ boy. Let me tell you about Ugga.” I spoke the name with reverence, because more than any non-deity figure in history Ugga deserved to be revered. After all, Ugga invented inventing. “You see, Ugga and I go way back.” I told him, as my son and I strolled leisurely along the sidewalk, my mind turning to memories of Ugga.  “Way! Way! Way back! I mean WAY back, Monte Scott. Back in the days before the cities. Before running water. Even before Cartoon Network. There was Ugga and I. I think scientists refer to that as the Ching Chang Pooty Potty age. I remember that it was about the time the t-rexes moved into the neighborhood. They stomped in looking for their favorite meal, the short and plump pudden-puddens. That was just before the pudden-puddens decided to move out of the neighborhood.

“Well, Ugga and I were still young then. We were handsome little hooligans running around the pre-petrified forests out in Arizona playing tag with the young mammoths, young t-rexes and rolly-polly pudden-puddens. Now, because of their trunks mammoths were really good at tag. The mammoth would chase you around a tree trunk one way and pow, his trunk clocks you in the nose coming around the tree the other way. T-Rexes, on the other hand, were really bad at tag because that had little bitty stubby arms. At first they would try tagging you with their big old heads. Yeah right. After they ‘accidentally’ devoured a couple of the pudden-puddens while ‘tagging’ them we changed the rules and made it so t-rexes had to use their arms only.

“Anyhow, Ugga and I were out playing tag one day when these four strange creatures with demonic eyes and long vicious claws came up to Ugga and asked if they could play too. I whispered to Ugga. ‘What are those terrifying creatures, of whom I should be deathly afraid?’

“Ugga whispered back ‘Ugga’ which of course in Ugga means ‘I believe these devilish creatures are called girls.’ And so of course they were. Most of the time when Ugga named something, the name stuck.

“Ugga was immediately smitten by one of the girls. Do you know what smitten means?”

“Is it anything like being bitten?” My son asked as we arrived at the car.

I had to chuckle. He was sharp.  “It is like being bitten – like by a rattlesnake.

“Of course before that moment had nobody had ever been smitten. Ugga invented being smitten on the spot. And it was not one of his better inventions. Men have been cursing that one over the centuries even more than kids have been cursing the school thing.

“Anyway, the girl he was smitten with was a particularly gruesome thing her friends called Stinky Stella. Now consider that up that at that point Ugga had not invented bathing, so everyone was a bit ripe. To invite the label ‘stinky’ from your friends meant you REALLY smelled bad. Stinky Stella smelled so bad because he father was Icky Igor, the local manure salesman. You know what manure is? Yeah, good. Well Icky was really tight with his money and thought it would be more cost effective to run his manure business as a home based business. They lived in a one room hut, so you can imagine . . . I mean, manure coffee tables, manure chairs, manure beds and a manure dining table? Yeck! In fact that family had the world’s first indoor toilet … I mean afer all, why not, you know. Like, who´d notice that plumbing had yet to be invented. So you can imagine why they called her Stinky Stella.

“So here is Ugga, Smitten with this gross smelling demon creature who wanted to play tag with us. Of course he said ‘Ugga’ which in Ugga meant ‘My smelly and adorable angel, I would be delighted to share with you the joy of playing tag with my friends and I. It would mean the world to me if I could but once be chased down and pounced upon by your odorous yet demonically attractive person.’ Ugga was a man of few words, but when he spoke, he said a lot.

“The game did not go well, though. Stinky Stella´s stench caused all four pudden-puddens to pass out, which gave the t-rexes an opportunity to drag them home for dinner. The mammoths, who were particularly sensitive because of their long noses, immediately packed their bags and all moved across the road to the West End. And since Ugga had not invented crosswalks at that point, so…  Well, it was pretty clear our games of tag were finished.

“I was peeved. Ugga was smitten. Stella was gross. And to make matters worse, Stinky Stella´s sister, Smelly Sally, went and got that smitten recipe from Ugga and got smitten for me. Gag. She latched on to my left leg and wouldn´t let go. After two days I convinced a particularly nasty saber tooth tiger to chomp on to the meaty part of her hieney. She let go and the tiger dropped dead on the spot. So you can see that right then and there I invented the whole concept of killing two birds with one stone.

“In the meantime Ugga was beside himself. Without the mammoths, the t-rexes and the pudden-puddens we had no game of tag, and thus no reason for Stinky Stella to come chase him and pounce on him. In other words, he lucked out and was more likely to survive rather than being suffocated by the smelly broad. He didn’t see it that way, though. No guy ever does.

“So he came up with a master plan to create a situation where Stinky Stella had no choice but to be with him. The master plan that every kid from Ching Chang to today has regretted. Ugga went to the village chieftain, a big mouthed politician who spent his days sitting outside his hut spitting watermelons at people and critters walking by. Not the seeds mind you. Whole watermelons. I said he had a big mouth.

“Ugga slithered up beside the chief in a really sneaky way so the other kids in the village wouldn’t know what horrid thing he was talking to the chieftain about. All Ugga had to do was whisper in the chiefs ear. ‘Ugga’ he said. Which of course in Ugga meant ‘Compulsory Education.’ Now,  neither the word compulsory, which means you have to do something, and education, which means to be taught something, existed until that moment. Ugga invented both words right there on the spot.

