Stanford Chaparral

At first, it seemed they might live a new life, a life purged of the tribulations of modern society. But, isolated from civilization, they began to lose their very humanity. Here, then, is an account of the true descent of man into savagery.

The Day Their Opposable Thumbs Fell Off

On the first day of the second week, Clive found he could not button his shirt. Claude struggled in vain with a cummerbund and tie—and by five, Carl declared that Cocktail Night must be cancelled. Indefinitely.

The Day They Were Dethroned From Atop the Animal Kingdom

The mules slipped the harnesses of the plows, and, thumbing their mule-noses, retreated into the jungle. But the men did not lose heart. Claude took up the harnesses and said, We need no mules, my boys, while we each have two good calves! And they tilled the soil themselves and sowed their nasturtiums and rye.

The Day They Were No Longer Bipeds

The plow stood abandoned, and the fields lay fallow. The crows scratched the seeds of the men from the newly feral earth. And pants, well, you can imagine that no one was wearing pants. Not anymore.

The Day On Which An Outside Observer Might First Have Noticed the Disappearance of Higher Linguistic Concepts

Clive wrote a message in the sand for the planes that sometimes passed overhead: SLOW DOWN! WE LIVE HERE! it said, in a large but legible script.

The Day They Were Suddenly Unable to Hate

Carl tattooed a poem by Pablo Neruda in a spiral around his navel. He used squid ink and a serrated shell—and when he rejoined the circle of beds in the sand, not a man spoke the heretofore-sanctified words of judgment. No man spoke out plainly, saying, Carl, you are a super-douche.

Also, They Could Not Remember How To Love

Claude built a woman of sand and took her to a nice dinner. He spilled some wine on her blouse and talked about sports the whole time and refused to pay for her dessert. Fat, he said. You’ll get fat.