Silly Questions: Toeing the line

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The Independent Culture
HOW DID Stone Age man cut his toenails? There are two major schools of thought: Mark Salisbury and John Bartlett have independently come to the conclusion that Stone Age woman nibbled her mate's nails. This rudimentary act evolved into the practice of toe-sucking still seen in atavistic sections of society.

The Salisbury-Bartlett theory is contradicted by Geoffrey Langley, David Young and Stuart Cockerill, all of whom, equally independently, claim that Stone Age homo was not sapiens enough to have evolved toe-nails. Mr Young extrapolates this conclusion from the lack of facial hair on neolithic cave paintings.

Mr Langley believes that toe-nails 'developed by natural selection from callouses formed by the constant dropping of heavy stone artefacts upon the unprotected toes', while Mr Cockerill believes toe-nails to have played a crucial part in the development of intelligence: 'People with toe-nails wore out their socks more rapidly than people without, so had to hunt for more sheep to domesticate. The hunting process developed their brains more rapidly, so the Toe-nailed Folk became more intelligent and out-evolved their nail-less brethren, eventually turning into modern man.'

We apologise for asking what music should be played at gay weddings. The answer, as many readers have pointed out, and we should have known, is Mendelssohn's He-brides Overture.

Next week, we shall catch up on a backlog of answers, so only two mysteries this time: What is the best way for two cold people to share a pair of gloves? (Matthew and Riaz).

And if, as Stephen Hawking and Martin Amis have conjectured, time decided to run backwards, what would dinosaurs think had caused the extinction of humans? (A Simpson).

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