“Ugga had also invented lobbying politicians, which means trying to convince politicians to do something you want instead of something that is good for everyone.

“The chief wasn’t too bright. After all, he was a politician. Like Teddy Kennedy: big mouth, small brain, not a moral bone in his watermelon engorged body. But he did like big words. And ‘Compulsory’ and ‘Education’ were both big. Before that day he had never known any words with more than one syllable. Which is why he always called me ‘Mon’ and Ugga just ‘Ug’.

“Suddenly the chief lept to his feet, swallowed whole the watermelon in his mouth, and screamed ‘Compul Ed’ at the top of his lungs. Well, it was a start.

“A huge crowd of about eight people gathered around to see what had gotten into the old watermelon spitter. So the chief screamed it again. ‘Compul Ed.’ And political speeches were invented right there on the spot. Oh, also invented on the spot was the fact that politicians often give speeches about something they have absolutely no clue about - ala Teddy Kennedy. That is an invention that is alive and well today.

“There it was. The momentum was unstoppable. Before the sun had set Ugga had gone on to invent the townhall meeting - at which the crowd voted one to zero in favor of compulsory education. Of course since nobody but Ugga knew what a vote was he was the only person who cast a vote.

“Alas, the deed was done. Ugga had invented it - School. His first effort was a bit lame, though. In the middle of the village he took a stick and drew a large circle in the dirt. Unfortunately he forgot to include a door in his drawing, so nobody could actually get into the School.

“So Ugga sat down to think about the problem for a few minutes. How should he go about building a school? He remembered an old bedtime story his mom had told him called ´The Three Little Pudden-Puddens.´ The story goes like this: Once upon a time there were three pudden-puddens who were brothers. One built a house of straw, one built a house of sticks and the last one moved into a penthouse apartment in the big city. Along came a t-rex who told the first pudden-pudden to let him in to the house of straw. Before the pudden-pudden could either answer or phone for help the t-rex crashed through the straw house, sending the plump little pudden-pudden fleeing to his brother and the house of sticks. The t-rex, close behind him, smashed that house as well. Both little pudden-puddens raced to the city and took shelter with their older brother in the penthouse apartment. They were safe there. After all it was a t-rex-free building. That is until the t-rex bribed to doorman to let him sneak up the back stairs. Ding-dong at the penthouse and nobody ever saw those three pudden-puddens again.

“Ugga considered the story carefully. He decided not to invent straw, cities or penthouse apartments. So he built a school of sticks. He also posted a large sign outside barring t-rexes and pudden-puddens from coming into the school. So not only did Ugga invent the School, he invented the Private School as well.

“All the village kids were forced to go to school. Which was incredibly boring and didn´t do anyone any good. After about a week Ugga realized that he needed to invent the Teacher to go along with the school. Otherwise we just sat there in the dirt looking around and passing notes. Our first teacher was named Old Mrs Hag. That was not a nickname, by the way. When she was born her parents actually named her Old Mrs. Hag. Can you imagine growing up with that name? She was destined to become the first teacher - and destined to be an Old Hag.

“Because schools were brand new things like teaching materials, school desks, chalkboards and learning had not yet been invented. We spent our school days and school nights with Old Mrs Hag chasing us around the room with an axe. She didn´t like kids. Kids reminded her about all the teasing she got as a kid because of her name.”

“School nights?” Monte Scott asked.

“Yes, Ugga forgot to invent the school bell. The first school day never ended. By the time Ugga invented the school bell two weeks after our first day those of us who had not been hacked to death by Old Mrs. Hag were pretty tired and hungry. The school cafeteria had yet to be invented.

“Anyway, things didn´t go well with Ugga and Stinky Stella. He never got any real quality time with her, even after Old Mrs Hag settled down and started trying to teach us how to count to four. He sat on one side of the room and she sat on the other side of the room. It sucked for him. It sucked for me most of all, because I sat right behind Stinky Stella and therefore could hardly breathe.

“So Ugga moped around, depressed about the fact that he´d subjected his former friends to the monster of compulsory education but still had not been pounced on by the stinkbomb of his dreams. He would have continued being depressed if it hadn´t been for the riots. The other kids in the class weren´t happy about being forced to go to school and they (rightly) blamed Ugga. After all he did cast the deciding, and only, vote in favor of Compul Ed.  One day just before lunch their anger boiled over. A whole group of them, led by me, chased Ugga outside the school calling him horrible names like ‘Mammoth Breath’ and ‘Stella Lover.’  We circled the school for about thirty minutes until the lunch bell rang. The same thing happened the next day, and low and behold, recess was invented right there on the spot. On the third day of recess Ugga wasn´t able to outrun the whole crowd and he got his wish. Stinky Stella caught him, pounced on him, and held him down while the rest of us beat him senseless with sticks and rocks. You may recall the old saying: ‘Sticks and stones can break your bones. So pick up a rock and beat Ugga.’ He always said that was one of the happiest days of his life.

“And that, my son, is the story of the invention of school.”

The End

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